December 31, 2010

Crab Cakes with Lemon Yogurt Sauce

I honestly did not realize how easy it is to make crab cakes at home.  I have ordered them many times in restaurants resulting in some good meals, and well let's just say some not so good.  My husband decided one weekend that he would find a recipe and make them.  He doesn't usually like to be involved in the prep side of things but I was thrilled and stayed out of his way.  The recipe he decided upon originally called for salmon but he thought that crab would make a good substitute.  He was right.

This is his specialty but I convinced him to show me how to make them so that I could put the recipe on my blog.  I have to admit that it was kind of strange being on the other side, but it was a lot of fun.  Usually I am the one showing him how I prepare something.  I do think that I drove him crazy with my need to stop and photograph everything but he was a really good sport about it.

Buying the crab in a container saves a lot of time, but feel free to buy fresh crab and pick it over if you prefer.  When I found the container of pasteurized crab at Costco I was skeptical at first, but after opening it I was amazed that it wasn't the mushy mess I feared, but actual pieces of crab.

We are not huge fans of mayonnaise so I decided to use Greek yogurt in its place.  I actually think that the yogurt is a much better fit because not only is it good for you, but the tang of plays nicely off of the crab.  As a binder, and a coating, we used panko which are a Japanese version of breadcrumbs made without the crusts of the bread.  Panko has a lighter texture and give a nice crispy, golden crunch to fried foods.  The good news is that they are healthier because they tend to absorb less oil.

Although the original recipe states that this makes 4 crab cakes we tend to make them slightly smaller so that we end up with 6-8.  Although they look small they are more filling than you realize, especially if you pair them with a nice salad and maybe some rice.

Crab Cakes with Lemon Yogurt Sauce

  • 1 pound crab meat (I used a container of Super Lump Pasteurized Crab from Costco)
  • 2 cups panko, divided
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used Fage), divided
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • a sprinkle of additional cayenne, if desired
  • lemon wedges to serve, if desired
  1.  Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl mix together crab, 1 cup of panko, 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, egg, coriander, cayenne, 1 tablespoon chives, 1 teaspoon zest, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper. 
  3. Form into 4 round cakes and flatten slightly.
  4. Place 1 cup panko into a shallow bowl and coat the crab cakes lightly.
  5. Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Cook crab cakes, turning over once (and sides if desired), until golden and just cooked through, 6 to 7 minutes total.  Place in an oven to heat through whilst making the sauce.
  6. Stir together remaining yogurt, lemon juice, salt, chives, and lemon zest. Serve crab cakes with sauce. 
Makes 4 servings (or more if you make them smaller like I did).
Adapted from a recipe found on Epicurious.



  1. Mmm...crab cakes. I got in the habit of making those and salmon cakes last summer (seems like such a distant memory now that I live in the frozen tundra that is Michigan). They're so easy and fun to make. And you're right, very filling as well. I used mayo (cuz I'm a mayo feen!), but I can see how the light tang of yogurt would pair nicely to the seafood. Yum.

  2. I love crab cakes and I haven't made my own because I'm skeptical of the canned crab meat. Seeing yours has changed my mind! I can't wait to try your recipe.

    Happy New Year!

  3. Your crabcakes look perfect. They've been on my to-do list for so long but the post keeps getting delayed. At least I have these to enjoy looking at and to remind me to hurry up! Nicely done!

  4. These look delicious! I love the fact that you switched the mayo to the yogurt...I'll certainly give these a try.

  5. I'm going to make these- now. I've been looking for something crab without mayo and I love the spices in it. Kudos to your husband and to you. Delicious way to end the year. Happy 2011. May it bring you all good things.

  6. Beautiful crab cakes! I love that they're bite sized! Happy New Year!

  7. I've never even had a crab cake - must give them a try!

  8. I love crab cakes, but I've never had them topped with yogurt! Yum!

  9. What cute little crab cakes! And so very delicious with the lemon yogurt sauce! Thanks for stopping by my new web site and Happy New Year! xoxo

  10. Love the idea of using yogurt instead of mayo... between that and the lemon, it sounds so refreshing and tangy.
    I haven't had crab cakes in ages, but your post has given me a major craving for them all of a sudden. Will have to try this recipe out as soon as I can find some nice crab. :)

  11. Ryan and I also LOVE crab cakes, but we've never made them at home either. I don't like mayo either, so I was thrilled to see that you used Greek yogurt. I can't wait to give these a try! Thank you for sharing this with us. Many blessings and much hope for the New Year!

  12. Wow! These crab cakes look awesome, and we've never made them at home either. Thanks for the tips. Greek yogurt sound like a better choice than the mayo.

    Have a great 2011!

  13. Crab cakes and yogurt? What a good mix!

  14. I love crab cakes, I have to say that I have never had them with yogurt, but I am sure they would be amazing that way!

  15. I adore crab cakes as well and have only made them at home a few times. I guess part of the reason is that I always use crab legs and pull the pieces out, which is a mess and a pain. I like your idea of using the containered version. The Greek yogurt substitution sounds heavenly as well. Thanks for sharing.


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