Spicy Crab Cakes with Key Lime Mustard Sauce

Friday, May 9, 2008

Monday was Cinco de Mayo. It was also Mr. SGCC’s birthday. In honor of this auspicious event, I offered to cook my dear one whatever he wanted for dinner, secretly hoping he’d say that he wanted to go out instead. He didn’t. He wanted crab cakes. At home. Oh well, I could do that.

I grabbed my car keys and headed over to the fish market to get some crab. Lucky for me (and him), they had gobs of gorgeous lump blue crab meat just chillin’ in the display case. I bought twice as much as I needed. I couldn’t help myself! It was so beautiful and I knew it wouldn’t go to waste. I also looked for some more grouper cheeks while I was there, but I came up empty on that one.

Though I hadn’t made crab cakes in quite a while, I knew I had a perfectly good recipe for them. However, never one to leave well enough alone, I went online in search of additional inspiration. I found it over at The Wednesday Chef and at Sunday Night Dinner. Both Luisa and Chuck had terrific crab cake recipes that really got my saliva flowing! I couldn’t decide which one to use, so I cut and pasted both of them, added a few of my own touches and created the most fabulous crab cakes we’d ever had!

Sticking with the cardinal rule of crab cakes, I used as little filler as I could get away with. At those prices, I really wanted to taste that crab! Instead of seasoning my cakes with the standard Old Bay Seasoning, I took Chuck’s advice and added some hot chili sauce in the form of Sriracha. That stuff is great! I put it on almost everything.

My crab cakes were sweet and spicy, crispy, tender and meaty. They were just plain delicious! This recipe worked out wonderfully and I wouldn’t change a thing about it. The crab really took center stage, with the rest of the ingredients being kind of like the backup singers. They added depth and layers of flavor, but they let the crab shine through. I served the crab cakes with a cool and creamy Key Lime Mustard Sauce and my Kitchen Sink Asian Slaw. Mr. SGCC was one happy birthday boy!

Spicy Crab Cakes with Key Lime Mustard Sauce
makes 8 crab cakes

1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat
3/4 cup panko crumbs
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/4 cup mayonnaise
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce
salt and pepper to taste
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup olive oil
Pick over the crabmeat to remove any shell or cartilage, trying not to break up the chunks too much.

In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients except for the butter and olive oil. Moisten hands with a little water and shape the mixture into eight fat ball-like cakes. (They will flatten slightly during cooking.) Place them on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

In a large skillet, heat the butter and oil over medium-high heat. Carefully lay the crab cakes into the butter and oil and fry until crusty and browned, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side.


Serve hot, with Key Lime Mustard Sauce (recipe follows).


Key Lime Mustard Sauce
1 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons key lime juice
3 dashes Tabasco sauce
salt to taste
Combine all ingredients, mix well and chill.
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43 responses to Spicy Crab Cakes with Key Lime Mustard Sauce

  1. On May 09, 2008 at 9:14pm, Jen Yu said...

    Awww, Happy B’day to Mr. SGCC! That is such an amazing b’day dinner you made. I am uber-jealous of your access to fresh seafood (grouper cheeks? in my DREAMS, lady!) Looks wonderful and it sounds like it was. I have two weeks before my taste buds return – I wonder if I can find some lovely lump crab meat to make this!! :) xxoo

  2. On May 09, 2008 at 9:38pm, Manggy said...

    Happy birthday, Mr. SGCC! That is one fantastic meal, I hope you loaded the dishwasher, mister, hee hee :)
    I am absolutely in love with any seafood-cake. I can’t think of any I wouldn’t gobble up in seconds. Crab’s one of the best!

  3. On May 09, 2008 at 9:39pm, Jen of A2eatwrite said...

    Happy b’day to your DH! I have some crab to use up and this looks like a perfect recipe. Lovely pictures, too!

  4. On May 09, 2008 at 11:52pm, RecipeGirl said...

    Ya know… I really don’t care for crabcakes unless they’re very, very good. And these look very, very good. I do appreciate the fact that you don’t want a lot of filler in your cakes. The more crab the better IMHO. And that limey sauce just sounds so different and GOOD!

  5. On May 10, 2008 at 2:38am, Peter M said...

    They look wonderful, not stingy (important) and I’d love these for my B-day…happy man sleeping beside you, I’m sure!

  6. On May 10, 2008 at 6:08am, Lore said...

    Happy birthday to Mr. SGCC! Very festive-looking crab cakes; there’s no way I wouldn’t like these.

  7. On May 10, 2008 at 6:53am, EAT! said...

    I love using panko in my crab cakes. I like the spicy additions to your variety.

  8. On May 10, 2008 at 7:11am, Susan from Food Blogga said...

    Excellent choice to add key lime, Susan. Tart and tangy is just what crab cakes needs. Looks great!

  9. On May 10, 2008 at 7:27am, Gretchen Noelle said...

    Hope the birthday was a happy one! The crab cakes look delicious!

