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Recipe: Snow Crab Cakes

Simple but delicious, this recipe relies on the very best fresh crab legs straight out of the shell. If you use canned or frozen meat in a bag they could taste fishy and not nearly as nice.

 

For the cakes:

 

  • 2 cups picked crab meat (about 2 lbs in shell)
  • ¼ cup minced red onion
  • ¼ cup minced celery
  • ¼ cup minced fennel bulb (optional)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • ¾ cup real mayonnaise or whipped salad dressing
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp Tabasco sauce
  • juice and zest of half a lemon
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp fresh cut chives, dill, fennel fronds, or other fresh herb of your choice
  • 1 cup panko or dried bread crumbs

 

  1. After you pick the crab meat from the shells, gently tear the pieces into small bits, leaving some larger pieces for texture. Carefully feel the meat for any pieces of shell that may be present. Then, squeeze the meat in small handfuls to remove any excess water. Place the meat in a bowl and refrigerate while you prepare the other ingredients.
  2.  Sauté the onion, celery, and fennel in the butter until translucent, then deglaze with the wine. Reduce until all the wine is evaporated and add this mixture to the crabmeat bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl mix together the mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, lemon juice and zest, vinegar, salt, pepper, and egg yolks until smooth. Add this dressing to the crabmeat bowl along with the first cup of panko breadcrumbs and the herbs. Mix very well together. Portion the mixture into 8 cakes and form into a puck shape. Refrigerate the cakes for about 30 minutes before breading just so they set and easier to handle. Then, follow the breading procedure below.

 

For the breading:

 

  • ½ cup flour seasoned well with salt and pepper
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 cup panko crumbs, Italian breadcrumbs, or crushed crackers
  • ½ cup vegetable oil

 

  1. Dredge each cake in the flour, then the egg wash, and then the breadcrumbs of choice. It must be done in this order for the breading to stick well to each cake. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan and fry for 3 minutes on each side until golden brown. This is best over medium high heat, but watch them carefully as every stove is different. Place them on a cookie tray and bake for about 5 minutes at 350 F just to heat through. Serve immediately when they are crisp and delicious.

 

Ideas for sides:

 

Tartar sauce, mustard pickles, chow chow, and even a fruit chutney are great condiments with the cakes.