Saturday, May 11, 2013

Crab Cakes

I like these crab cakes because they are a terrific flavor/price bargain.  I use Louis C. Kemp imitation crab with 3% real crab. It has a crab like texture, the taste is good and it's less than $4 per pound. Real crab is $17 per pound. I can afford to serve these cakes every week whereas real crab would be a rare treat.

I keep varying the recipe to see if I can improve the result.  This time I didn't, they were still good, but not better.  I started by caramelizing a diced onion to which I added two crushed and chopped garlic cloves. The caramelized onion didn't melt into the crab mixture very well so there were incongruous dark spots in the crab. The flavor wasn't improved either so that was my first mistake. I should have used shallot or red onion and sweated it with the garlic and a little celery, that would have produced a better result.

I broke the crab apart and added 3/4 cup flour to the crab, that was my second mistake. I was hoping the extra flour would hold the cake together better and give nicer browning. It just made them really heavy, half a cup or less would have been plenty.  I forgot to add salt at this point but I should have added 1/2 a teaspoon of salt to the crab. That was my third mistake.  I did manage to grind some pepper into it.

In a separate bowl I thoroughly whisked a very large egg.  Two small eggs worth at least, and added it to the crab. I mixed in the egg, onion and garlic into the crab and flour. I formed 4 balls and flattened them into patties.  The extra flour made them extra sticky so they held together better but they also stuck to my hands and the counter. I put them in plenty of hot oil but they quickly progress from brown to scorched so I keep an eye on them. Next time I will try putting them in hot oil for a minute so they are seared, then turning them over and turn the heat down to medium so they cook without burning. Turning them again to finish cooking the first seared side. Hopefully that will give me the result I'm looking for.

I also made basmati rice, carrots and broccoli.  The carrots and broccoli I did in the microwave but near the end I drained the water and added extra virgin olive oil then returned them to the microwave to finish cooking. I took them out 30 seconds before then end of their cycle so they weren't quite as over done. It worked surprisingly well.  The broccoli still had a little firmness and the oil was pleasantly cooked.

The tartar sauce is just 2 tablespoons mayonnaise and 1 tablespoon sweet green relish. The amounts can be varied to personal taste.

The crab cakes tasted good but could have been better.  They were much too heavy though. I could only eat one, the dogs shared the other. The extra flour made a huge difference, I probably could have made small dumplings with them and fed a crowd.


  1. ◑ Gosh Doug, that must have tasted awful if you fed half of it to your dogs! I guess now you put it in the "work in progress" file (which all of us have I'm sure) and keep cooking it until it is heaven on a plate. Good luck mate. ◐

  2. They tasted fine, they were just heavy. I'm trying to watch my weight so a big dough ball isn't going to help.