Crabby Mornings

Crabby mornings are my favorite. Now, before you decide that my home must be entirely miserable, let me rush to be more specific - I love mornings when crab is on the menu. Fortunately, one of my favorite crab dishes — crab cakes — is also one of the most simple, inexpensive, and versatile recipes for crab out there.

Now, I like my crab cakes to have great texture. That's asking a lot from a dish that mixes a bunch of mooshy stuff together and fries it. But when you use a combination of super flakey fancy crabmeat with a bit of lump crabmeat, you can have cakes that boast big chunks of sweet crabmeat in each bite! Moreover, when you use panko instead of normal breadcrumbs, you get a lighter, crisper crab cake. Then it's just a matter of getting the seasoning blend right and I turn to my tried and true go-to blend of garlic, smoked paprika, and cumin - alongside salt and peppper - to make things right. It never lets me down!

For a decadent brunch, I tend to serve these over a bed of crunchy vegetables and drizzled with a light dressing (sometimes I even just grab my favorite bottled variety). Then I have them alongside eggs served to order and fresh fruit. If there are any leftovers, consider tossing one or two between two slices of hearty bread slathered with mayo and tucked between thin slices of tomato and finely chopped lettuce. It's better than your favorite fish sandwich!

Brunch Crab Cakes

  • 2 cans fancy crabmeat, drained
  • 1 can lump crabmeat, drained
  • 2/3 c. mayonnaise
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. coarse salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 c. panko, more if needed
  • 2 T. cooking fat - I used bacon fat

In a large bowl, combine the crabmeat, mayonnaise, egg, seasoning, and panko. Stir well and let rest for 5 minutes. Stir again and, if the mixture isn't solid enough to form into shapes, add a little more panko. Then, using an ice cream disher or a large spoon, make 3-inch diameter patties with the crabmeat mixture and set on a plate covered in a sheet of waxed paper to rest while you prepare a pan for frying.

Heat the cooking fat of your choice over medium-high heat and set the patties into the hot fat, making sure you do not crowd the pan. I had 2 batches of cakes to fry. Allow the crab cakes to fry for about 3-4 minutes per side before removing to a plate for serving. I like to serve my patties on a bed of crunchy veggies — shredded carrot and/or kohlrabi (shown above) work well, as does finely chopped cabbage.

  • Yields: 10-14 crab cakes, depending on how thick you make them
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes