Quick Crab Cakes with Remoulade

When I was young, many of my favorite childhood comfort foods involved things from the sea.  My Mom’s classic Creamed Tuna on Toast, for example, crispy fried halibut on the pier in my hometown of Seattle, and cheesy casseroles with flaky fish.  Everything was wonderful until one frightful day in 6th grade.  Biology was my favorite class; I’ve always loved science (went on to get my degree in a science field) and felt quite comfortable at a lab table.  So I wasn’t too grossed out when I walked into class one rainy day and found slimy, slippery, squid on our tables.  We carefully followed our worksheets, using little scalpels to dissect the squid and identify all of their parts, making note of significant organs, etc.  Then we were instructed to pick up our mangled sea creatures and put them on paper plates.  We grabbed our plates, squid and all, and walked out of the classroom.  Having no idea where we were going, I was surprised when we turned down a particular hallway and entered the Home Ec. room. “Hmm…this is strange.” I thought.  “Why would we be carrying our nasty science projects into a room with stoves and frying pans?”  Surely we wouldn’t be…

Yes, we would be.  It was called “Incredible Edible Day” and not only did we have to fry up the little slimy guys we had just dissected, we then had to eat them (along with some other interesting things, like octopus tentacles, earth worms and fried crickets- pretty sure that wouldn’t fly now days, I’m not even allowed to bring cupcakes to my son’s school!)  Needless to say, I didn’t touch squid-or anything else from the ocean again for about ten years.  It wasn’t until my mid 20’s that I realized I possibly didn’t have an aversion to seafood– I had an aversion to 6th grade dissected sea creatures in science labs.  When I started to tackle my fears and return to my Pacific Northwest roots, I realized when seafood is actually prepared with great ingredients (as opposed to, say, salt, a frying pan, and prepped by 12 year olds)  it can be quite delicious.  I’m happy to say things like Crispy Baked Fish Sticks and Tartar Sauce, Orange Teriyaki Salmon, Fish Tacos and Creamy Tuna Noodle Casserole make regular appearances at our house now and I love playing around with new recipes and discovering seafood dishes my family enjoys.  I already know I’m a fan of crab cakes; especially with a tangy remoulade.  I spotted this recipe in last month’s Cooking Light and loved that it was in the speedy dinner category.  Can’t beat a 30 minute meal!

No, this little guy didn’t turn into a crab cake 😉  I just thought he was cute. 
I snapped that pic on a beach vay cay last fall.

The remoulade is easy to whip up and most of it is probably already in your fridge.  You might not have capers, but they’re a good thing to have around so go get some!  You could serve these crab cakes with this dipping sauce as well (one of my favorites) and it involves capers too.

Just whisk the sauce together and pop it in the fridge until you’re ready to eat.  You can definitely make it ahead of time as well.

For the crab cakes, combine crabmeat with just a couple tablespoons of mayonnaise, some chopped green bell pepper and green onion and black pepper.  I tweaked this recipe to include some lemon as well, because it goes so naturally with these flavors and brightens the whole dish.  You’ll add the zest in the crab cakes and use some juice in the remoulade.

Add a beaten egg and some panko bread crumbs.  These two things act as binders to hold the cakes together.

Form the mixture into 8 patties.  This is a really tender mixture, so work very gently so they stay together.

Dredge each patty in panko, covering both sides.  I like to set the patty down in a shallow bowl of panko and press a little extra onto the tops.

Heat a large skillet to medium high heat.  Here’s a few tips when you’re browning things like this; whether it be a breaded cake, veggie fritter, or piece of meat.  These are especially helpful if you’re using stainless steel and have a problem with things sticking.  Heat up your pan before adding oil.  Once it’s nice and hot, drizzle in enough oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan.  Since your pan is already hot, the oil will heat up immediately.  Place your crab cakes (or whatever you are cooking) in the pan and don’t touch it!

One of the most common problems comes when you try to flip something too early and the bottom sticks to the pan and you’re left with a huge mess.  The great thing about breaded items like this, or even plain chicken or steak, is that it will form it’s own crust and let you know when it’s ready to be flipped.  Once it’s sufficiently browned, it will release from the bottom of the pan.

These crab cakes should cook for about 3 minutes, then flip them and cook the other side for about 3 minutes, or until golden brown.  Keep cooked crab cakes in a warm oven and repeat process until all cakes are cooked.  Serve with the prepared remoulade.

You get a nice crispy exterior, with a soft, flavorful interior.  When eaten with the remoulade, it’s bursting with flavor (and in under 30 minutes!)





  1. Oh no, you didn’t!!!! If I had to pick one thing only to eat for the rest of my life, it would be crab cakes. And adding in capers…I think I’m going to cry and then tell you two that you are officially my absolute, all-time favorite foodies!!

  2. Just adding–at least in my local grocery (which rates choices) all of the crabmeat is “avoid.” Perhaps elsewhere, there are more and better choices.

  3. Sounds delicious and a lot like some salmon patties I make. Unfortunately, crabmeat rated as “avoid” on the sustainable list, so I’ll be missing out on this one.

  4. Sounds delicious, but do you have any idea (you must have!) how much one pound of jumbo lump crab meat costs, even here in CA? The only seafood that makes me gag is fake crab, so don’t even get started on that. sigh.

    1. It’s actually not that bad where I live- which is surprising because Boise, Idaho is definitely not a hub for fresh seafood! (Although maybe that’s why, haha)

  5. At 33 years old, I am finally growing out of my sea food aversion. I started by eating a fish taco in preparation for a trip to Maui last month. I’ve been there before and felt like an IDIOT for not eating seafood. I am happy to report that I rather enjoyed eating fish in Maui last month. I ate several kinds and loved it all.

    Perhaps I am growing up enough to make and enjoy this recipe. I know my husband would LOVE it!

  6. Mmm…love crab cakes! And remoulade sauce. I crave Outbacks remoulade sauce that they serve with the grilled shrimp. I’ve tried to recreate it but can’t quite nail it. Can’t wait to try this!

  7. I love comfort seafood too. I grew up near San Francisco and I love fresh clam chowder. My mom used to make crab cakes. Unfortunately, my family wants nothing to do with seafood. This means, MORE FOR ME!

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