Cajun Crab Cakes

Cajun Crab Cakes

original recipe:

  • 1 pound best-quality lump crab meat (not pasteurized)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • � small onion, finely chopped
  • � poblano chile, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • � teaspoon pure chile powder (like ancho, New Mexico, or chipotle)
  • � teaspoon ground black pepper
  • � teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • � cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Creole (or whole-grain) mustard
  • Several dashes of Louisiana hot sauce
  • 1 scallion (white and green parts), finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
  • Juice of � lemon
  • � cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more as needed
  • Jalape�o Remoulade (recipe follows)


Place the crab meat in a large mixing bowl and carefully pick through for shells, then set aside.
Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, poblano, garlic, salt, chile powder, black pepper, and cayenne and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are softened but not brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the vegetable mixture to a mixing bowl and set aside to cool for about 15 minutes.

Add the crab, the egg, mayonnaise, mustard, hot sauce, scallion, parsley, lemon juice, and � cup of the bread crumbs to the vegetable mixture. Using your hands, gently combine the ingredients.

Using a 1-cup measuring cup, form the mixture into cakes, packing gently; they should look like hockey pucks, about 2 inches thick with straight sides. Cover the cakes and chill for 20 to 30 minutes, or overnight.

When you are ready to cook the crab cakes, place the remaining � cup bread crumbs in a pie tin. Dredge both sides of each cake in the crumbs, shaking off the excess. Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, fry the crab cakes for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Do not overcrowd the pan-fry in batches if necessary, adding more oil if needed. Serve immediately, with Jalape�o Remoulade.

Jalape�o Remoulade

From Real Cajun by Donald Link and Paula Disbrowe (Clarkson Potter, 2009)

Makes about 1 � cups

For the best results, make this spicy condiment a few hours in advance and then cover and refrigerate, so the flavors have time to develop.

  • 1 small jalape�o pepper, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 1 bunch scallions (white parts only), thinly sliced
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • � teaspoon salt
  • � teaspoon ground black pepper
  • � teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lime

Whisk together all the ingredients in a mixing bowl; cover and refrigerate until needed.

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