Curried Crab Cakes

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Back to Square One

By Joyce Goldstein

Published 1992

  • About

These could be served as part of the Indian Fritto Misto al Mare or as a main dish with ginger aioli. Or a single crab cake could be paired with lettuces, avocado, and mango slices and dressed with a ginger-lime vinaigrette.


  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 large onions, minced (about 2 cups)
  • 6 celery ribs, minced (about ¾ cup)
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 pounds crabmeat, picked over for cartilage
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • ¾ cup fresh bread crumbs
  • ½ cup (or as needed) Basic Mayonnaise
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 cup dry bread crumbs
  • Peanut oil, for frying



Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the onions and celery and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the fresh ginger and the garlic and cook 1 to 2 minutes longer. Stir in the dried spices and cook 5 more minutes. Let cool.

Add all the remaining ingredients except the dry bread crumbs and peanut oil to the onion mixture and stir to combine. Shape into 16 patties, about ½ inch thick. Dredge each crab cake in the dry bread crumbs and refrigerate on a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper until serving time.

Heat ½ inch peanut oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add as many crab cakes as will comfortably fit and sauté until golden brown, about 3 minutes each side. Serve with mint or cilantro chutney, papaya or cantaloupe pickle, lemon lentils, coconut-cardamom rice, and sautéed spinach.