Crab Cake Bites with Old Bay Mayo, Chives, and Lemon

Whatever you do, don't skip the Old Bay Mayo.

Crab Cake Bites with Old Bay Seasoning
Photo: Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke
Active Time:
30 mins
Chill Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
1 hrs 30 mins

Sure, anyone can make good crab cakes, but to make outstanding crab cakes is a true feat—and it starts with an all-star recipe. To find a standout recipe for this seafood staple (that can be easily replicated in a home kitchen), we turned to Adam Evans, chef at award-winning Birmingham restaurant Automatic Seafood and Oysters.

In his flavor-packed Crab Cake Bites with Old Bay Mayo, Chives, and Lemon, Evans skews on the lighter side in terms of binders, really allowing the fresh jumbo crabmeat to shine. The crab holds its integrity well when mixed, leaving some decently-sized chunks of crab mixed in, and forms a coveted, crispy crust when pan-fried. Whatever you do, don't skip the Old Bay Mayo. The sauce rounds out all the flavors, adding a touch of fattiness (not to mention a bomb of flavor) to a lean crab cake.

Form the crab cakes one day in advance, and store them, covered, in the refrigerator. This not only saves prep time but also ensures they are properly chilled, which helps them hold their shape. Versatile enough to fit in at a daytime brunch or evening dinner party, these crab cake bites are naturally festive. They make a fantastic hors d'oeuvres or—when served with a simple side salad—a stunning starter.


  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 celery stalk, diced (about ¼ cup)

  • ¼ cup diced yellow onion (from 1 small onion)

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

  • 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning

  • 1 pound fresh jumbo crabmeat, drained and picked over

  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs

  • ¼ cup canola oil

  • Old Bay Mayo

  • Lemon wedges


  1. Whisk together eggs, celery, onion, parsley, mayonnaise, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and Old Bay seasoning in a large bowl until well combined. Fold in crabmeat and panko using a rubber spatula until well combined. Cover crab mixture, and chill at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours.

  2. Preheat oven to 250°F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Shape crab mixture into 12 (3-inch) round cakes (about ¼ cup each) on prepared baking sheet. If crab cakes are not holding together, rechill about 30 minutes to set.

  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium. Add 6 of the crab cakes, and cook until golden, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer crab cakes to a rimmed baking sheet lined with paper towels. Turn off preheated oven, and place baking sheet with cooked crab cakes inside to keep warm. Repeat process with remaining oil and crab cakes. Serve immediately with Old Bay Mayo and lemon wedges

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