Quick Crab Cakes





Introduction: Quick Crab Cakes

Potato chips are the secret to these amazing crab cakes. Instead of having to bread and pan-fry them to get that satisfying crispness, I stir in a bag of crushed potato chips before putting them in the broiler. As weird as it sounds, they give the dish just the right texture. -- Kate Merker, Associate Food Editor, Real Simple

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Like shrimp cocktail and mini quiches, crab cakes evoke the high life of country clubs and wedding receptions. But you don't need to take a trip down the aisle to enjoy this Chesapeake Bay original. This recipe dispenses with the lengthy process of beating the eggs and breading the cakes. Instead, tartar sauce (already conveniently spiked with bits of pickle and onion) binds the seafood together in patties. Crushed potato chips stand in for homemade bread crumbs and provide just the right amount of texture and salt. But the biggest improvement is the elimination of frying and the accompanying oil. These cakes are topped with only small pats of butter before being whisked into the broiler. Two minutes later, you have 6 sizzling golden brown disks, leaving you no excuse to be crabby.

2 1/2 cups potato chips
1 pound lump crabmeat, picked through to remove shells
1/3 cup tartar sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons butter, thinly sliced into 6 pieces
1 lemon, cut into wedges

Step 1: Crush

Heat the broiler. In a medium bowl, finely crush the potato chips.

Step 2: Combine

Add the crabmeat, tartar sauce, mustard, and pepper and stir to combine.

Step 3: Form

Form the mixture into 6 patties.

Step 4: Broil

Place on a parchment- or foil-lined baking sheet. Top each with a pat of butter and broil until browned, 1 to 2 minutes.

Step 5: Serve

Serve with the lemon wedges.



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    24 Discussions

    We just made these for dinner tonight- they were awesome! We added a few things to give the crab cakes a bit more kick. Next time I may add capers or scallions, too.

    Alterations made for extra flavor:
    Salt & Vinegar potato chips
    ~2t spicy paprika
    1 clove grated garlic (or garlic salt)

    We made smaller cakes, getting about 16 from these ingredients, which meant they had a greater surface area to volume ratio- more tasty broiled tops!

    'Applying the Scientific Method
    Since we're trying to eat healthier, we ran a comparison of toppings. One row got butter on top, one olive oil, one grapeseed oil, and one canola oil. Our three taste testers didn't find much difference between the oils- the degree of browning in the broiler was a much more relevant metric for taste. Given that, we're going to skip the butter and go for spreading a 1/4t oil over each crab cake!
    Spray canola oil would also be a good "Fake It" solution.

    1 reply

    We just made these again tonight, and in addition to the above alterations, added capers and finely chopped celery. Also, we didn't add any butter or oil, and they were just as tasty as before. I think the potato chips provided the right amount of oil. Yum!

    We made these, and they were amazing! Since my mum doesn't like tartar sauce, we substituted mayonnaise and some onion powder (and had tartar sauce on the side for dipping).

    Crab cakes are one of my favourite foods, and it delights me that I can now make them whenever I want. Thanks for posting!

    this is amazing i used sea salt and vinegar chips like someone else suggested good call also note to self drain the crab meat came out a little too runny but still tasted amazing

    OK, no one's picking up on the most important issue: it's not that they're using potato chips that makes these so great, it's the fact that they're using "CAPE COD" potato chips (from a transplanted New Englander and former long-time Cape resident)!

    Looks great. I will have to try it but I will add chives and sweet onions to my recipe

    Nice! Around the Chesapeake Bay area we Love our Blue crab. Many folks just believe "It ain't Blue crab without Old Bay Seasoning" by McCormick. My suggestion is to either replace the pepper with Old Bay or the chips w/ Utz brand Crab Chips.This will open a whole taste to these cakes... Happy eating!

    I think that's the point! (They've got a can in the recipe.) We just made it with canned, and it worked beautifully.

    I love food. I mean, I really love food, but a recipe is not an instructable...well okay, it is...but not in the sense that I feel this website is inclined. I hope this doesn't become viral.

    3 replies

    You are incorrect. A recipe is most certainly an Instructable - we have a food category.

    True, I bite my tongue! I just felt a little cheated when "most recent" was nothing to do with motion sensor bombs...alas..

    It's crab, not spam! Crab is much tastier. I'm going to try these.

    This doesn't look like spam to me... it looks like a tasty recipe. Planning to try it myself!

    I think I may be responsible for this. I gave a budding food photographer a link to this site to build cheap light-diffusers. If it was me, sorry. If not, these recipes look pretty good.