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Classic Dungeness Crab Cakes

a plate of food

A Tom Douglas® Recipe

Makes 4 servings 


  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1½ teaspoons Tabasco
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon ‘Rub with Love’ Crab Cake Mix
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon chopped fresh or dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon celery seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 cups fresh breadcrumbs (see recipe below) or store bought 
  • ¾ cup chopped parsley 
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • ¼ cup chopped green bell pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 pound Dungeness crabmeat, drained, picked clean of shell, lightly squeezed if wet 
  • about 5 tablespoons unsalted butter


  • Green Cocktail Sauce (see below)
  • 4 lemon wedges


  1. In a food processor (use a medium size food processor, a mini processor, or a blender), combine the egg yolk, lemon juice, Worcestershire, Tabasco, mustard, paprika, thyme, celery seed, and black pepper.  
  2. Pulse to combine.  
  3. With the motor running, slowly add the oil through the feed tube until mixture emulsifies and forms a mayonnaise.   
  4. Remove the mayonnaise from the food processor and set aside.
  5. Put the breadcrumbs in a shallow container and mix in ½ cup of the chopped parsley (reserve the remaining ¼ cup chopped parsley for the crab cake mixture).  
  6. Set aside.
  7. In a large bowl, combine the onion and bell peppers with the remaining ¼ cup parsley.  
  8. Add the reserved mayonnaise and the crabmeat and mix lightly to combine.  
  9. Using a rubber spatula, fold in 1 cup of the breadcrumb-parsley mixture.  
  10. Do not overwork the mixture or the crab cakes may get gummy.  
  11. Gently form 8 patties and dredge the patties lightly in the remaining breadcrumb-parsley mixture.  
  12. If you have time, cover the crab cakes with plastic wrap and chill for an hour or longer.
  13. Place 2 large nonstick skillets over medium heat and add about 2 ½ tablespoons butter to each pan.  
  14. As soon as the butter is melted, add 4 cakes to each pan. 
  15. Gently fry the crab cakes until they are hot through and golden brown on both sides, turning once with a spatula, about 4 minutes per side. 
  16. Transfer the crab cakes to 4 plates and serve each plate with a ramekin of green cocktail sauce and a lemon wedge.


Makes 2 1/2 cups


  • 8 slices of European-style white bread (about 12 ounces)


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.  
  2. Cut the crusts off the bread and discard, then slice the bread ½ inch thick.  
  3. Place the slices in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet.  
  4. Put the baking sheet in the oven and bake until the bread feels dried out in the center, about 40 minutes.  
  5. Turn the bread over from time to time so it dries out evenly.  
  6. Remove the bread from the oven and allow to cool.  
  7. Tear the bread into pieces and place in a food processor.  
  8. Pulse until the crumbs are very fine. 
  9. Sieve the crumbs to remove any large pieces.
  10. Dried breadcrumbs will keep a week or more at room temperature in a tightly sealed container.
  11. Or seal them in plastic bags and freeze them for a month or more.


Makes 2/3 cup


  • 8 ounces tomatillos, husked and cut into quarters
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar 
  • 2 teaspoons green Tabasco 
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds, toasted 
  • 1 teaspoon peeled and grated fresh horseradish


  1. Put the tomatillos in the bowl of a food processor and process until coarsely pureed.  
  2. Remove the tomatillo puree to a sieve, drain off the liquid and discard.  
  3. Put the drained puree in a bowl and stir in the vinegar, sugar, green Tabasco, garlic, mustard seeds, and horseradish.