The crab cakes can be prepared through step 2 up to 24 hours in advance. Serve these cakes with just a spritz of fresh lemon juice.
Servings: Serves 4
  • 1 pound fresh or pasteurized crabmeat , picked over
  • 6 tablespoons plain dried breadcrumbs
  • 4 scallions , green parts only, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or cilantro or dill or basil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 large egg , lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • Lemon wedges (for serving)
Gently toss the crab, 4 tablespoons of the breadcrumbs, the scallions, parsley, and Old Bay together in a large bowl. Add the mayonnaise and gently combine using a rubber spatula. Season the crab mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Gently fold in the egg. If necessary, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of breadcrumbs as needed until the mixture just clings together.

Divide the crab mixture into four equal portions and shape each into a 3-inch-wide patty. Transfer the patties to a large plastic-wrap-lined plate. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until firm, about 30 minutes.

Spread the flour in a shallow dish. Coat the crab cakes lightly with the flour. Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Gently lay the chilled crab cakes in the skillet and cook until crisp and brown on both sides, about 10 minutes. Serve with the lemon wedges.

Test Kitchen Tip: Great Crab Cakes
There are three keys to making great crab cakes. First, you need really good, fresh crabmeat. Second, don't go overboard with the seasonings; use just enough seasoning to enhance the crab's naturally sweet flavor. Lastly, use only enough breadcrumbs (the binder) as needed to hold the crabmeat together without overwhelming its delicate texture. Depending on how juicy the crab is, you may need less (or more) breadcrumbs. One other helpful trick we learned while testing various crab cake recipes in the test kitchen was to use a light hand when mixing to avoid breaking up the glorious lumps of crabmeat. Chilling the cakes before cooking them is important, too. When chilled, they hold together better in the pan.

From The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook


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