More often than not, I am disappointed by crab cakes in restaurants. The problem is not enough crab. I don't want my crab cakes to taste like filler; I want them to taste like CRAB. This, quite simply, is the best crab cake recipe I've ever tried. I've tweaked it over the years and it's pretty damned good, if I do say so myself.
The secret to great crab cakes is to use the best crab you can find. I normally use lump blue-crab meat. When I made this batch of crab cakes and took photos, I couldn't find any lump crab, so I used claw meat, which worked very well. Don't even think about using that fake crab stuff (surimi).
These crab cakes are great by themselves, but are even better served with avocado salsa (last week's Monday Meal recipe).
8 oz. crab meat (preferably lump crab meat or claws)
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. salt
3 Tbs. mayonnaise
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. Tabasco sauce (or other hot sauce, such as Louisiana Hot Sauce)
1 Tbs. minced chives
3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs (made from about 1 1/2 slices of bread)
3 Tbs. peanut oil (canola or vegetable oil also works)
Combine all the ingredients except the bread crumbs and peanut oil in a mixing bowl. Mix together lightly. One key to making great crab cakes is to not overwork the mixture.
Next, add the bread crumbs and mix lightly, until thoroughly incorporated.
Form the crab mixture into four patties, each about 1 inch in thickness. Handle the mixture gently; the crab patties should just barely hold together. It helps to dampen your hands when handling the patties.
Heat the peanut oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
When the oil is hot, but not smoking, gently place the crab patties in the pan.
Saute the crab cakes until they are golden brown on both sides -- about 3-4 minutes on each side.
Serve the crab cakes as is or with avocado salsa, as shown here.