  10. On May 10, 2008 at 8:18am, Lisa said...

    I just found your blog and I love all the pictures and recipes! Great crabcakes….and I have some crabmeat in my fridge.

  11. On May 10, 2008 at 8:49am, Angela said...

    These crab cakes look delicious! I just got back from Maryland’s Eastern Shore where crab meat was $9.99 a pound! Here in D.C., the price is three times that depending on where you go. Still, a worthy cause to slap down a few extra bucks. Nice work!

  12. On May 10, 2008 at 8:51am, Chez us said...

    Happy happy joy joy to the Mr.! These look fantastic. I have never made crab cakes even though we both love them. This may just be the appetizer we are looking for tonight! Thanks for a great looking recipe.

  13. On May 10, 2008 at 9:52am, Nicole said...

    Phenomenal! I love crab cakes and yours do look perfect. The sauce sounds amazing as well. Lime and Tobasco-love it! I am not familiar with Sriracha sauce. It is available at most markets?

  14. On May 10, 2008 at 10:12am, Ginny said...

    Looking great! I love crab cakes!

  15. On May 10, 2008 at 10:16am, StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

    Thanks, Jen! We do get some great local seafood, but I dream about the wonderful produce I see from our friends out West! I’d give anything to wander through some of those farmer’s markets! Sigh….

    Manggy- Thanks! You better believe that he loaded the dishwasher! Lol! That’s the rule over here. I cook, he cleans! 😉

    Jen- Thank you! Do try this. It is super easy and delicious!

    RecipeGirl- Thanks! Crab cakes are not my favorite thing. In restaurants, they can be too greasy. So much better to make them yourself.

    Peter- Very important not to be stingy with the crab! When is your birthday? I’ll beam some up! 😉

    Thanks, Lore! And Mr. SGCC thanks you too!:)

    EAT!- I really like the panko too. I’d never tried it before. Way better than regular bread crumbs!

    Susan- Thanks! I always try to find ways to use them when I can get nice ones.

    Gretchen- It was! I’m glad you like the crab cakes. :)

    Lisa- Welcome! I’m so glad you stopped by and that you liked the cakes!

    Angela- $9.99! Holy Moly! I paid three times that! In the old days, we could catch our own blue crabs right here in the bay. Now, not so much.

    Chez us- Thanks from both of us! Glad you like the crab cakes. If you make them, let me know how they turn out! :)

    Nicole- Thank you so much! Sriracha is very common in Asian cooking. You can find it in any Asian market. Just ask for “Rooster Sauce”. I put it on everything from sushi to omelets!

    Ginny- Thanks! Glad you like them.

  16. On May 10, 2008 at 10:57am, mimi said...

    what a great way to celebrate his birthday! i love crab cakes, and yours look absolutely delish!

  17. On May 10, 2008 at 11:34am, canarygirl said...

    Good Gracious woman! I know who I’m calling to make my birthday dinner! Beautiful, gorgeous, fabulous recipe, my dear. :)

  18. On May 10, 2008 at 1:47pm, Bellini Valli said...

    It is Mr. SGCC’s birthday so I guess he can have a fabulous meal cooked at home if he wants to. Hopefully when it’s your turn you can have dinner out at your favourite restaurant, candles, the whole nine yards:D

  19. On May 10, 2008 at 2:00pm, noble pig said...

    Those look so great! Just perfect!

  20. On May 10, 2008 at 2:42pm, Kevin said...

    Those crab cakes look amazing!!

  21. On May 11, 2008 at 12:16am, Chuck said...

    Happy belated birthday, Mr. SGCC! Your crab cakes look great and I like the addition of the key lime mustard sauce! Thanks for the props.

  22. On May 11, 2008 at 12:21am, Jescel said...

    love crab cakes.. Just made one not too long ago. Will certainly try to make your version next time. Check out mine at

  23. On May 11, 2008 at 5:24am, Maryann said...

    Happy birthday to your dear one!
    I love the sauce you made here, Susan :)

  24. On May 11, 2008 at 6:57am, Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm) said...

    Oh wow, this looks absolutely scrumptious. Love the crunchy outside and moist inside.

  25. On May 11, 2008 at 10:51am, CookiePie said...

    Hope the Mr. has a fabulous birthday! Mine’s in November, if you feel like making these gorgeous crabcakes again! :) And I love the idea of using Sriracha instead of Old Bay. I always say, Anything good is better with chili sauce!

  26. On May 11, 2008 at 1:27pm, DocChuck said...

    Congratulations from a couple of Marylanders (Chesapeake Bay types) who take their crab cakes very seriously.


  27. On May 11, 2008 at 7:03pm, Lina said...

    yummmmmm~ crabcakes! I think im gonna try making these sometime this week for sure! They look great!

