James Carrier
Makes 24 crab cakes; 8 servings

Crab cakes crusted with panko—coarse Japanese-style breadcrumbs—are super easy, elegant appetizers that are perfect for any occasion.

How to Make It

Step 1

Sort through crab and discard any bits of shell.

Step 2

In a large bowl, combine celery, minced chives, mayonnaise, egg, mustard, and hot sauce; mix well with a fork. Add crab and 1/4 cup panko; stir gently just to mix.

Step 3

Put remaining 1 cup panko in a shallow bowl. Shape crab mixture into 24 cakes, each about 2 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick. Turn each cake in panko to coat on all sides, pressing gently to make crumbs adhere. Place cakes slightly apart in an oiled 12- by 17-inch baking pan.

Step 4

Bake in a 475° regular or convection oven until golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes. With a spatula, transfer crab cakes to a platter. Spoon a dollop of Roasted Pepper-Chive Aioli onto each cake. Garnish platter with fresh chives. Serve hot.

Step 5

Roasted Pepper-Chive Aioli. In a small bowl, mix 1/3 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 cup chopped drained canned roasted red peppers, 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon minced garlic. Makes about 1/2 cup.

Chef's Notes

Notes: The Japanese-style coarse bread crumbs called panko are available in many well-stocked supermarkets and in Asian grocery stores. You can make the aioli up to 2 days ahead and the crab cakes through step 3 up to 4 hours ahead; in both cases, cover and chill.

Ratings & Reviews


December 10, 2016
I made these for a Christmas cocktail party that I went to last night and they were a big hit! I added a 1/4 tsp of Worcestershire. I also sprinkled a bit of sea salt on each one when I took them out of the oven. I will add some old bay seasoning next time which I think would be a nice touch also. The aioli is also delicious!

A keeper!

September 03, 2016
This is a great recipe! I followed it to a tee and it was a huge hit at a dinner party we attended last evening. I am going to make it again tonight, but will form into crab cakes as an entree. It is definitely a keeper!

daneanp's Review

December 14, 2014
This was a hit at our friend's Christmas party this year. We will definitely be making this again. The aioli is a must.

teafortwo's Review

October 25, 2013
This recipe is delicious! I will definitely make again. It's very easy and nice for company because you can make it ahead. I suggest adding to the crab mixture a teas of worcestershire sauce, a tablespoon of mustard, a teas of hot sauce and some garlic to kick it up a notch. Edit | Remove

OssabawGA's Review

March 23, 2013
A very useful base recipe, but aside from the aioli, I found it lacking in flavor. Added 1 tsp of worcestershire sauce, 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1 tsp of a mild hot sauce (Cholula) and a pinch of onion salt. With those additions I would definitely rate this recipe 5 stars.

osequin's Review

March 10, 2013
The aioli was absolutely delicious and went perfectly with the crab cakes. It is a very solid crab cake recipe and I recommend it.

buenacena's Review

February 11, 2013
Made these for my super bowl party as a shout out to the ravens (I.e., Baltimore crab cakes). They were delicious, easy, and everyone commented on how good they were. I will definitely make again. As for the aioli - I'm not a red pepper fan, so just used mayo, lime, and chives instead.

PapaBill's Review

December 19, 2012
This recipe has now become a Christmas Eve tradition for our family since finding it in Sunset several years ago. My grand kids love it! Me too!!

klowryky's Review

October 23, 2012
I made these the other night for book club, and they disappeared quickly. It was nice to be able to cook them all at once.

msg4kim's Review

April 02, 2012