One of the very best things about heading to the coast for a vacation is the abundance and variety of fresh seafood. This Southern-Style Crab Cake recipe is my own, developed over years of experimenting with various versions. They are golden brown and crispy on the outside, moist and tender on the inside, and packed with flavor. So easy to prepare, these crab cakes are ready in under 20 minutes.
There are all kinds of crab cake recipes out there. What makes this one “Southern-Style” is the addition of a little bit of yellow corn meal and the use of Creole Seasoning.
The trick to a good crab cake, I mean a really good crab cake is to have very little breading. You want just enough to bind the crab meat together without making it bready. In addition to the corn meal, I use Panko bread crumbs. You can find these in your local grocery store in the International Foods aisle. They are a Japanese-style bread crumb that is coarse in texture and crisp up really well.
Additional binders that also add moisture are a beaten egg, and a bit of mayonnaise. The addition of sweet red pepper and green onion add flavor and also moisture. Subtle flavoring is best because you don’t want to overpower the crab meat with other flavors; just enough seasoning to enhance the flavor of the crab is key. So, I add also a bit of Dijon mustard, some Creole seasoning and a titch of cayenne pepper.
You’ll notice as you patty these crab cakes that they are very moist. This is what you want. Don’t be tempted to add more breading. Once you’ve formed the moist patty, just place into a heated skillet with melted butter and don’t move it. Once the bottom side is browned, they can be flipped with a spatula and will retain their shape. It only takes about 3 minutes per side, so this is a super-quick recipe.
I served ours with a Remoulade Sauce recipe from my friend, Addie, over at Culicurious. I love them just plain, too, with a squeeze of fresh lemon before serving. Also, since these crab cakes aren’t heavy on the breading, they make excellent crab Po’ Boy sandwiches!
This recipe can be made into large cakes for a entrée portions, or in smaller cakes for appetizers. The crab cakes can be made and formed then refrigerated for several hours before cooking them, so they are perfect for entertaining.
I do hope you’ll try these! They really are excellent!
- 8 ounces lump crab meat
- ⅓ cup Panko bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons minced sweet red bell pepper
- 2 tablespoons minced green onion
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons yellow corn meal (not corn meal mix)
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning (I use Zatarain's)
- 1 beaten egg
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- Place all of the ingredients, except the butter, into a small bowl and stir to combine.
- Place a skillet, over medium heat, and add the butter.
- Once the butter melts, divide the crab mixture into 4 even portions, form the patties and place them one at a time in the skillet with the hot butter.
- Leave in place for about 3 minutes.
- Using a stiff spatula, lift the edge of one of the crab cakes to see if it is golden brown.
- Flip the crab cakes to the over side and continue to cook for another 3 minutes, or until the bottom is golden brown.
- Remove the crab cakes from the pan and serve hot.