Pro Tips for Making the Best Crab Cakes

Crab cakes originated here in New England. For centuries, New Englanders have been perfecting their crab cake recipes. There are endless debates about what bindings and flavors pair best with tender crab. Some people swear that Old Bay seasoning is the foundation of a perfect crab cake, while others argue for fresh herbs. Your taste buds are the best guide. These pro tips for New England chefs can help you too!

Fresh Crab Cakes, Western, CTCrab Cake Tips

  1. Don’t skip on the crab!The best crab cakes have large chunks of fresh jumbo lump crabmeat. These large pieces of white meat are full of flavor.
  2. Go light on filler!Crab cakes are bound together by mayonnaise, and a light bread-like filler makes from breadcrumbs, crushed crackers, or flour. It’s best to use just enough to hold the crab meat together. You don’t want more breading and fat than crab.
  3. Keep it together! Chilling the mixture in the fridge before sautéing the crab cakes will help prevent them from falling apart.
  4. Be gentle while you’re mixing the ingredients! You don’t want the big lumps of crab meat in your cakes to break apart while you are mixing the batter. Gently tossing the ingredients together will prevent this.
  5. Don’t be afraid to shake up the seasoning! While most classic crab cake recipes use Old Bay seasoning to flavor the cakes, fresh herbs can be even better! Minced onion or garlic with thyme, parsley, and lemon zest is a delicious alternative. 
  6. Create uniform cakes by using an ice cream scoop! Use an ice cream scoop to divide the dough and then shape it into cakes. This will make the perfect sized crab cakes.

Classic Crab Cake Recipe

3/4 cup bread crumbs

2 Tbsp milk

1 Tbsp mayonnaise

1/2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 Tbsp parsley, chopped

1 tsp OLD BAY® Seasoning

1/4 tsp salt

1 egg, beaten

1 lb lump crabmeat

2 to 3 Tbsp vegetable oil

Fresh Fish Market Western, CTInstructions

  • Pour breadcrumbs into a large bowl. Add the milk to moisten the crumbs. Then mix in the mayonnaise and Worcestershire sauce. Mix together well.
  • Add in the egg, baking powder, and seasonings. Mix together until combined, then add the crab meat. Gently mix the meat in.
  • Shape the mixture into patties. Then place in the fridge and chill for 20 to 30 minutes.


  • Pull out a large skillet. Heat oil in the skillet on medium-high. Carefully place crab cakes in the oil and fry until each side is golden brown (about 5 minutes). If you’d prefer to bake them, turn the oven to broil. Place the crab cakes on a foil-lined pan. Broil for 3-5 minutes on one side until browned. Then flip over and broil for another 3-5 minutes until the other side browns.
  • Serve hot with a side of hollandaise sauce and lemon wedges.

As you can tell, crab is the essential ingredient in any crab cake recipe. The quality of the crab meat you use will have a significant impact on the flavor. You can find the best quality crab meat in Connecticut at City Fish Market! We are the go-to seafood market for chefs and home cooks in Southern New England. Stop by today to pick up fresh jumbo lump crabmeat, King crab, or Snow crab for your crab cakes!



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