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A 20 Year Classic of The Chopping Block: Crab Cakes

Posted by Carrie on Mar 14, 2017


I hadn’t cooked dinner in a while for my friends and wanted to make them something special. So I decided to make crab cakes. It all starts with real crab. This recipe has several ingredients, however it is absolutely worth it. I actually had all of the ingredients in my pantry except for crab, leeks, red bell pepper and tarragon. Please note: the other ingredients in this recipe are great staples to have on hand at home.

crab cake mise en placeThe most challenging knife skill in this recipe would be the leek. Leeks are very dirty vegetables (we have a video to show you how to clean them). The dark green leaves are inedible because they are very tough and fibrous. Start by cutting the dark green top off the leek.

leek trim topSplit length wise from root to top leaving the root intact. This holds all the layers together while you wash layer by layer under running water.

leek cut in halfPeel away any dry tough layers. Cut the root end off the leeks and separate by three to four layers each.

leeks cleanedMake julienne strips out of each layer and then cut into fine dice.

leek julienneleek dicedIf the leek makes you nervous, you can substitute three green onions instead.

crab cake ingredients dicedThe recipe calls for 1/3 to ½ cup of panko breadcrumbs. I’ve learned that the ½ cup is needed as this is a very liquid heavy recipe and the panko helps bind it together.

crab cakes formedOnce the ingredients are all mixed, you will follow standard breading procedure, a.k.a. flour, egg wash and breadcrumbs.

3 step breadingFry in grapeseed or canola oil and enjoy!

crab cake cookedIf this seems like more than you’d like to tackle, stop by The Chopping Block’s upcoming 20th anniversary celebrations!  We will be celebrating at Lincoln Square on Saturday, April 1st and at the Merchandise Mart on Saturday, April 8th.  Our chefs will be preparing many of our favorite recipes from the past 20 years including these crab cakes, Mushroom and Thyme Cheesecake, Bacon Wrapped Dates, and of course, Apple Pie! We will also have guest chefs from the past teaching their favorite recipes and sampling out our favorite wines and craft cocktails. These are two parties you don't want to miss! 

Crab Cakes

Yield: 10-12 cakes

Active time: 25 minutes

Start to finish: 40 minutes

For the crab cakes:

1/2 pound crab meat, all shells removed

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon Tabasco

1 egg

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 red bell pepper, finely minced

1 small leek, white portion only, finely minced

1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, rough chopped

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, rough chopped

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs

Salt and pepper to taste


For the breading:

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 eggs, beaten well

1 cup breadcrumbs

Grapeseed oil for shallow frying

  1. Mix together all of the crab cake ingredients. If the mixture seems a bit loose, add more bread crumbs.
  2. Form the crab mixture into golf ball-size balls and flatten into a disk.
  3. For the breading, place the flour, eggs and breadcrumbs in separate shallow bowls.
  4. With each individually portioned crab cake:
    1. Dredge entire cake in flour, ensuring that there is a light even coating but no excess.
    2. Submerge in egg, coating both sides.
    3. Coat evenly on all sides with breadcrumbs.
  5. Heat a sauté pan over medium heat and add the oil.
  6. Sauté the cakes in batches until the breading has turned golden brown and crunchy, about 5 minutes per side.

Our Owner/Chef Shelley Young shows you how to make this dish here in our video:



 Want more video tutorials? Check out our online video library for lots of cooking technique videos.

videos cta


Topics: crab cake, crab, Recipes, crab cakes

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