This recipe is adapted from Ina Garten’s recipe.  I love a crab cake that is not overwhelmed with all the additives and has a nice light texture and features the seafood first and foremost. I use panko rather than breadcrumbs for my crab cakes as I think they are a little more airy and add a crispness if you sprinkle on the exterior. When dicing the veggies, make them as uniform as possible so they blend evenly into the seafood.  You can adjust the hot sauce to taste or eliminate it all together if you like. The crab cake should be just moist enough to hold together when  shaped and compressed.  If you have a ring mold (you can purchase one in any good cooking store), it is a perfect way to use it to make uniform crab cakes.  I like to serve these crab cakes as a first course with salad so the 4 inch size mold is an ideal size. You could also use a biscuit cutter if you wanted or just shape with your hands.

Makes approximately 6, 4 inch crab cakes


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 cup finely diced red onion
  • 1 cup small diced celery
  • 1 cup finely diced bell pepper (red, yellow or orange)
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained
  • dash of hot sauce, more to taste (I love cholula)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
  • dash of kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 16 ounces lump crabmeat
  • 1/4-1/2 cup panko
  • 1/4 cup good mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon mild Dijon mustard
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil for frying
  • chives for garnish


In a medium sauté pan, heat butter and olive oil on medium heat and add onion, celery, bell peppers, parsley, capers, hot pepper sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and seasonings.  Sauté until the vegetables are soft and fragrant, stirring regularly for approximately 10 minutes. While mixture is cooling, whisk together egg, mayonnaise, and mustard.   Add crab meat to vegetable mixture and egg mixture and mix well.  Add panko to absorb some of the wetness of mixture staring with a 1/4 cup and adding more as needed.  Cover and chill the mixture refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and using a ring mold or with your hands to form 6 crab cakes.  Place the prepared crab cakes back in fridge for an additional 15 minutes. (crab cakes can be left in fridge for a few hours before cooking.)

Heat the canola oil in a heavy bottom pan to medium-high heat.  Add the crab cakes and fry for about 4 to 5 minutes on either side, until golden brown. Sprinkle with chives and serve on a green salad.  Crab cakes can be kept warm in a low heated oven for about an hour until ready to serve.