October 9th, 2012

Crab Cakes with Rémoulade



A few weeks ago I was on the East Coast with my husband.   We had a wonderful time in Washington D.C. and in Pennsylvania where my sister-in-law and her family live in the middle of beautiful Amish country.  We also had one day in Baltimore.  Not much time, but enough to visit Fort McHenry where Francis Scott Key penned the Star-Spangled Banner – what an incredible piece of history.


An afternoon at Inner Harbor


And of course, how could you visit Baltimore without Crab Cakes for lunch . . .


Which brings me to the topic of today’s recipe.  After having these amazing crab cakes I decided I should come home and make my own {since I don’t get to Baltimore very often}.

After searching for just the right recipe, I settled on this one from Cook’s Illustrated  {always a reliable source}.   Most of the crab cakes recipes I looked at were bound with mayo and eggs, but I was intrigued because this recipe uses a “delicate shrimp mousse” to hold everything in place and enhance the crabmeat flavor.  Sounded good to me-  and they definitely are good.    I was not disappointed at all!

These crab cakes would be perfect for upcoming holiday dinners and entertaining {I may have to start a new Christmas Eve Tradition}, yet they are also light enough for summer pool parties.  The recipe makes 8 crab cakes, but you could make 16 small ones to serve as appetizers.   The Rémoulade Sauce is very good, without being overly complicated.  It’s just a classic combination.

Note:  There are a lot of steps to follow, but I promise they are not hard . . . you can do it!


Crab Cakes with Rémoulade


  • 1 pound lump crabmeat, picked over for shells
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails removed
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (I used Tabasco)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil


Note:  Fresh crabmeat will make these crab cakes taste even better.  With packaged crab, if the meat smells clean and fresh when you first open the package, skip steps 1 and 4 and simply blot away any excess liquid.

1. Place crabmeat and milk in bowl, making sure crab is totally submerged. Cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, place ¾ cup panko in small zipper-lock bag and finely crush with rolling pin. Transfer crushed panko to 10-inch nonstick skillet and add remaining ¾ cup panko. Toast over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer panko to shallow dish and stir in ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Wipe out skillet.

3. Pulse celery, onion, and garlic in food processor until finely chopped, 5 to 8 pulses, scraping down bowl as needed. Transfer vegetables to large bowl. Rinse processor bowl and blade and reserve. Melt butter in now-empty skillet over medium heat. Add chopped vegetables, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are softened and all moisture has evaporated, 4 to 6 minutes. Return vegetables to large bowl and let cool to room temperature. Rinse out pan and wipe clean.

4. Strain crabmeat through fine-mesh strainer, pressing firmly to remove milk but being careful not to break up lumps of crabmeat.

5. Pulse shrimp in now-empty food processor until finely ground, 12 to 15 pulses, scraping down bowl as needed. Add cream and pulse to combine, 2 to 4 pulses, scraping down bowl as needed. Transfer shrimp puree to bowl with cooled vegetables. Add mustard, hot pepper sauce, lemon juice, and Old Bay seasoning; stir until well combined. Add crabmeat and fold gently with rubber spatula, being careful not to overmix and break up lumps of crabmeat. Divide mixture into 8 balls and firmly press into 1/2-inch-thick patties. Place cakes on rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

6. Coat each cake in panko, firmly pressing to adhere crumbs to exterior. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in now-empty skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Place 4 cakes in skillet and cook without moving them until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Using 2 spatulas, carefully flip cakes, add 1 tablespoon oil, reduce heat to medium-low, and continue to cook until second side is golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer cakes to platter. Wipe out skillet and repeat with remaining 4 cakes and remaining 2 tablespoons oil.  Serve immediately with lemon wedges and Rémoulade.




  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon capers, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 small clove garlic, chopped coarse
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sweet pickle relish
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley leaves
  • Salt and pepper


Pulse all ingredients except salt and pepper in food processor until well combined but not smooth, about ten 1-second pulses. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to serving bowl. 

-Makes about 1/2 cup. 
-Can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

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6 Responses to “Crab Cakes with Rémoulade”

  1. I love crab cakes, but I’ve only even boughten them at Costco! These look delicious- maybe i’ll try them! Thanks

  2. Crab cakes have always been our Christmas eve tradition. This recipe looks really good…maybe time to try a new recipe?

  3. Looks so good. I love crab cakes!

  4. YUM!!! I’m pinning this now!

  5. My grandmother always made crab cakes but I’ve never tried it. Thanks for the inspiration.

  6. My hubby loves crab cakes. he will be so impressed when I make these (if I make them LOL)


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