  28. On May 11, 2008 at 7:33pm, Cynthia said...

    I hope that Mr. SGCC had a great B’day. Can he please request these again soon and make sure that I am invited… you know, the occasion could be just to celebrate life :)

  29. On May 11, 2008 at 8:38pm, Cakespy said...

    Aww, hope the Mr. had a lovely birthday!! Oh man, I know it would be a fine birthday for me with a delicious dish like these cakes! (Yes, sometimes a cakespy can take her cakes savory!)

  30. On May 11, 2008 at 9:27pm, Obsessive Foodie or Food Addict....You Decide said...

    Can I have these for my bday please??? My husband does not like seafood so I rarely ever cook it. I love crab. These make me want to weep…..I feel vaklempt, I need a kleenex or the sleeve of an arm.

  31. On May 11, 2008 at 11:33pm, the southern hostess said...

    Yum! These look incredible!

  32. On May 12, 2008 at 12:55am, Cakelaw said...

    Phwoar, lucky Mr SGCC! These crab cakes look devine Susan.

  33. On May 12, 2008 at 6:30am, Carrie said...

    Starring this in my Google Reader right now!

  34. On May 12, 2008 at 6:54am, The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

    Another birthday wish in there from me.

    I don’t eat crab and my husband loves it, particularly crab cakes. I am always looking for good recipe ideas because it’s hard to improvise cooking foods you don’t like (how do you know if they taste good if you don’t like the base ingredients?) I will definitely make these for him in the near future. He will adore them.

  35. On May 12, 2008 at 2:34pm, DocChuck said...

    I forgot to recommend Bumblebee crabmeat. My wife and I both find it superior to other brands.

  36. On May 12, 2008 at 7:45pm, Heather said...

    Oh lawd those look good. I love love LOVE crab cakes! Yuumm. ANd you’re totally right – the less filler, the better. Those and a little side salad and I’m laughing.

  37. On May 12, 2008 at 9:43pm, Nicole said...

    Susan, I am in such awe of everything you make that I have tagged you with an award! Check it out here:

  38. On May 13, 2008 at 6:43am, DocChuck said...

    The third poster above “DocChuck” is actually a SeriousEats adviser by the name of chiff0nade (her real name is Louise … I cannot legally post her full name).

    You can read her BLOG profile here:


    Her live-in boyfriend’s BLOG profile is here:


    Her brother’s BLOG profile is here:


    Her daughter’s BLOG is here:


    Chiff0nade is a very disturbed and insanely jealous woman who has made several attempts at suicide. She has posted nonsense all over the internet about DocChuck and his wife.

    You can read a lot of her admitted sordid past on her own website at:


    Louise (“chiffOnade”) loves to post as me (DocChuck) with her drivel such as the BumbleBee crab nonsense. Sorry that she has invaded your wonderful website.

  39. On May 13, 2008 at 6:54am, StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

    Thanks, everyone for your great comments. I apologize for not keeping up with them the past few days. There has been a lot going on here and my computer time has been very limited. You have no idea how it warms my heart to read all the funny and sweet things you have to say! I hope that I’ll be making the rounds again to visit all of you very soon.

    I’m so glad that you all liked my crab cakes. Like many of the things you see on this blog, they were born from the great inspiration that I get from all of you!

    By the way, Mr. SGCC wanted me to thank you all for your happy birthday wishes.

    Val- Hehe! My birthday is on Sunday and I’m definitely NOT cooking! 😉

    Jescel- I will definitely check them out. :)

    CookiePie- I’m penciling in the date. 😉

    Obsessive- Lol! You got it! 😉

    Nicole- Thank you so much! You are too sweet. I’m heading over to check it out! :)

  40. On May 14, 2008 at 9:34am, Aran said...

    what else can I add to the previous 41 comments!!! That these look fabulous and that I go crazy over crab cakes? Wish I could taste yours because I am always comparing recipes. Yummys!

  41. On May 14, 2008 at 10:57am, Barbara Krieg said...

    My first husband hated shellfish of any kind!

    Once I was rid of him, I made crabcakes practically every day until I was unable to tolerate them anymore.

    I’ve just started to eat them again and have put this recipe in my keeper file!

  42. On June 17, 2008 at 10:10am, chiffonade said...

    Doc Chuck is a lunatic. He has been arrested for, convicted, and served time for internet harassment. Apparently, he’s at it again and the it’s only a matter of time until he has a “happy homecoming” in his cell.

    Don’t feed this troll.

    For further details, please e-mail me at: chiffonade@hotmail.com.

    Thank you.

  43. On June 30, 2008 at 9:49pm, Esi said...

    This is one of the most delicious looking crab cake recipes I have ever seen! Can’t wait to try it.

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Hello and welcome to SGCC! I’m Susan, a professional writer, food columnist, recipe developer, wife, mother, daughter and sister, who used to be a lawyer in a previous life. My love of food comes from a long line of wonderful and creative Italian home cooks who didn’t always have a lot, but knew how to make a lot out of what they had. I hope that you enjoy yourself while you’re here, and visit often! read more >>

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