simple crab cakes

Dungeness Crab Cakes

  • Author: Kathleen Korb
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Pan Fry
  • Cuisine: California


A few herbs, a lot of crab and little else make these simple crab cakes feel decadent.



  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • ½ tablespoon Meyer lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chervil, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dill, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chives, finely sliced
  • ½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup panko, divided (¼ cup for cakes, reserve the rest for breading)
  • 810 ounces crabmeat, picked from 1- to 2-pound crab, cracked and cleaned
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • Meyer or Eureka lemon wedges for serving


In a mixing bowl, whisk egg, and then whisk in the next 9 ingredients. Add ¼ cup of the panko to the egg mixture. Once well combined, gently fold in the crab. Put the remaining panko on a plate, to dredge the crab cakes.

Make a quick tester for seasoning. Take a spoonful of the crab mixture, and make a mini crab cake. Dip the cake lightly into the panko on both sides. Heat a drizzle of olive in a skillet (nonstick is great for this, if you have one). Once the oil is hot, add the tester cake and cook on both sides until golden, just a couple minutes in total. Test and adjust seasoning as needed, adding more salt or lemon, etc.

Form the crab patties out of the crab mixture, roughly 1½ inches by ¾ inch. About 14 in total. Dredge in panko, and refrigerate for at least an hour to firm up.

If you have a nonstick skillet, this is a great time to use it. Either way, heat 1 or 2 tablespoons of oil in a medium skillet, enough to coat the bottom. When oil is hot, add the cakes, turning after a couple of minutes when golden brown. Wipe the skillet with a paper towel between batches, so the panko doesn’t burn.

Serve with lemon wedges.


  • Serving Size: 4

Keywords: crab cakes