Crab cakes are one of my favorite things to eat and these crab cakes are hands down the best I’ve ever eaten. Too often crab cakes have too much bread and little meat or they are dry and flavorless. These crab cakes are so well balanced – moist, not too bready (yes, that’s a word), with lumps of meat and not overly cooked. I love, love, love this crab cake recipe and it is my go-to time after time. Over the years, I’ve served them from bite size mini appetizers to entree size portions. They cook up perfectly each and every time and they are always a crowd pleaser.
In the summer time, I like to serve them over a tomato corn salad and drizzle them with an amazing creamy mustard sauce. This creamy mustard sauce goes well with anything. In this post I’ll show you how to make all three components and how to assemble, but you could definitely enjoy each one separately.
It may seem like a lot of ingredients, but remember you’re making three different components and assembling them together for an amazing and scrumptious bite! It’s well worth the effort. As with any recipe, use the best quality ingredients you can source.
|CRAB CAKE||TOMATO CORN SALAD||CREAMY MUSTARD SAUCE|
|16 oz lump crab meat, drained||14 oz corn, fresh or frozen||3/4 cup mayonnaise|
|1 3/4 cups Panko bread crumbs, divided||a nob of butter||2 Tablespoons country dijon mustard|
|1 egg, beaten||1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved||2 Tablespoons honey|
|1/4 cup mayonnaise||1/2 red onion, diced||1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar|
|1/4 cup country dijon mustard||3 scallions sliced on bias||1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, minced|
|2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning||1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, minced||1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning|
|1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced||1/4 cup red wine vinegar||1/2 teaspoon chili powder|
|canola oil for frying||1 teaspoon of sugar||1/4 teaspoon black pepper|
|1/2 teaspoon each of kosher salt |
and black pepper
LET’S MAKE SOME CRAB CAKES
Start by draining the lump crab meat and setting aside. It’s important to remove as much liquid as possible so they hold their shape and not fall apart. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, country dijon mustard and egg until smooth. Add the Old bay seasoning and parsley, and whisk to combined.
Once it’s well blended, gently FOLD in the crab meat just enough to coat the crab meat with the wet ingredients. It is important to fold so you keep the lumps intact. Once they are coated, add 3/4 cup of Panko bread crumbs and gently fold until the crab mixture looks evenly distributed. The remaining bread crumbs will be used to coat the crab cakes. Set two plates on your counter – 1 with the bread crumbs to coat the the crab cakes and one to place the crab cakes once coated.
Making the crab cakes can be a little messy as it requires both hands, but the process goes quickly. You can make them any size you like. I suggest using any unit of measure you like for uniform results. Here’s what I’ve used:
a generous Tablespoon for bite size poppers (yields about 24), 1/4 cup for medium size (shown above – yields 12) and 1/3 cup for an entree size (yields about 9).
Place the scooped mixture in your hand and gently shape the crab cake without compacting. Coat each side in the extra Panko and set it aside on a clean plate until all the crab cakes are done. Cover with plastic wrap and chill them for about two hours before pan frying so they set. Let’s make the tomato corn salad and creamy mustard sauce while the crab cakes chill.
Tomato Corn Salad: This salad is so refreshing! It only gets better as it sits. Mix the vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl and set aside so the sugar dissolves. In a small stock pot, add corn, cover with water and add the nob of butter. The butter is optional, but I love buttery corn. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and cook until tender, about 5 minutes or so. Drain the corn and shock it in ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain the corn and add to the mixing bowl. Add the diced red onions, halved tomatoes, chopped scallions and parsley. Stir well to combine, cover with plastic wrap and set aside until ready to assemble. If making the day before, refrigerate. The tomato juices combine with the sweetened red wine vinegar for a tangy and refreshing flavor profile.
Creamy Mustard Sauce: Whisk together all the ingredients in a small bowl and refrigerated until needed. Yields 1 cup. This mustard sauce is perfect. Goes well with anything from fish to fries. I’ve even served it with chicken fingers!
Time to fry the crab cakes: Remove the crab cakes from the refrigerator about 20 minutes before frying. This will help cook them evenly. Heat up a large skillet over medium heat with about 1/4 of an inch of oil. When the oil is hot, gently place a few crab cakes at a time and fry until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes per side. It’s important not to overcrowd the pan, doing so will cool the oil and the crab cakes will absorb more oil. As the crab cakes are ready, drain them on a brown paper bag. You can also keep them warm in an oven at 180° degree.
