Crab Cake Sandwich

Crab cake sandwiches are a delightful fusion of succulent seafood and hearty bread, offering a taste of coastal cuisine that is both refreshing and satisfying. Whether you’re hosting a summer gathering or simply craving a gourmet sandwich, our detailed recipe will guide you through creating the perfect crab cake sandwich.

Ingredients Needed

To create a delectable crab cake sandwich, you need fresh and high-quality ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:

For the Crab Cakes:

  • 1 lb. of fresh crab meat (preferably lump or jumbo lump)
  • 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs (panko or regular)
  • 1/4 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1 large egg (lightly beaten)
  • 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/4 cup of finely chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons of finely chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Sandwich Assembly:

Step-by-Step Instructions

Preparing the Crab Cakes

  1. Mix the Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the crab meat, breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, beaten egg, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, Old Bay seasoning, chopped celery, and parsley. Gently mix until all ingredients are well incorporated. Be careful not to break up the crab meat too much to maintain a chunky texture.
  2. Form the Crab Cakes: Divide the mixture into four equal portions and shape each portion into a patty, about 1 inch thick. Place the formed crab cakes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to help them firm up and hold together during cooking.
Crab Cake Sandwich

Cooking the Crab Cakes

  1. Pan-Fry the Crab Cakes: Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add a generous amount of oil (canola or vegetable oil works well). Once the oil is hot, carefully add the crab cakes to the skillet. Cook for 4-5 minutes on each side or until golden brown and crispy. Be gentle when flipping the crab cakes to keep them intact.
  2. Drain and Keep Warm: Once cooked, transfer the crab cakes to a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil. Keep them warm while you prepare the rest of the sandwich components.
Crab Cake Sandwich

Assembling the Sandwich

  1. Toast the Buns: Lightly toast the brioche buns to add a bit of crunch and to prevent them from becoming soggy.
  2. Prepare the Condiments: Spread a generous amount of tartar sauce or aioli on the bottom half of each bun. This adds moisture and flavor to the sandwich.
  3. Layer the Sandwich: Place a leaf of lettuce on top of the spread, followed by a crispy crab cake. Add a couple of slices of ripe tomato and some pickles if desired. Top with the other half of the bun.
  4. Serve Immediately: Serve the crab cake sandwiches immediately while the crab cakes are still warm. Pair with a side of coleslaw, sweet potato fries, or a fresh garden salad for a complete meal.

Tips for the Best Crab Cake Sandwich

Selecting the Best Crab Meat

Choosing high-quality crab meat is crucial for the best flavor. Look for fresh, lump or jumbo lump crab meat from a reputable source. Avoid canned crab meat as it often lacks the freshness and texture needed for premium crab cakes.

Binding the Crab Cakes

The right balance of ingredients is key to binding the crab cakes without making them too dense. The egg and mayonnaise help hold the mixture together, while the breadcrumbs add structure. Refrigerating the patties before cooking is essential to prevent them from falling apart in the skillet.

Achieving the Perfect Crisp

For an irresistibly crispy exterior, make sure your oil is hot before adding the crab cakes. If the oil is not hot enough, the crab cakes will absorb too much oil and become greasy. A cast-iron skillet is ideal for even heat distribution.

Enhancing Flavor with Seasonings

Old Bay seasoning is a classic choice for crab cakes, offering a blend of spices that complements the crab’s natural sweetness. Fresh herbs like parsley add a bright, fresh note, while a squeeze of lemon juice brings a touch of acidity that balances the richness.

Variations and Serving Suggestions


  • Spicy Crab Cake Sandwich: Add a teaspoon of hot sauce or a pinch of cayenne pepper to the crab cake mixture for a spicy kick.
  • Avocado and Bacon: Top your crab cake sandwich with slices of creamy avocado and crispy bacon for an extra layer of flavor.
  • Asian-Inspired: Incorporate a tablespoon of soy sauce and a teaspoon of grated ginger into the crab cake mixture, and top with a sesame slaw.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Side Dishes: Serve with classic sides like coleslaw, potato salad, or a simple green salad.
  • Beverage Pairing: A crisp white wine like Sauvignon Blanc or a light beer complements the delicate flavors of the crab cake sandwich.


Crafting the perfect crab cake sandwich is an art that combines the finest ingredients and meticulous preparation. By following our comprehensive guide, you can create a gourmet sandwich that delights with every bite. The harmony of the crispy crab cake, fresh toppings, and toasted bun will undoubtedly make this a favorite in your culinary repertoire.

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