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Need crab cake advice please!

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I tried a new recipe today for crab cakes. I made them up ahead of time this morning and they were not sticking together to well. Just kind of crumbly. I figured they would firm up good enough if they sat in the fridge all day.
Well now its close to cooking time and they are still falling apart.
Is there some secret to getting them to stay together? Anyone have any tips for me..
I really don't want to remix as the I'd like to handle them as less as possible so the crab does not get to mushed up..
Here's the recipe..
1 egg
1/3 cup mayo
2 1/2 tsp. worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. crushed hot pepper flakes
1 tsp. course ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. old bay
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cups breadcrumbs (I used panko crumbs)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 lb. crabmeat

Mix together first 9 ingredients.
Fold in breadcrumbs and parsley.
Fold in crab meat.
Form into 4-6 patties.
Lightly coat patties in flour on both sides.
Deep-fry crab cakes in 350 degree oil until brown.

I am going to pan fry, not deep fry. I have not added the flour for coating as yet..
Will the flour work to hold the cakes together? I just can't see that working myself..
Any advice will be greatly appreciated!
post #2 of 16
joyful.I never heard of using panko crumbs in crabcakes.I'm just guessing but I would think that the crumbs would be to corse to keep them together.In fla our restraunt used regular bread crumbs.Your recipe sounds right.hope it helps...good cookin...cookie
post #3 of 16
If it were me, I wouldn't fold the panko in, but rather coat the outside with it.
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
cookie jim and Chad Aaland, thank you for the advice..
I had to get them going before I found any replies on here.. So here's the scoop..

I ended up coating them in white cornmeal rather than the flour as I thought it might be too gummy.. They were still very crumbly but I managed to keep most of them from falling apart completely thank goodness.. They were also very good!!

I'll try the regular bread crumbs next time cookie jim..
Actually thats all I've ever used up to now.. Its just that I've read so many good things on here and other cooking boards about how much better panko crumbs were, I decided to give them a go..
Lesson learned!
post #5 of 16
Make sure you purge the excess moisture off the crab meat before you add it.
I'm assuming you used pasturized canned crabmeat (Portunus Pelagicus..AKA Blue Swimming Crab)

The cans always have some excess moisture that can funk up your recipe.
Drain and pat dry with a paper towel before adding

The Cat Man
post #6 of 16
I've made crab cakes with panko many times, it works fine, you probly just have to increase the level of moisture, meaning the mayo or bechamel depending on what you use. Or reduce the panko. But yeah, regular bread crumbs never fail...
post #7 of 16
recipes are just a road map...if theyre crumbling theyre to cat man said u probably needed more add some..eggs, etc...if to wet then i guess youll have to adjust in the opposite direction thats cooking and common go make em right...u can do it bro:talk:
post #8 of 16

crab cake love

drain the **** out of the crab, you might want to increase to egg, use the panko to finish the cakes, not in the mix..too coarse...use regular bread crumbs....and take your cakes and cook them untill you get the right mix...test, test, test....make sure your mix is right before you finish them....when your mix is good dip them in egg and roll in panko, then you can hold them in the fridge.....your recipe is good....crab cakes are about the crab meat, not the rest of the mix....keep as much crab in the mix as possible
post #9 of 16
Hrmm, I use make crab cakes for the restaurant with this recipe, sorry I don't have specs, I always eyeball it and am pretty consistent with it after making them for so long.

Crab Meat
Celery, small dice
Red Onion, small dice
Red Pepper, small dice
Old Bay Seasoning
Soy Sauce, Not too much, old bay seasoning is salty already
Rice Wine Vinegar
Panko Bread Crumbs, sparingly, just enough to hold the mixture together
Mayonaise, sparingly, just enough to hold the mixture together.

Mix it all together; Fairly simple recipe, wish I could experiment a little with them though, but this is the "house recipe".
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the extra hints everyone!
I now have another batch of crab cakes to make for tomorrow.. Got some friends coming for dinner and dice, and I'd like to wow them a bit if possible..

And! I've also got a new cookbook with another crab cake recipe I'm planning to use this time..
Tell me what you think of this one..

From: In the Kennedy Kitchen by Neil Connolly...

Hyannis Port Crab Cakes

12 ounces jumbo lump crab meat
2 eggs
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups FRESH bread crumbs
olive oil for frying
Serve with mustard mayonnaise or mango and payaya relish.. (both recipes in the book)

I will have to adjust somewhat as I have a two pound bag of frozen crab meat instead of the 12 ounces.. So any advice (hint! hint! :D) would be greatly appreciated..

I'm thinking double everything except the Dijon, eggs and breadcrumbs, right?
Stay at the two eggs, add another 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, add another 1/2 tsp. Dijon..
Think that will be enough for two pounds of crab?

I don't want to go overboard with this as Neil Connolly states at the beginning of the recipe that most crab cakes contain too much filler.. Says you only want the taste of pure crab, lightly seasoned..

That aside, I'm still thinking this recipe could use some old bay?? I've only made the one batch of crab cakes, so really have no idea on proper spicing..
I just assumed old bay was the norm for this type of thing.. Right?
post #11 of 16
>as Neil Connolly states at the beginning of the recipe that most crab cakes contain too much filler.. <

Ironic, considering how much filler his recipe has. Far too much, IMO.

Typically you find one cup or less of breadcrumbs mixed with a full pound of crabmeat. So he's almost doubled the filler (on a straight mathamatical ratio, you have, with typical recipes, 2 oz crab/1 oz breadcrumbs. With his you have 1/1).

I'd see nothing wrong with your suggested adjustments. And, yes, add some Old Bay if you wish. Were it me, I'd leave the Old Bay out, but add a dash or six of Worchestershire.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Well about the crumbs.. A link I just found, Sara Moultons recipe for breadcrumbs..
She has it.. 4 slices of bread(4oz) makes about 2 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs..

4 slices (4oz) dried toasted and crumbed, will make about 2/3 cup dry breadcrumbs..

So.. If I'm using fresh, isn't that less filler? I need 1 to 1/2 cups fresh.. Wouldn't that be around 2 slices for that amount? Whereas, I would be using 7 or so slices if I was using 1 1/2 cups of the dry crumbs??

Man, I think I'm confusing myself here!!! :crazy:
post #13 of 16
I have used Diced fresh White Bread and crumbled saltines as well as regular breadcrumbs.
"Laissez Le Bon Temps Roule"
"Laissez Le Bon Temps Roule"
post #14 of 16
Use italian bread crumbs and they won't fall apart
post #15 of 16

7 years after but what the hay!


To make things sticky you need to add a protein... for crab cakes i'd suggest skim milk powder, or TG made for seafood.



"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold





"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold


post #16 of 16

I've made with both Italian bread crumbs and panko, and even in removing as much of the moisture they tend to be delicate because you're adding moisture again, and can fall apart easily when uncooked, but that's because the egg in the mixture is raw, once you sautee them gently on a pan, and finish them in the oven, they will hold 100% because the egg will cook and hold them together. Also, after making them try refrigerating them, or flash freeze just enough to handle, although, personally, I don't prefer that method myself.


Last year I had to make lots of crab cakes throughout a couple seasons, and that's how I did it and they were perfect.

“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”
Oscar Wilde



“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”
Oscar Wilde



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