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Crab Cakes with Red Pepper Mayonnaise

Becky Luigart-Stayner
Yield 6 servings (serving size: 1 crab cake, about 1 1/2 cups watercress, and about 1 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise)
Panko lends these crab cakes a nice, crunchy crust. These cakes are large enough to serve as a main dish, but you also can form smaller appetizer cakes.


  • Red Pepper Mayonnaise:
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Dash of hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
  • Crab Cakes:
  • 1/3 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 1/4 cup minced red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced celery
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 1 pound lump crabmeat, shell pieces removed
  • 1 1/4 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs), divided
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 10 cup trimmed watercress (about 10 ounces)
  • 6 lemon wedges (optional)

Nutrition Information

  • calories 234
  • caloriesfromfat 34 %
  • fat 8.8 g
  • satfat 3.5 g
  • monofat 1.7 g
  • polyfat 2.7 g
  • protein 22 g
  • carbohydrate 15.2 g
  • fiber 1.4 g
  • cholesterol 96 mg
  • iron 0.9 mg
  • sodium 625 mg
  • calcium 165 mg

How to Make It

  1. Preheat broiler.

  2. To prepare mayonnaise, cut bell pepper in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 12 minutes or until blackened. Place in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 10 minutes. Peel pepper. Place pepper, 1/3 cup mayonnaise, garlic, and hot pepper sauce in a food processor. Process until smooth; transfer to a bowl, and chill.

  3. To prepare crab cakes, combine 1/3 cup mayonnaise and next 6 ingredients (through crab) and 3/4 cup panko in a large bowl; stir until well combined. Form into 6 patties; dredge patties in remaining 1/2 cup panko. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 3 patties to pan; cook 10 minutes or until lightly browned and cooked through, turning once. Remove from pan, and keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining butter and patties. Serve crab cakes with watercress and red pepper mayonnaise. Garnish with lemon wedges, if desired.

  4. Wine note: The sweet, succulent flavor of crab is lovely with a crisp, dry white that's clean and pure tasting. One of my favorites is albariño from the northwestern corner of Spain. Nora Albariño 2004 from Rias Baxais ($16) is zesty, with a hint of citrus, starfruit, and dried peach. -Karen MacNeil