Crab cakes are a staple in many restaurants along the Gulf Coast often appearing on brunch menus topped with a poached egg and hollandaise, one of my top choices when dining out. I pick them apart to decipher the contents, to see if there is anything other than crabmeat, and then try to then recreate them at home.
One of the best and tastiest crab cakes can be found at Bud & Alley’s in Seaside.
Steamed, boiled, fried, tossed in soup, or in a dip, we love our blue crab on the Gulf Coast. It is most important to use fresh jumbo lump crab when preparing this recipe, and I buy mine from local seafood purveyors like Destin Ice at Inlet Beach, Destin Ice in Destin, or Joe Patti’s Seafood in Pensacola.
This is a simple recipe that can be jazzed up for brunch, or served on its own with a wedge of lemon and your favorite sauce. You can make the cakes smaller to feed eight, and easily double the recipe if you have company coming.
Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 garlic cloves very finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons small very finely diced onion
- 1 pound lump crabmeat, no shells
- 3/4 cup fine plain or panko bread crumbs
- 3 tablespoons very finely diced celery
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- fresh lemon, juiced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- good vegetable oil for frying
In a large skillet over high heat, melt 3-4 tablespoons butter. Add onion and celery, stirring well for about five minutes until tender. Add garlic and stir for two more minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. In a separate mixing bowl add salt, cayenne pepper, lemon juice and mayonnaise blending completely, and last fold in the breadcrumbs. Add to cooled vegetable mixture. Whisk egg and add to mixture. Gently fold the crabmeat into the mixture. Gently! Mold crab mixture into ½ cup cakes about 1 inch thick and place on sheet pan or plate lined with parchment paper.
Tip: I find putting the cakes into the refrigerator for 30 minutes helps with the binding of the cakes while I clean my station to prepare for frying. Not required.
In a deep skillet coat just the bottom of the pan with enough oil for a sear on each side of the crab cake. Heat oil to 375 degrees. Pan fry the cakes up to 5 minutes on each side or until lightly golden brown. Lay the cakes on a paper towel before plating with a lemon wedge and favorite sauce, like hollandaise or remoulade.