How to Bake Crab Cakes With Panko

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Start to Finish: 1 1/2 hours
Servings: 6
Difficulty Level: Beginner


Traditionally made in Maryland with soft breadcrumbs, the less the better, and fried or broiled, crab cakes baked with panko veer off into a hip, exotic and riveting new direction. The wheat germ-like crunchiness of panko combines with the sweetness of the lump crabmeat to make reaching for seconds or thirds a test of character and restraint -- one that you might lose, yielding to temptation.

Ingredients

    • 1 pound lump crabmeat
    • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

    Ingredient note:

    Shop carefully at the seafood counter for the best prices; you might find chilled, canned lump crab at a better price than crabmeat in a tub. Keep the crabmeat refrigerated until use.

    Whisked ingredients:

    • 1 egg
    • 3/4 cup quality mayonnaise
    • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
    • 1/2 tsp teaspoon Dijon or dry mustard
    • 1/2 tsp white pepper
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 2 tablespoons melted butter

    Coating:

    • 1 additional cup panko breadcrumbs
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Assembly

  • Melt the butter in a microwave or on the stovetop in a small pan. Mix the crabmeat, panko and parsley gently in a medium-sized bowl. In a second, larger bowl, thoroughly whisk the egg, mayo, Old Bay, mustard, white pepper, lemon juice and melted butter.

    Toss the crabmeat mixture into the larger bowl with the whisked ingredients. Gently blend the two with two wooden spoons, carefully avoiding breaking down the crabmeat lumps.

Crucial Tip

  • Allow the mixture to set in the refrigerator for an hour so the ingredients and flavors bind. Otherwise, you will end up with crab hash -- cakes that break apart.

Baking

  • Heat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the mixture from the refrigerator. Mix olive oil with additional panko on a low, wide plate to create a coating. Shape the mixture into six to eight crab cakes resembling thicker hamburgers, about 4 inches across and nearly 1 inch thick. Dip each completed cake into the panko and turn the cake over to coat both sides. Arrange the cakes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil.

    Place the sheet in the oven and set the timer for 10 minutes. The crab cakes are ready when they turn golden brown, so let them bake longer or shorter as needed. Check to be sure their internal temperature reaches 165 degrees with a digital instant read thermometer. While crabmeat is sold pasteurized and already cooked, the eggs in the mixture need to cook safely.

    Remove from the oven and serve as a sandwich, on any kind of rolls you like or on crackers. Or plate the crab cakes with saltines, coleslaw or french fries for a traditional Baltimore presentation, or green vegetables such as asparagus, as well as rice pilaf.

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