If you are a crab cake lover like my family is, then you are going to love this crab packed recipe and its’ budget friendly simplicity. The ingredients are simple: Jumbo lump crab meat gives these gab cakes a rich and decadent flavor; freshly squeezed lemon offers a bright citrus undertone; slightly softened red bell peppers, diced onions and celery add pops of color while adding a slight sweetness and crunch; the Old Bay Seasoning and fresh cracked black pepper help bring out the crab flavor and add a hint of spice; while the egg, mayo and Panko bread crumbs help bind all the deliciousness together.
Budget Friendly – Simply Delicious Homemade Crab Cakes
Flash back to a year ago and my husband and I were buying pre-made crab cakes at our local specialty market… they were tasty and fresh, but way too expensive for our budget. So we set out to make our own – we wanted the same tastiness, but without the price tag. We were paying $8 for 1 crab cake and knew we could do better. After some trial and error, we were able to make our own for less than half the price! Without sacrificing 1 ounce of crab meat, in fact our crab cakes have more crab meat in them than the ones were were buying at the store with less filler… yep, more crab meat for half the price! Crab cake lovers rejoice! Add to that the fact that when you make these yourself not only do you have the satisfaction of saying they are homemade but you have the control over what ingredients get added to the crab cakes and how much or little filler was added. Now I call that a win win and a winning recipe.
Budget saving tip:
One of the ways we were able to reduce our cost AND not sacrifice the amount of crab in each crab cake was to buy our jumbo lump crab meat at our local Costco store. In my area, I can purchase a 1 pound container for about $25… compare that to the specialty market or to the local grocery store that charge 2 to 3 times that price and the savings start adding up!
I hope you love these crab cakes as much as my family does.
- 1 pound jumbo lump crab meat drained
- ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¾ tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
- 1½ cups plain Panko bread crumbs
- ½ cup small diced red bell pepper or Sweeties
- ¼ cup finely chopped celery
- ½ cup finely diced yellow onion
- 2 tablespoons mayo
- Juice of 1 medium lemon
- 2 eggs whisked
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Spray cooking oil (I use vegetable)
- Salt to taste for vegetables
- In a medium to large metallic nonreactive bowl add the Panko bread crumbs, freshly ground black pepper and Old Bay Seasoning; stir with a spoon or your fingers to evenly mix all ingredients together.
- In a medium pan add olive oil, diced red bell peppers, diced celery and diced yellow onion; on medium heat soften until onions are translucent and peppers and celery are softened, about 5 to 8 minutes adding a pinch or 2 of slat to taste, when softened drain excess olive oil and transfer to bowl for cooling, you want to ensure the veggies are completely cooled before mixing into the crab meat (on occasion I will create an ice bath for the veggie bowl to help it cool down faster... to do so add ice and cold water to a medium to large bowl and place small bowl with veggies on top of ice bath to cool - just be careful not to let any of the water or ice seep into the veggie bowl).
- To the bread crumb mixture add the crab meat, whisked egg, mayo and veggie mix, using your hands evenly combine all ingredients, once evenly combined ball the crab meat mixture into 4 ounce balls (I use a scale to ensure that each crab ball is the same size), approximately 7 crab balls in total.
- Place the 4 ounce balls on a nonreactive sheet pan (I use a Pyrex dish for this), wrap with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a nonreactive sheet pan or Pyrex dish with cooking spray, remove crab cake balls from the fridge and cook in a cooking oil sprayed pan on the stove until sides are golden brown - about 5 minutes a side (flatten balls with spatula while cooking), place browned crab cakes on the baking sheet and place in the oven till the internal temperature of the crab cakes reach 165 degrees (about 15 to 20 minutes). Serve with your favorite remoulade or tartar sauce and a wedge or two of lemon... enjoy!