As an appetizer or main dish, dressed up or dressed down, crab cakes are a versatile part of Southern food. Start with a base of crabmeat and a binder and find your favorite way to serve them with our crab cake recipes.

Mini Crab Cakes
Credit: Jennifer Davick

Crab Cake Recipes:

Crab cakes, it seems, are on restaurant menus everywhere from the east Coast to Kansas. Simpler eating establishments pay homage to the delicate crab flavor by serving their crab cakes plain or with a basic sauce. Upscale chefs serve them with a variety of accompaniments including pineapple salsa, tomato concassé, grainy mustard sauce, or fennel coleslaw.

Types of Crab Cakes
However, fancy additions don't sit too well with crab cake lovers in Maryland and Virginia. They like their crab cakes the old-fashioned way—with plenty of crab and not too much else. Depending on whom you ask, "not too much else" may mean a modest amount of binder and the merest hint of seasoning, while others see onion, bell pepper, and plenty of Old Bay seasoning as crucial. Then there is the matter of form. Fat and fluffy cakes generally have minimal additions; dense and sturdy ones usually appeal to the heavy seasoning crowd.

Our Favorite Crab Cakes Recipe: Faidley's Crab Cakes
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. hot sauce
1 lb. fresh lump crabmeat, drained
1 cup crushed saltines (about 20 crackers)
1 qt. vegetable oil
Tartar sauce (optional)

1. Stir together first 5 ingredients; fold in crabmeat and saltines. Let stand 3 minutes. Shape mixture into 8 patties. Place on a wax paper-lined baking sheet; cover and chill 1 hour.

2. Fry crab cakes, in batches, in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until golden. drain on paper towels. Serve with tartar sauce, if desired.