Being an East coast girl, I am no stranger to crab.
I saw their shells on the beach when I was little, tried world-famous crab cakes in Maryland in my middle school years, and even have a felt crab hat that I wore for Halloween one year. So all in all, I can say that I am a fan.
But my most vivid crab-related memory happened during the summer between my junior and senior years of high school. I was attending a career development camp in the Washington DC-area and our counselors took us all out to a boat/restaurant for a “real East coast experience”. It turned out that they took us to a place that put on a traditional Maryland crab boil – boiled crabs served on butcher paper-covered picnic tables with corn on the cob and new potatoes (to be enjoyed with a tall glass of sweet tea and a billion paper towels). It was a wonderful, messy bonding experience (I had never picked crabs before), but working hard for your dinner got old FAST. So what did I do?
I turned to the waiter and asked for crab cakes!
And that’s history – I’ve loved the ease and simplicity of crab cakes ever since.
Crab cakes seem like a spring/summertime dish, so we whipped up a batch a couple of nights ago for dinner. And what makes these crab cakes awesome is that they are baked and not fried – a healthy alternative to the beloved classic. So now you can feel less guilty about devouring that crab cake sandwich!
These cakes start with a simple base mixture.
Eggs, bell pepper, red onion, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, mustard, sriracha, bread crumbs, and spices. Easy.
Then you add in the star!
Some good-quality lump crab meat that has been thoroughly picked over to check for shell bits – you don’t want your guests choking on a piece of shell (a surefire way to end a party).
Gently fold everything together.
And then portion out ¼ cup servings of the mixture, form into cakes, dredge the cakes in a mix of traditional breadcrumbs and Panko (Japanese bread crumbs), and pop them on a parchment-lined baking sheet – make sure the parchment has also been sprayed with cooking spray… this adds to the nice golden-brown crust which tricks your brain into thinking its eating something fried!
Bake the cakes for 20 minutes, flipping them halfway through!
Perfectly golden brown and delicious.
Serve them up as a sandwich or by themselves with some tartar sauce or just a big ole squeeze of lemon.
Your crab cake lovin’ friend,
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice – approximately the juice of ½ a medium lemon
- ½ teaspoon Sriracha
- ½ teaspoon Creole or Old Bay seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ cup finely diced red bell pepper
- ½ medium-sized red onion, finely diced
- ¼ cup seasoned bread crumbs
- 1 pound lump crab meat, drained and thoroughly picked through to check for shells
- Mix of ¼ cup seasoned bread crumbs and ¼ cup Panko bread crumbs
- Cooking spray
- Preheat your oven to 400°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment and lightly spray parchment with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, combine eggs, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, sriracha, seasoning, salt, pepper, red bell pepper, red onion, and bread crumbs – stir thoroughly to combine. Gently fold in crab meat until well mixed.
- Using a ¼ cup measure (or cookie scoop), portion out the crab mixture into your hands. Form the mixture into a patty and dredge in the mixture of bread crumbs and Panko. Shake off the excess and place the crab cake on the baking sheet.
- Bake the crab cakes for 10 minutes per side until they become golden brown. Flip them over and bake for another 10 minutes.
- Serve immediately as a sandwich or alone with your favorite sides!