Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Baked Crab Cakes

The husband man and I have taken advantage of the best Dungeness crab season in a decade BIG TIME. Mostly we've been eating crab in the multitude of nummy nummy ways the knowledgable Bay Area restaurants offer - steamed, fried, louised, cocktailed, cioppinoed, packed into rolls, etc., etc. But there have been some quite successful home meals of this delectable shellfish, too. One of my favorites is this baked crab cake recipe taken from Ted Allen (remember the Queer Eye guys from way back?) on the Oprah show. They're traditionally seasoned and full of flavors that compliment the sweet crabmeat, but rolled in cornflake crumbs for that satisfying crunch without frying them in oil. Though incredibly easy to make, they are not a last minute dish. Two bouts chilling in the fridge mean you need to plan ahead to make these yummy morsels. Makes 20 crab cakes when scooping with a cookie cutter. This and a few other minor alterations of mine below.

Cornflake Crumb Crab Cakes

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (I use Smart Balance)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • A few dashes Tabasco or other hot sauce, we're not shy about flavor around here!
  • 1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over (will knock the pants off canned any day)
  • 2 cups cornflake crumbs
Whisk together the mayonnaise, egg, mustard, Old Bay seasoning, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and Tabasco sauce. Gently fold in crabmeat. Chill, covered, 2 hours.

Place cornflake crumbs in a shallow dish.

Scoop crab mixture with a cookie scoop and form gently into a cake (mixture will be very moist). Gently dredge in the cornflake crumbs. Make more crab cakes in same manner, transferring them to a baking sheet sprayed with Pam. Chill, covered, for at least 1 hour. (Unbaked crab cakes can chill up to 4 hours.)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake the crab cakes in middle of oven until crisp and golden, about 10 minutes. Transfer with a spatula to a platter. Serve with tartar sauce or other appropriate dipping sauce. Leftovers are delicious cold the next day, though no longer crisp.

Pictured with a spontaneous spicy lemon caper sauce I wasn't too happy with. Try the sauces here instead. The mustard sauce was a huge success (though I did increase the wine buy a few tablespoons). The pictures of that day's batch just didn't turn out as well as these, alas. 
Also try these using cooked or canned salmon in place of the crab, like I did in my first Half a Week of Cooking post. Don't be afraid to experiment with the seasonings - dill and garlic make a great substitute for Old Bay in a delicious salmon cake.
Cornflake Crumb Salmon Patties with Tartar Sauce - a healthy and affordable alternative to crab cakes.


  1. This looks yummy...

    I'll try to cook this. thanks

  2. This is so yummy to try on. I wouldn't have second thoughts on making this one. keep up the good work!