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Appetizers, Fish and Shellfish, Mains, Stovetop

Crab cakes with key lime mustard sauce

Crab cakes with key lime mustard sauce
Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times

Reader Andrea Bardack can’t stop thinking about the crab cakes she and her mother had at the Watercolour Grillhouse at the Clearwater Beach Marriott Suites on Sand Key in Florida. And the preparation is certainly a hard one to beat: ... Read more

Total time: 40 minutes, plus chilling time | Serves 4

Crab cakes

  • 1 pound lump crab meat
  • 3 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 1 ½ teaspoons chopped cilantro
  • Pinch ground nutmeg
  • Scant ½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • ¼ cup crushed Ritz crackers
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • Scant 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Salt and pepper
  • Panko bread crumbs, for dredging

Step 1In a mixing bowl, combine the crab meat (leave large lumps there), chives, cilantro, nutmeg, Old Bay seasoning, crackers, mayonnaise, mustard and egg, mixing well. Take a small amount of mixture and cook to check for seasoning.

Step 2Refrigerate the mixture for at least one hour to give the flavors time to develop. Shape the mixture into 4 crab cakes and coat well with panko bread crumbs. Place the crab cakes on a baking sheet or plate and chill for at least 1 hour, up to overnight, prior to cooking.

Key lime mustard sauce

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons Key lime juice
  • Salt and pepper

Step 1In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, lime juice and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve the crab cakes.


  • Clarified butter or canola oil
  • ½ cup julienned carrot, from about 1 carrot
  • ½ cup julienned leeks, from about 1 leek (white or light green only)
  • ½ cup julienned red bell peppers, from about 1 pepper
  • ½ cup julienned yellow peppers, from about 1 pepper
  • 4 crab cakes
  • Prepared Key lime mustard sauce

Step 1Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Step 2Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat until hot. Add enough butter or oil to form a thin layer of fat on the bottom of the pan, then add the julienned carrot, leeks and bell peppers. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are brightly colored and crisp-tender. Remove from heat and keep in a warm place.

Step 3Add more butter or oil as needed, and fry the crab cakes until browned on both sides (this will need to be done in batches). Place the cakes on a baking sheet and bake until cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.

Step 4Divide the vegetables among 4 plates, and top each serving with a crab cake. Serve with the Key lime mustard sauce.



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