This recipe uses the less expensive backfin crabmeat, and the simple nature of the binding ingredients enables the pure, sweet flavor of the crab to shine.
Backfin crabmeat creates cakes with a tighter composition due to the smaller pieces of crab. You can splurge on jumbo lump crabmeat, which will make spectacular cakes.
Make Ahead: The uncooked crabcakes need to be refrigerated (to set up) for at least 2 hours and up to 4 hours.
Servings: 5 large crab cakes
- 1 pound backfin crabmeat, picked over to remove cartilage
- 3/4 cup fresh white bread crumbs
- 5 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
- 3 tablespoons chopped parsley, preferably flat-leaf
- 1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon flour
Combine the crabmeat and bread crumbs in a large mixing bowl. Toss lightly.
Thoroughly combine the mayonnaise, mustard, parsley, whole egg, egg yolk, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Add the mayonnaise mixture to the crabmeat mixture and mix to combine.
Form the crabmeat mixture into 5 equal-size cakes. Place on a baking sheet or flat plate, cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 4 hours.
To pan-fry the crab cakes, heat the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Line a plate with paper towels.
Remove the plastic wrap from the crab cakes. Sift about half of the flour over the crab cakes, lightly dusting each one. Carefully place each crab cake floured side down in the skillet and cook until golden on the underside, about 4 minutes. While the cakes are cooking, sift flour over each one. Use a spatula to gently turn the crab cakes over; cook for 4 minutes.
Transfer the crab cakes to the paper towel-covered plate to drain. Serve hot, with lemon wedges if desired.
From Lisa Yockelson, author of "Baking Style: Art, Craft, Recipes" (Wiley, 2011).
Tested by Jim Webster.
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