Making traditional New England style crab cakes couldn’t be easier. In this blog post we’ll show you how to make crab cakes with canned crab meat.
Maryland, Chesapeake Bay, and Baltimore come to mind when thinking of crab cakes. While it would be best to be by the ocean to pick up fresh crab meat, the canned variety is quite flavorful also.
For these cakes, we used Chicken of the Sea jumbo blend crab meat which is pasteurized and sold refrigerated. We bought this at Costco. It has about 1/3 lump meat and the remainder smaller pieces. This made some nice cakes and had a good amount of larger crab pieces.
How to make crab cakes with canned crab
This recipe is pretty much just crab meat and binders to hold it together. None of the celery or bell peppers in this one. The result is plain old crab meat goodness.
First, the wet ingredients are mixed up in a small bowl. Then the crab meat is blended separately with fine cracker crumbs; folded in carefully so as to not break up the larger hunks of crab.
The mayonnaise based sauce is then folded into the crab meat and refrigerated for an hour to firm up.
I used a #12 scoop to divide the mixture into 1/3 cup portions. The cake mixture holds together really well, unlike some recipes where it is hard to keep the cakes from falling apart. Lower the balled portions into shimmering hot vegetable oil and press down with a fork to form a patty. Cook each side for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes until nicely browned. The cakes seem delicate, but are easy to turn with a spatula and a fork.
So that’s the easy way to make crab cakes with canned crab meat. Simple ingredients which bring out the best flavors of the canned crab.
We made a sauce using mayonnaise, Frank’s hot sauce and lemon juice to go with the patties. You could also make a tartar sauce with mayo, pickle relish and lemon juice. Either goes well with the crab cakes.
How To Make Crab Cakes with Canned Crab
- 1 lbs canned, refrigerated crab meat
- 1 cup saltine crackers, finely crushed about 20 crackers
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 lg eggs
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp tabasco, Crystal, or other hot sauce
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil for frying
- Mix together the crab meat and cracker crumbs in a large bowl folding gently to not break up the larger crab pieces.
- In a small bowl, mix the wet ingredients, (not the oil), together well.
- Pour the mayonnaise sauce into the crab meat and fold to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 60 minutes or up to overnight if desired.
- Use a #12 scoop to portion out 8 balls of crab mixture. Then use a large skillet and add the oil on medium high heat until shimmering. Place 4 of the crab balls into the oil, then press down with a fork to form a patty. Cook each side for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes until browned, flip and cook the second side 2/12 to 3 minutes. Repeat with the remaining 4 crab balls.
- Serve hot with a side sauce if desired.
You may also like to try this mini crab cake recipe: