Dungeness Crab Cakes with Ginger

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes Sixteen 2½ in 6 cm Crab Cakes; Serves


    as a First Course

Appears in

Packed with chunks of fresh crabmeat, these crab cakes are made with homemade fresh bread crumbs to keep them light and tasting like crab. A healthy dose of minced ginger infuses these patties with a bright, clean flavor. Because they are made without a lot of binders and fillers, you’ll need to use a delicate touch when frying and turning the cakes to keep them intact.


  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 6 tbsp/90 ml. mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • tsp. Tabasco sauce
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh thyme
  • ½ tsp. paprika
  • ¼ tsp. Freshly ground pepper
  • ½ cup/80 g diced red bell pepper
  • ½ cup/30 g finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • ¼ cup/35 g minced shallot
  • 3 tbsp. peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 1 lb/455 g fresh crabmeat, well drained and picked clean of shell
  • cups/135 g lightly packed fresh bread crumbs (see Cook’s Note)

Sriracha Cream Sauce

  • ½ cup/120 ml. mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup/60 ml. sour cream
  • 4 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • tsp. Sriracha sauce (see Cook’s Note)
  • ½ tsp. Asian sesame oil
  • 4 tbsp/55 g unsalted butter, plus more if needed
  • 4 tbsp/60 ml. canola or other neutral oil, plus more if needed


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, thyme, paprika, and ground pepper until thoroughly combined.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the bell pepper, parsley, shallot, and ginger. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the crabmeat. Add the mayonnaise mixture and gently fold everything together. Add the bread crumbs and use a light touch to fold them into the crabmeat mixture (overmixing will result in gummy crab cakes). Gently form 16 crab cakes. An easy way to form uniform cakes is to use a ¼-cup/60-ml. scoop with a release lever. Release the scoops directly onto a large rimmed baking sheet, and use your fingertips to form them into patties in/6 cm. in diameter and about 1 in/2.5 cm. thick. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. (The patties can be prepared up to 8 hours ahead.)
  3. To make the cream sauce, in a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, Sriracha sauce, and sesame oil until thoroughly combined. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  4. When ready to fry the crab cakes, line two rimmed baking sheets with paper towels. Place two large frying pans, preferably cast iron, over medium-high heat. Add 2 tbsp. each of the butter and oil to each pan. When the butter melts, swirl to coat the pan bottoms and add half of the crab cakes, not touching, to each pan. If necessary to avoid crowding, fry the crab cakes in batches, adding more butter and oil to each pan as needed. Cook, turning once with a spatula, until golden brown on both sides and hot throughout, 3 to 4 minutes on each side. If the crab cakes are browning too quickly, reduce the heat to medium. As the crab cakes are ready, transfer them to the towel-lined baking sheets to drain briefly. If cooking a second batch, keep the crab cakes warm in a preheated 200°F/95°C oven while frying the second batch.
  5. Arrange the crab cakes on a warmed platter or individual plates. Pass the sauce at the table when serving.