Imagine the best crab cake you’ve ever had. Now, imagine it sandwiched in between a toasty brioche bun piled high with your favorite fresh toppings. All of this comes together to create one seriously immaculate seafood sandwich — the Crab Cake Sandwich.
HOW TO MAKE CRAB CAKE SANDWICHES
The first thing you’ll do is make the crab cake mixture. This mix comes together quickly and easily with simple ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Crab Meat
- Parmesan Cheese
- Plain Bread Crumbs
- Green Onions (optional)
- Pimientos (optional)
- Old Bay Seasoning
- Lemon Zest and Lemon Juice
- Salt and Pepper
As you can see, this is a mix of both fresh ingredients and pantry staples, and the blend brings some major flavor to the table!
WHICH CRAB MEAT DO I BUY?
You have lots of options out there when it comes to crab meat, and all of those options might make you feel a little overwhelmed when it comes to choosing the right one for your Crab Cake Sandwiches,!
Let’s start with the creme de la creme — jumbo lump crab meat. Jumbo lump is by far the best for crab cakes, but it is quite pricey, so if you have a budget to stick to, lump crab meat is also a fair choice.
The two aforementioned will likely be found at the seafood counter in your grocery store.
For the best tasting Crab Cake Sandwiches, you’ll want to steer clear of minced-style crab products such as “backfin,” “special,” and “claw meat” often found in aluminum cans.
CRAB CAKE SANDWICHES RECIPE OVERVIEW:
- Assemble the crab cake mix.
- Chill the crab cakes (30 minutes to an hour).
- Heat the pan and oil.
- Sear the crab cakes for 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
- Toast the buns.
- Serve with your favorite condiments and vegetables!
1. ASSEMBLE THE CRAB CAKE MIX
Take all of the crab cake ingredients and combine them in a large bowl. Take care to gently fold the mix together, especially if you’re use jumbo lump crab for your Crab Cake Sandwiches. You don’t want to break up the crab too much!
2. CHILL THE CRAB CAKES
Once the crab mixture comes together, you’ll need to chill it. This allows the crab cakes time to firm up and enables them to hold up when it comes to flipping-time later on down the road. Thirty minutes to an hour in the fridge is perfect.
When the thirty minutes is up, get your pan ready. It’s best to leave the crab cakes in the refrigerator until right before searing, so no need to get them out until the oil is hot!
3. HEAT THE PAN AND OIL
You’ll add two tablespoons of oil to a large skillet over medium heat.
If you have a nonstick skillet, this Crab Cake Sandwich Recipe is most definitely the time to use it. If you don’t have a nonstick skillet, you’ll want to take extra precautions not to jostle around crab cakes once they’ve hit the pan.
Make sure that you are at medium heat. If you start off on too high of a heat setting, your crab cakes will burn on the outside before they have a chance to warm through.
Your choice of oil will also affect how quickly your crab cakes develop color as some oils have higher smoke points than others. The lower the smoke point, the quicker your crab cakes will burn. This is why the recipe calls for avocado or canola oil over olive oil.
Once you’ve got the right pan and the right oil in place and everything is nice and hot, add the crab cakes!
4. SEAR THE CRAB CAKES
Sear them for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, then flip the cakes, and sear for another 3 to 4 minutes more. Make sure you do not overcrowd your pan and sear in batches as needed. You want the patties for your Crab Cake Sandwiches to be perfectly golden-brown in order to lend as much texture as possible to the dish!
THE EASIEST WAY TO FLIP A CRAB CAKE
Position the backside of fork tongs against the edge of the crab cake to keep it in place. Then, slide your thinnest, widest, and bendiest spatula underneath the cake. Once the whole thing rests on the spatula, flip it!
WHY YOU SHOULD USE A RACK (AND NOT A PLATE)
As you work in batches, place your cooked crab cakes on a cooling rack. A rack works better than a plate lined with paper towels because it allows air to flow underneath the crab cakes, keeping them from steaming up and getting soggy.
5. TOAST THE BUNS
The crab cakes are officially cooked and ready for their Crab Cake Sandwich debut!
For this recipe, I found it extremely important for the buns to be toasted. The crunchy texture of a toasted bun will do wonders for your sandwiches.
You can toast the buns for your Crab Cake Sandwiches either in the oven or on the stovetop. The oven is the easiest route…as long as you remember to preheat it, that is!
Pop the buns in the oven just as you are cooking your last batch of crab cakes on the stovetop. This way, everything will be hot and ready at the same time!
HOW TO TOAST BUNS IN THE OVEN
Preheat your oven to 350°F, spritz the inside of your buns with cooking spray oil (or you could also brush lightly with oil), and place them flat-side down on a baking sheet.
Once the oven is preheated, bake the buns for about 5 minutes or so. Don’t forget to set a timer!
When the flat-side of the buns appears golden-brown and toasty, they’re ready!
6. BUNS AND TOPPING IDEAS
Hands-down, the best buns for Crab Cake Sandwiches are Brioche buns. Brioche is a soft and pillowy French bread that heirs on the sweeter side. It is absolutely perfect for sandwiching around crab cakes, but if you can’t find these particular buns, regular hamburger buns will do!
As for toppings, lettuce, sliced tomatoes, thinly sliced red onion, pickles, and tartar sauce would do nicely! If you’d like to add a little kick to your sandwich, keep the hot sauce on standby as well.
6 MORE SEAFOOD RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- Lemon Garlic Salmon
- Cajun Shrimp Pasta
- Garlic Butter Shrimp
- Crawfish Pie
- Crawfish Etouffee
- Hot Crab Dip
This easy Crab Cake Sandwich recipe features jumbo crab cakes sandwiched in between a toasty brioche bun piled high with your favorite toppings!
- 8 ounces lump crab meat
- 2/3 cup grated parmesan, separated
- 1/3 cup plain breadcrumbs
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup green onions, sliced (optional)
- 1 large egg, slightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons diced pimientos, drained (optional)
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Zest and juice of a lemon
- 2 tablespoons avocado or canola oil
- 4 Brioche (or your favorite) buns for serving
- Favorite Toppings: lettuce, tomatoes, onion, tartar sauce, etc...
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the crab, 1/3 cup of the parmesan cheese, the plain breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, green onions, beaten egg, pimiento peppers, chopped parsley, Old Bay seasoning, lemon zest and juice. Gently, fold the mixture together until well combined.
Divide the crab mix into quarters and form into 1/2" thick patties. Transfer to a plate or flat surface and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour.
Once the crab patties are chilled, add the oil to a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the patties to the pan, taking care not to overcrowd and sear in batches as necessary, and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side.
Serve over warm, toasted buns with your favorite condiments and toppings, and enjoy!