Lemon Lump Crab Cakes

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Sweet lump crab meat combined with green onions, garlic, tarragon and parsley pan fried till crispy and golden brown. Served with a tangy lemon aioli.

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Lump Crab Meat

Lump crab meat is a mixture of both smaller and larger portions of the crab. It’s varying piece makes it a great option for recipes where the crab meat has to be handled a little more.


Herbs add a lot of freshness to this light dish. Fresh herbs wont compete with the sweet crab which will give it a great chance to shine. A nice clove of minced garlic is easier to incorporate and permeates the delicate seafood for a subtle garlic flavor.


A binder is necessary when making crab cakes it keeps the tender flakes of crab together so that it wont fall apart in the pan. Binder needs to be used sparinginly as it can oftentimes overtake the crab and be a filler rather than a binder. For this recipe the binder is a whisked egg with a splash of cornstarch. The egg and cornstarch mix wont alter any flavors or weigh the cake down. It will also fully coat the crabcake so that it will be structually sound in the pan.

Lemon Aioli

Lemon aioli is super easy to make and requires little to no prep. Lemon aioli is similar to tartar sauce. Tartar sauce contains pickle relish that gives it a more rustic texture. Aioli is all the same familiar ingredients minus the pickles relish instead fresh dill is used in its place. This smooth and tangy sauce is the perfect addition to the sweet crab cakes.


making the cakes

when making the cakes you want to start with the binder. whisk the eggs and cornstarch till the egg is completely thinned out. thinning out the egg first will make sure its completely incorporated into the entire cake not just in one area. once the egg is whisked add in the crab meat, followed by the seasonings. once seasoned, fold the crab cakes by hand to ensure that the crab doesnt get broken down too much.

cooking the cakes

when making the crab cakes the goal is to have a super crispy, buttery outside along with a tender and flaky inside. to achieve that you want to start cooking over medium high heat. you want to work with higher heat because you dont want them in the pan too long since the crab meat is already cooked. lightly coating in a dusting of flour and starch also help hold and crisp the cakes. before adding the crab cakes to the hot pan you want to add both a nuetral oil, for a higher smoke point and a little clarified butter for some added flavor. cook the crab cakes till golden on both sides. make sure the crab cakes arent too big, you want them to be heated all the way through since they are coated in raw egg.

serving the cakes

serve the crab cakes with clarifed butter to enhace the sweetness of the crab cakes, serve this dish with the chilled lemon aioli and a wedge of lemon to cut through the richness of the butter.


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Lemon Lump Crab cakes

Lemon Lump Crab cakes
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  • 8-10oz Lump crabmeat
  • 1 Egg + 1tsp Cornstarch
  • 2tsp Black Pepper, course grind
  • 1tsp Salt
  • 2Tb Fresh Parsley, chopped
  • 1 Garlic clove, finely minced
  • 2 Green Onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2tsp Tarragon, chopped
  • 1/4c Flour, for coating the crab cakes.
  • Clarified Butter, serving
  • Lemon Wedges, serving
  • Lemon Aioli
  • 1/2c Mayo
  • 1tsp Tarragon, chopped
  • 1tsp Parsley, chopped
  • 1tsp Dill, chopped
  • 1 Lemon, juiced and zested
  • 1tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1tsp Black Pepper
  • 1tsp Hot Sauce
  • Salt, to taste


  • Combine all the ingredients listed under lemon aioli, stir and refrigerate till ready to serve.
  • To make the crab cakes. Combine the egg with the cornstarch and minced garlic, whisk till thinned out.
  • Add in crab meat, black pepper, salt, parsley, tarragon, sliced green onions and tarragon.
  • Fold together gently. Let sit for two minutes once combined.
  • Mold the crab cakes to desired size.
  • In a hot cast iron skillet add a splash of neutral cooking oil along with a little clarified butter.
  • Take each crab cake and lightly toss it in flour.
  • Cook over medium high heat. Cook the crab cakes for three minutes on both sides till the outside of the crab cakes is crispy and golden brown.
  • Once cooked and ready to serve. Place the crab cakes over a little bit of warmed clarified butter, serve with the lemon tartar and a wedge of lemon.
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