These were the first crab cakes I’ve ever made at home. So when the recipe calls for using pasteurized lump crab-meat from a can, I was skeptical and tried using the frozen craws I found in the supermarket. But about 5 minutes later I realized what a tremendous amount of work it would require. 40 minutes later, I resolved never to complain about the high price of crab-cakes in restaurants again: assuming, of course, that they use fresh crab-meat.
These crab cakes use ground shrimp as a binder in lieu of mayonnaise, so there is very little to dilute the taste of crab. The soaking in milk may have helped remove some of the excess fishiness, but the final crab cakes still needed some lemon of offset the slightly-too-strong taste of the sea. Because these are my first homemade crab cakes I can only compare to those that I’ve eaten in restaurants. While they are delicious, 4-stars, they are still not as good as crab cakes that I have eaten in nice restaurants in Manhattan. I assume it’s because they use fresh crab-meat. Of course, 8 enormous crab cakes for $14 is a tremendous bargain compared to a similarly priced tiny appetizer in a restaurant.
Rating: 4 stars.
How much work? Medium/High.
How big of a mess? Medium.
Started: 4:00 PM. Dinner: 6:30 PM.
1 pound lump crabmeat
1 cup milk
1-1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
Salt and pepper
2 celery ribs
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Put crab-meat in a small bowl and pick it over to remove any pieces of shell that your find. Add enough milk to completely submerge, about 1 cup. Cover with plastic wrap and all to stand in refrigerator for between 20 and 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile put 3/4-cup Panko in a small zip-lock bag and use a rolling-pin to crush it until fine, then empty into a dry 10″ non-stick skillet. Add an additional 3/4-cup Panko. Toast over medium-high burner for 5 minutes until golden brown; stirring bread crumbs every 30 seconds for even toasting. Empty into a pie plate and add 1/4 teaspoon salt and ground black pepper to taste.
- Roughly chop celery ribs and onion and add to bowl of a food processor. Peel and smashed the garlic and add to food processor. Pulse 6 to 7 times until finely chopped. It may be necessary to scrape down the bowl using a rubber spatula. .
- Wipe out skillet, place over medium burner and melt butter. Saute the chopped vegetables, adding 1/2 teaspoon table salt, and 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper, for about 5 minutes until the vegetables have dried out. Empty to a large bowl and allow to cool down for 10 minutes.
- Strain the crab-meat to remove the milk, pressing down with a rubber spatula.
- Wipe out bowl of food processor using paper towels. Peel the shrimp and pulse about 12 times until it becomes finely ground. Add cream and pulse again 3 or 4 times. Empty the ground shrimp into the bowl with the vegetables. Stir together the Dijon, hot pepper sauce, lemon juice, and Old Bay seasoning until evenly combined. Add crab-meat and carefully fold together trying to preserve the lumps of crab-meat.
- Divide into 8 equal size piles and press into 1/2″-thick patties. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Place each crab cake in pie plate with panko and press so that crumbs adhere to the crab cakes.
- Place the skillet over a medium burner, and pre-heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil until it begins to shimmer. Cook 4 at a time for 3 or 4 minutes without moving them. Carefully flip them over using two spatulas. Reduce the burner to medium-low and add 1 more tablespoon oil. Cook for another 5 to 7 minutes. Remove to a serving plate. Use paper towels to wipe out the skillet, and repeat this step with the rest of the crab cakes.
- Serve immediately with lemon wedges and remoulade.
1/2 teaspoon capers
1 small clove garlic
1 teaspoon minced parsley leaves
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1-1/2 teaspoons sweet pickle relish
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper
- Drained and rinse your capers. Peel your garlic gloves. Mince your parsley leaves.
- Add all remaining ingredients (except the salt and pepper) to the food processor. Pulse about 10 times until well combined, but so much so that it becomes smooth.
- Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper according to your taste. Serve.