A good friend of mine used to work right beside Del Frisco’s in Manhattan. He HATED his job but he loved steak— so when he’d have a particularly bad day I’d offer to throw on some mascara and meet him in Midtown for an unnecessarily expensive, yet, delicious dinner. My absolute favorite thing on the menu is their crab cake appetizer. Its perfect, light, seafood deliciousness and it has no breadcrumbs as far as I can tell. From the moment I had that crab cake I knew that no other crab cake would ever have my heart, so I learned to make it myself.
Most crab cakes are about 30-50% bread crumbs. It’s partly because restaurants want to stretch the crab as far as possible and still have you spend $20, but it is also because breadcrumbs hold the crab cakes together when they’re frying. But if you’re careful, use flavorful binders, and bake them instead of frying, you can make these crab cakes with only the morsels of tender crab as the star.
Since the crab will be getting all of the shine in this dish, I suggest using the best quality, largest chunks that you can find and afford. I use half jumbo lump (for the texture) and half cheaper, regular crab meat to make it easier to hold them together.
- 8 ounces jumbo lump crab meat
- 8 ounces of blackfin or special crab meat
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 2 tablespoons mayo
- 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
- 2 tablespoon sour cream
- 1 teaspoon of cajun seasoning
- ¼ cup scallions, chopped
- ¼ cup red pepper, finely diced
- 1 tablespoon of hot sauce ( I used Texas Pete's)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Pick through the crab to take out any pieces of shell you find. Try not to break up the crab meat, especially the larger lumps.
- In a large bow, mix together everything except the crab. Add the crab meat and mix everything together gently.
- Carefully portion out handfuls of the crab mixture forming it into fist-sized balls with your hands. Squeeze out any excess liquid as you do this. Lay the crab cakes out 1 inch apart on the baking sheet
- Bake for 10-12 minutes. When you remove them from the oven let them stand for about 5 minutes before trying to take them off of the baking sheet. Make sure you use a large spatula to remove them.