If you prefer a spicier crab cake, you may add finely chopped bell pepper, onion, and Old Bay seasoning to taste.
Stir together first 5 ingredients; fold in crabmeat and saltines. Let stand 3 minutes.
Shape mixture into 8 patties. Place on a wax paper-lined baking sheet; cover and chill 1 hour.
Fry crab cakes, in batches, in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until golden. Drain on paper towels. Serve with tartar sauce, if desired.
Note: To sauté crab cakes, cook in 3 tablespoons butter or oil in a large nonstick skillet 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until golden.