Crab cakes are a favorite in my house. And that’s great–because they are a super-healthy source of protein that contains virtually no fat. On the downside, they’re super-expensive if you order them from a restaurant. The answer, of course, is to make them at home. Not only will you save money cooking them yourself, you’ll also be able to tailor the recipe to be exactly what your family likes the most–or what you happen to be in the mood for that night.
There are different ways to cook crab cakes, of course–one of the best known being pan frying. Deep frying is also quite popular. But in this recipe, broiling the crab cakes avoids the necessity of having to cook with a lot of oil, thereby drastically reducing the fat and calories in the finished product. Plus, there’s no chance of the flavor of oil overpowering the delicate taste of the crab meat.
Prep Time Required: 20 minutes
Cooking Time Required: 20 minutes
Calories per serving: about 150
- nonstick broiler pan
- mixing bowl
- measuring spoons
Crab Cake Ingredients:
- 1 lb fresh lump crab meat
- 7 tsp dried potato bread crumbs*
- 1 egg
- 1.5 T mayonnaise
- 2 tsp prepared yellow mustard
- 1/2 tsp dried parsley flakes
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (you can up this to 1/2 tsp if you like it spicy )
- optional: 1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
- non-stick cooking spray
Preparing the crab meat
All crab meat that has been commercially picked (as opposed to hand picked) will have some fragments of shell remaining in it. You must therefore go through your crab meat very carefully before adding the crab to your recipe–otherwise, you’ll have some very unpleasant (and sometimes sharp) fragments in the finished crab cakes. Yikes!
Preparing the bread crumbs
I’ve yet to find commercially-prepared breadcrumbs made from potato bread, so you’ll have to make the breadcrumbs yourself, if you want the flavor to be right.
Instructions: Preparing the Crab Cakes
- Move oven rack to highest position in the oven.
- In a mixing bowl, add the egg, mustard, parsley, red pepper flakes, and mayonnaise. Old Bay Seasoning may also be added at this time, if so desired.
- Wisk ingredients together until mixture is frothy, then stir in bread crumbs.
- Gently fold in crab meat until completely coated. (Avoid over-mixing or handling mixture roughly, as this will break up crab meat and your end result will be less appetizing.)
- Turn broiler on low
- Spray a nonstick broiler pan generously with non-stick cooking spray
- Arrange crab mixture into five cakes on broiler pan
- Cook under broiler for about 15 minutes on low; monitoring closely, turn broiler up to high for remaining 5 minutes or until golden brown
*Instructions: How to Make Bread Crumbs from Potato Bread
- Split 1 potato bread hamburger roll in half and place on cookie sheet
- Bake in 350 degree F oven for 15 minutes
- Allow to cool
- Grate bread using a cheese grater
To get the 7 tsp crumbs required for this recipe, you won’t need to use all the bread–you’ll have a bit left over. (See photo) However, this isn’t entirely a bad thing, because as you get to the center of the roll, it will become more difficult to grate the crumbs because the roll interior contains a lot more moisture. If you hate wasting the bit of bread that’s left, you can always grate it up and toss it in to your crab cakes–it’s not going to hurt anything. Or, feed the leftover bread scraps to your local neighborhood birds–they would surely enjoy the treat!
Using a good nonstick broiler pan can make all the difference when cooking these crab cakes. Because crab cakes have such a low fat content, you’re going to depend a lot more on your pan to keep your crabcakes from gluing themselves in place while cooking than if you were broiling something like (relatively) greasy burgers. Check out nonstick broiler pans on Amazon.com.
Another tool that will make these crab cakes easy to whip up is a good quality cheese grater (for making the bread crumbs.) The OXO Good Grips box grater on Amazon.com is extremely cool because it has a little container conveniently attached to its bottom that will catch what you’ve just grated. This is particularly nice when you’re grating something like bread crumbs that can be messy if allowed to escape!
Old Bay Seasoning is a standard seasoning for crab dishes in the Southern Maryland area–and thus, the seasoning may be difficult to find in other parts of the country. Fortunately, Amazon.com carries it: check out Amazon’s selection of Old Bay Seasoning.