Wednesday, July 24, 2024

FOOD FOR THE SOUL – Crispy Crab Cakes

April 28, 2010 by  
Filed under Food

Everybody has a secret feel-good food. After fried chicken, mine is crab cakes. The twist on this rendition: the Maryland lump crab and sweet cornbread. The combined sweetness of the crab and cornbread makes for a unique down-home flavor. This recipe is great for a sandwich or served with chilled seedless watermelon.

Chef Jeff Henderson

Serves 4


2 large eggs
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
3 dashes of Tabasco sauce
1 pound Maryland lump crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/3 cup minced red bell pepper
1/3 cup minced red onion
3 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 1/2 cups dried cornbread crumbs for filling and breading
3 tablespoons canola oil


Jeff Henderson is the author of The New York Times best-seller “Cooked” (William Morrow) and “Chef Jeff Cooks” (Simon & Schuster). For more info, visit

1. Combine the eggs, mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, barbecue sauce and Tabasco in a mixing bowl. (Note: If the crab is very moist, you may not need all of the egg mixture.)
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using a spoon, gently fold three-quarters of the egg mixture into the crab. Season the crab with salt and pepper as you mix it. Mix in the pepper, onion, cilantro, lemon zest and juice — but be careful not to overmix; you want the crab to be as lumpy as possible. Gently fold in the remaining egg mixture now (if you need it).
3. Add enough cornbread crumbs to the mixture to absorb excess moisture. The mixture should be just firm enough to hold together. Taste the mixture and adjust the seasonings. Form into medium-sized crab cakes (about 2 1/2 inches in diameter). Cover and refrigerate the cakes for 15 minutes.
4. Remove the crab cakes from the refrigerator and dust both sides with cornbread crumbs.
5. Heat the canola oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Working in batches if necessary, add the crab cakes to the oil and fry until crispy brown on both sides. Place the crab cakes on a baking sheet and bake in the 350-degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels and serve immediately.

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