Look at these gorgeous crab cakes! They are delicious just by themselves. When you drizzle the creamy mustard sauce, they are divine and when you combine them with the tomato corn salad, you get an explosion of flavors and textures with every bite!
To Assemble: Over a light bed of mixed greens, place a few spoonfuls of the tomato corn salad, nestle a few crab cakes and drizzle as much creamy mustard sauce as you like. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve. Voila! What a gorgeous plate! There are so many flavors and textures going on here! You have the tangy and crisp flavors of the corn, tomato and vinegar with the crunchy exterior of the crab cakes and that delicious and creamy mustard sauce. It just doesn’t get any better.
I hope you love this recipe as much as I do and leave a comment below. This post was originally posted on September 16, 2018.
Crab Cake with Tomato Corn Salad
These are the best crab cakes I've ever eaten! Crab cakes don't get better than these. Lump crab meat with a perfect blend of flavors and not overly breaded. Served with a tangy tomato corn salad and drizzled with a creamy mustard sauce. Divine!
- 1 16-ounce lump crab meat, well drained prefer Phillips brand
- 1 ¾ cups Panko bread crumbs, divided
- ¼ cup mayonnaise prefer Duke brand
- ¼ cup country dijon brown mustard prefer Grey Poupon brand
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
- ¼ cup parsley, finely chopped
- oil for frying such as canola or vegetable oil
TOMATO CORN SALSA
- 1 14-ounce bag frozen sweet corn kernels
- enough water to cover corn
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (optional) prefer Plugra brand
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 3 scallions (green onions), chopped
- ½ red onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt prefer Diamond brand
- ½ teaspoon pepper
CREAMY MUSTARD SAUCE
- ¾ cup mayonnaise prefer Duke brand
- 2 tablespoons country dijon brown mustard prefer Grey Poupon brand
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, and egg until well blended. Whisk in the Old Bay seasoning and parsley. and parsley and blend well. Gently fold in lump crab meat. Add 3/4 cup of Panko crumbs and fold in just to well mixed.
Gently fold in the lump crab meat until coated. Sprinkle 3/4 cup of Panko bread crumb and gently fold until evenly coated. Pour the remaining Panko bread crumb onto a plate and set aside.
Note: Depending on how well you drained the crab meat, the mixture may be too wet, you can add a little more bread crumbs, but not to exceed 1 cup.
Use a standard measurement to ensure your crab cakes are even in size. I like to use a 1/4 cup measurement. Scoop a 1/4 cup and gently form a patty with your hands without compacting the mixture.
1 Tablespoon scoop yields about 24 crab cake poppers (perfect for tapas), 1/4 cup measurement yields 12 medium size crab cakes as shown in the post, 1/3 cup measurement yields 9 larger entree size crab cakes
Coat the crab cake in Panko bread crumbs and set aside on a plate. Repeat until all the patties have been coated in bread. Chill for 2 hours to set.
TOMATO CORN SALSA
In a mixing bowl, whisk together red wine vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Whisk and allow the sugar and salt to dissolve. Set aside.
In a small sauce pan, add the corn and butter and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and shock in ice water to stop the corn from cooking. Drain and add to the vinaigrette in the mixing bowl.
Add the tomato, red onion, scallions and parsley. Mix well and cover with plastic wrap until ready to assemble.
Note: Refrigerate I you are making a day ahead.
CREAMY MUSTARD SAUCE
Mix all the ingredients and blend well. Makes about 1 cup of sauce.
COOKING THE CRAB CAKES
Remove the crab cakes from the refrigerator about 20 minutes before frying to remove the chill.
Heat up a large skillet over medium heat with about 1/4 of an inch deep of oil. When the oil is hot, gently place a few crab cakes at a time and fry until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes per side. It’s important not to overcrowd the pan. Transfer them on a brown paper bag.
Note: You can also keep them warm in an oven at 180° degree loosely covered in foil.
Over a light bed of lettuce, place of few spoonfuls of the tomato corn salad, nestle a few crab cakes, drizzle with creamy mustard sauce and sprinkle fresh parsley.