Top | Main Dishes

Crab Cakes with Tartar Sauce

(recipe, Meera S.T. Vargo)


For a fancy dinner, I might serve crab cakes as a starter. Usually, I serve them as a main dish with a green salad. This recipe is adapted from the cookbook Fried and True by Rick Rodgers.


    Tartar sauce
    1. ¾ cup mayonnaise
    2. 2 Tbsp. grated dill pickle
    3. 1 Tbsp. sweet pickle relish
    4. 1 Tbsp. grated onion
    5. 1 tsp. lemon juice
    6. ½ tsp. whole-grain Dijon mustard
    Crab cakes
    1. 1 tsp. whole-grain Dijon mustard
    2. ¼ cup mayonnaise
    3. 1 green onion, chopped
    4. ½ tsp. Delmarva seasoning (see Note)
    5. ¼ cup breadcrumbs
    6. 1 lb. crab meat, picked over and cartilage removed
    7. Salt and pepper
    8. 1 large egg, beaten
    9. ½ cup flour
    10. ¼ cup vegetable oil
    11. Lemon wedges, for serving


    1. Tartar sauce: In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, pickle, relish, onion, lemon juice, and mustard. Refrigerate while preparing crab cakes.
    2. Crab cakes: In a medium bowl, combine mustard, mayonnaise, green onion, and Delmarva seasoning. Add breadcrumbs and crab meat and fold carefully, to preserve lumps of meat. Add salt and pepper to taste, then gently fold in egg.
    3. With your hands, form the crab-cake mixture into 8 round cakes about 2½ inches wide. Place cakes on a lined cookie sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
    4. Put the flour on a plate or pie plate. Dredge the crab cakes in the flour mixture.
    5. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add crab cakes to skillet and pan-fry about 3 to 4 minutes per side, until brown and lightly crisp on the exterior. Serve immediately with lemon wedges and tartar sauce.


    To make Delmarva seasoning: Combine 2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. celery seeds, 1 tsp. dry mustard, 1 tsp. paprika, 1 tsp. black pepper, 1/4 tsp. ground cloves, 1/4 tsp. allspice, 1/4 tsp. ginger, 1/4 tsp. ground cardamom, and 1/4 tsp. cinnamon.