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Dungeness Crab Cakes

The gift of fresh Oregon Coast Dungeness Crab was presented to my family the other night. Already cooked. Already cracked. Already gorgeous. I mean, WOW. Major thanks to Lisa for her incredibly kind gift - and to her husband for catching it, cooking it and cracking it!

We immediately decided it was time for crab cakes.

Crab cakes are one of my most favorite things to eat on this planet. I've loved them for as long as I can remember - I even own a couple of cookbooks dedicated to their awesomeness. Seriously, I do.

If you're a left coast resident like myself, then you know: it's Dungeness crab or nothin'. My apologies to the East Coast: your crab just isn't that great. And before you get mad: I've eaten blue crab and stone, too. Dungeness is just better. #fact

My crab cakes are a blend of some of the best cakes I've eaten in my life, with a few of my own twists. Let me just say this: they're absolutely delicious. And, because all of the veggies are minced up and part of that homemade mayo, it's basically just a cake of crab meat.

They're awesome.

And those sauces? YUM. I like to have a variety of sauces with my crab cakes and these three are some of my favorites. That artichoke caper tartar sauce is seriously good. It's inspired by the best tartar sauce I've ever had from Clinkerdagger in Spokane, Washington. If you're in that neck of the woods, stop by and see Debi and her crew. They're serving up some of the best food in the Lilac City and have a killer view to boot.

Make it a crab cake night!



Dungeness Crab Cakes

Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes (includes fridge time)

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes

Yields: 8 large crab cakes or 16-20 small crab cakes


Crab Cakes:

1lb fresh dungeness crab meat

2 cups fresh bread crumbs from a loaf of bread (French, Pugliese, Como, etc.)

1-1/2 cups panko bread crumbs

1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced

2 egg yolks

2 Tbsp mayonnaise

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

2 Tbsp bell pepper, finely diced

1 Tbsp sweet onion, finely diced

1 Tbsp capers

3 Mama Lil's Peppers

3 dashes hot sauce

1/2 tsp minced garlic

1 Tbsp thyme

1 Tbsp oregano

1/2 tsp paprika

salt + pepper

olive oil

Artichoke Caper Tartar Sauce:

1 cup mayonnaise

14oz can of artichoke hearts, diced

2 Tbsp capers

1-2 Tbsp lemon juice

1 Tbsp Italian seasoning

1-2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

pinch of black pepper

Lemon Aioli:

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 Tbsp lemon juice

1 garlic clove, minced

salt + pepper

Sriracha Aioli:

1/2 cup mayo

2-3 Tbsp sriracha sauce

1 Tbsp lime juice


  1. Add about half the loaf of bread to a large food processor and pulse until you have fine bread crumbs. Measure out two cups and transfer to a medium size mixing bowl. Add panko bread crumbs to the fresh crumbs along with the parsley and mix until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

  2. Clean the food processor and add egg yolks, mayo, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, bell pepper, sweet onion, capers, Mama Lil's Peppers, hot sauce, garlic, paprika, oregano and thyme. Pulse until the vegetables are well minced and the mixture it starting to come together. Turn on the food processor and while it's running, slowly pour in olive oil until the mixture forms a slightly loose mayonnaise. I used about 1/3 cup of olive oil. Taste and season with salt pepper.

  3. Add crab meat to a large mixing bowl and pat dry with paper towels. You want to remove as much moisture from the meat as possible.

  4. To the crab, add 2/3 cup of bread crumb mixture and all of the mayonnaise you just made in the food processor. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, mix everything together until thoroughly combined.

  5. Pour remaining bread crumbs onto a baking sheet and spread out into an even layer.

  6. Using your hands, form the crab cakes. You should have enough meat to make 8 large cakes.

  7. Carefully dredge the cakes in the bread crumbs, making sure both sides of the cakes have a nice layer of crumbs. Place each cake on it's own piece of wax paper and then place on another baking sheet or plate(s). When you're done, cover the sheet or plate(s) with cling wrap or aluminum foil and place in fridge for at least one hour. You want the cakes to firm up so that they're easier to cook!

  8. While the crab cakes are in the fridge, make the tartar sauce and aioli's! Combine each of their respective ingredients into small mixing bowls. Mix each until they are well combined. Store in fridge until read to use.

  9. When you're ready to cook the crab cakes, preheat oven to 250 degrees. You'll use the oven to keep the cakes warm as you're making them.

  10. Heat 2-3 Tbsp olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, carefully add 3-4 cakes to the pan. Cook each side until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes per side, but check as you're cooking. Remove cakes from heat and place on an oven safe plate. Cover with aluminum foil and place in oven to keep warm while you make the rest of the cakes.

  11. Serve with homemade tartar sauce and aioli's!