These simple crabcakes are easy to make and luxurious to eat. Serve them as appetizers or alongside a big, crisp salad and some garlic bread for a meal that feels celebratory.
This recipe is all about highlighting the star ingredient, with just enough supporting ingredients to let the seafood really shine through. We love the technique of baking, rather than frying the crabcakes, which allows you to achieve a pleasingly crisp exterior without the mess of frying or the risk of greasiness.
Best trick of all? You can form the crabcakes ahead of time and refrigerate them — for 30 minutes or up to several hours — before baking. The resting period helps them firm up and lets the flavors meld.
Baked Crab Cakes
Serves 3 to 4
1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (plus more for greasing the pan)
¾ cup finely diced onion
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs (or your favorite homemade or packaged breadcrumbs)
1 teaspoon dry mustard
¼ cup finely chopped parsley
Zest of 1 lemon
3 to 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
¾ pound lump crabmeat
Optional garnishes: lemon wedges, sea salt or chili flakes, finely chopped chives and tartar sauce, remoulade or cocktail sauce
Heat the oil in saute pan set over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for 4 to 5 minutes, until softened and golden. Add a pinch of salt, the garlic powder and Old Bay seasoning and saute for another 30 seconds to a minute.
Transfer onions to a mixing bowl and add the breadcrumbs, dry mustard, parsley and lemon zest.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg and 3 tablespoons mayonnaise until smooth. Add it to the breadcrumb mixture and stir until well combined.
Add the crab and fold it in gently until combined. The mixture should hold together in a loose ball, when gently squeezed. Add an additional tablespoon of mayonnaise, if needed, to help the mixture hold together. Divide mixture into 6 crabcakes, handling them as gently as possible. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to several hours.
Heat oven to 300 degrees. Lightly drizzle a sheet tray with oil and place it in the oven to preheat.
When the oven is hot, gently transfer the crabcakes to the hot sheet tray and bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden on the bottom. Flip and bake 5 to 10 minutes more, until the other side is lightly crisped. Serve hot with garnishes and condiments of choice.
San Francisco food writers Stacie Dong and Simran Singh’s blog, A Little Yumminess (www.alittleyum.com), focuses on family food adventures and recipes with a global twist.