Classic Crab Cakes with a Lemon-Mustard Sauce
The best crab cakes have the most crab with the least amount of crumb . . . these are the best!
A superb crab cake should have a uniform shape with a balance of crab meat texture (some lump but not too jumbo and not too much) and absolutely no filler. All the bread crumbs should be used on the outside of the cakes only. In this recipe, mayo is used both to bind the crab cake and then to garnish it with a quick and easy sauce (also good for shrimp, fish, and even chicken). The crab cakes easily can be made in advance and frozen before cooking. Note the different techniques below for panfrying or baking the crab cakes. Either method will result in that delectable, golden brown crust. Remember, it's all about technique, not torture!
Equipment: cutting board, chef’s knife, dry measuring cups, measuring spoons, small and large mixing bowls, rubber spatula, spoons, sheet pan, offset spatula
Crab Cake Ingredients: 1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves 2 scallions, finely chopped 1 large egg
1 pound lump crabmeat kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 1 cup bread crumbs (preferably fresh)
vegetable oil (canola, avocado, etc.) for cooking
Lemon-Mustard Sauce: ½ cup mayonnaise juice of 1 lemon 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
"You can panfry or bake these crab cakes. Follow the method that best works for you!"
1. In a large bowl, mix together mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, lemon zest, Old Bay, parsley, scallions, and egg. Add crabmeat, season with salt and pepper, and stir well. Set aside.
2. Now prepare the sauce by combining all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
1. Using a ¼-cup measure, scoop the crab mixture and form cakes into a disk. Dip the cakes into the bread crumbs and set aside as you repeat to form all the crab cakes.
2. Brush the tops of the crab cakes with vegetable oil, using a pastry brush. Heat the pan over moderate heat and add the crab cakes, in batches, without crowding the pan, oiled-side down. Brush the tops of the crab cakes facing you with oil, and turn after 2-3 minutes of cooking. Cook for another 2 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden brown.
3. Serve the crab cakes with Lemon-Mustard Sauce.
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2. Drizzle the breadcrumbs with 3 tablespoons of oil and stir well with a fork to distribute the oil evenly throughout the crumb.
3. Using a ¼-cup measure, scoop the crab mixture and form cakes into a disk. Dip the cakes into the oil-moistened bread crumbs and set aside as you repeat to form all the crab cakes.
4. Place the crab cakes on a sheet pan (lined with parchment paper, if desired). Bake for 10 minutes, then turn over to cook for another 5 minutes. 5. Serve the crab cakes with Lemon-Mustard Sauce.
Makes 6-8 crab cakes.