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New England Style Crab Cakes

October 31st, 2007 · No Comments

New England Style Crab Cakes
courtesy Charlie Burke “The Heart of New England”

crab cake recipeIn New England, fresh crabmeat from Maine is always available and is notable for its sweetness; it has a more delicate flavor than lobster. Some mix an egg to bind the filling, but good crab cake is fragile and can be patted back into shape on the plate if it fragments.

The cakes are often served over our greens with a lemony vinaigrette for a great summer lunch; the cakes usually break up some, following the contour of the greens for an appealing affect. This recipe serves four as a first course and can
be doubled for a main course.

12 ounces fresh Maine crabmeat
Scant 2/3 cup of fresh white breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
11/2 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon chopped scallion, shallot or chives
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ tablespoon chopped flat- leaf parsley
1 tablespoon lemon juice or to taste
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Butter and olive oil for frying


  1. Thoroughly mix mayonnaise, mustard, scallions, parsley, lemon juice and cayenne; add breadcrumbs and crabmeat.
  2. Toss gently to mix, leaving crab in chunks. Add salt and pepper to taste and add more lemon juice or cayenne if you wish.
  3. Form into four cakes.
  4. Heat a nonstick sauté pan over medium heat and add approximately a tablespoon each of olive oil and butter. After the butter has foamed, add the four cakes and cook just until golden brown on each side.
  5. If they break apart somewhat as they are turned; simply reform them with a spoon or spatula.
  6. Serve immediately with a salad and dressing or serve with mayonnaise that has been mixed with a few capers, lemon juice and tobasco sauce. They go well also with remoulade sauce and with tartar sauce.
  7. Vary the flavoring of the cakes according to your taste, and you will soon have made the recipe your own.

About the author
An organic farmer and avid cook, writer Charlie Burke is the vice president of the New Hampshire Farmer’s Market Association ( and helps run the Sanbornton Farmers’ Market. Along with his wife, Joanne, he grows
certified organic herbs, greens and berries at Weather Hill Farm in Sanbornton, NH. His column & recipes appear weekly in The Heart of New England’s newsletter… to get your free subscription send a blank email to

Additional Resources:
I Love Crab Cakes! 50 Recipes for an American Classic by Tom Douglas and Shelley Lance
The Crab Cake Guy’s Recipes
The Crab Lover’s Book: Recipes & More by Mary Ethelyn Orso
Crab Cake Guy’s recommended reading

Tags: Crab Cake Recipes · crab cakes

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