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, but canned crab meat 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 are smaller pieces.
This canned crab made some nice cakes and had a good amount of larger crab pieces.
How to Make Crab Cakes with Canned Crab
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 chunks 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, (#ad) Crystal 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.
Be sure to try these tasty recipes:
- Grilled Herb Crusted Chicken Breasts
- Tender Beef Tips on Egg Noodles
- Roasted Cruciferous Vegetables
- Stuffed Cucumber Bites
- Mini Crab Cake Appetizer
- Classic Crab Louie
How To Make Crab Cakes with Canned Crab
- 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.
- Recipe adapted from Andrew Zimmern.
- Nutrition information is per one crab cake.
This recipe post has been updated on November 4, 2021.