Photo by: Photo: Alex Farnum; Styling: Randy Mon

Ultimate Crabcakes

Time: 40 minutes. Frederick Basgal of Menlo Park, California, a stellar home cook, shares with us his extravagant recipe for crabcakes loaded with seafood, plus bright chives and a tiny dice of bell peppers. His inspiration? A crabcake recipe in Hubert Keller's The Cuisine of Hubert Keller (Ten Speed Press, 1996) for binding the crab with a creamy scallop purée rather than bread crumbs.

  • Yield: Serves 6, as a first course


  • 4 ounces sea scallops
  • 2 tablespoons lightly beaten egg
  • 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1 pound (3 cups) shelled cooked crab
  • 2 tablespoons diced (1/4 in.) red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons diced (1/4 in.) yellow bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped chives, divided
  • 2 teaspoons green hot sauce, such as Tabasco
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • none Devil Sauce


1. In a food processor, pulse scallops and egg just until scallops are chopped. With motor running, pour in cream and whirl until smooth.

2. Scrape scallop mixture into a bowl. Stir in crab, bell peppers, cilantro, 2 tbsp. chives, the hot sauce, salt, and cayenne, breaking up most large chunks of crab.

3. Lay an 18-in. sheet of parchment paper on a work surface. Scoop 6 equal mounds of crab mixture onto parchment. Shape each into an even cake about 1 1/4 in. thick, using your fingers or, for neater sides, a 2 1/2-in.-diameter ring mold.

4. Pour olive oil into a 12-in. nonstick frying pan and heat over medium-low heat. Using a thin, flexible spatula, carefully transfer cakes to pan. Cook, turning once, until nicely browned and no longer wet in center, about 10 minutes total. Divide crabcakes among 6 warm plates, scatter with remaining 1 tbsp. chives, and serve with Devil Sauce.

Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving, without sauce.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 168none
  • Calories from fat: 49%
  • Protein: 19g
  • Fat: 9.2g
  • Saturated fat: 2.6g
  • Carbohydrate: 1g
  • Fiber: 0.1g
  • Sodium: 357mg
  • Cholesterol: 113mg

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Ultimate Crabcakes Recipe