Sometimes do you ever buy random ingredients because they’re half off and you’ll NEVER find them at that price again and you just HAVE to have them right then because they’re such a great price?
Don’t pretend like you have more self control than me.
That totally happened to me recently with this ridiculously expensive crab. It was half off. So I bought it.
Then I made crab cakes. And crab pasta. And ate some plain.
It was the best week of my life.
This is the story of the lovely crab cakes we made one Saturday afternoon! They were easy, light, and super tasty.
For the cakes, here’s what you need:
- 1 lb lumb crab meat, canned or fresh (ha)
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs (mine were seasoned, but plain is perfectly fine)
- cayenne pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
Don’t freak out about the breadcrumbs, the other spices will more than make up for a lack of Old Bay flavor. I just have had these in my pantry for the last 8 years and wanted to use them up.
For the cakes, pick through the crab gently with your fingers to remove any shells. This is tricky – my fingers aren’t really sensitive so I have to go REALLY slowly, but don’t freak out about this too much. Canned crab is usually nice and clean.
Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and VERY gently combine everything with a fork. If the mixture seems very wet, add more breadcrumb 1 tablespoon at a time until the crab mixture could be pressed together with a fork.
Now, before you get your hands all dirty making cakes, let’s make the coating for the crabcakes!
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs (or regular if you don’t have both kinds)
- 1 teaspoon kosher or coarse salt
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
Lovely. Now, gently form the crab mixture into 4 even cakes. Press it together just enough to hold – this takes some practice, so don’t get discouraged! If the mixture feels too crumbly don’t keep adding more and more breadcrumb or milk or whatever else, that could make the cakes dense and less crabby. Instead, with your hands gently make the crab mixture into a ball in the bowl (like bread dough) and refrigerate it for 10 minutes to let it “set” and be easier to handle.
Then, press the crab cakes into the panko mixture.
Now, you can do up to this point WAY ahead and leave the crab cakes in the fridge until you’re ready to pan-fry them.
When you’re ready to eat, heat a large skillet to medium heat with a thin layer of vegetable or olive oil. You may have to cook only one or two crab cakes at a time – that’s fine!
When the oil is nice and hot (I let mine heat up for 10 full minutes) but not smoking, gently place the crab cakes in the pan and leave them alone for 3 full minutes. Then, check them – if they’re brown on the bottom, flip them over! Otherwise, wait until they’re brown and crispy on the first side, then gently flip them and cook them on the second side.
When they’re done, serve them up! You can drain them on paper towels, but I didn’t find that necessary with this batch.
Now, I like these served with lettuce and capers and tartar sauce. Make your own or grab a jar of your favorite kind! A lemon wedge would be nice, too, but I was in a hurry.
I have another idea for these, though, and I’ll show you THAT tomorrow. You’ll love it!
Enjoy these, they’re light, crunchy, and SO flavorful. The sesame flavor is wonderful.