dungeness crab cakes

Carol in a red jacket and sun hat holding her dungeness crab catch at the dock.

Fresh Dungeness crab cakes. When we set our crab pot, I am hoping for a full catch so that I can make these crabcakes with the leftover meat. In the San Juan Islands you are allowed 5 males over 6.25″ across. If you limit several days in a row, that is a lot of crab meat to enjoy. My standard requirement for a crab cake recipe is that you need to taste the crab meat. All other ingredients need to enhance the delicate flavor of the sweet Dungeness crab.

dungeness crab cakes

Serves: 6
Cooking Time: 20 minutes


  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons minced red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced celery
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 3 dashes hot sauce
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound lump crabmeat
  • ¾ cup panko or crushed saltine crackers, plus ½ cup to coat patties
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Your choice of sauces for serving



In a medium bowl whisk the eggs, mayonnaise, mustard, bell pepper, onion, celery, parsley, hot sauce, salt, and pepper. Gently fold in the crab and the panko.



Shape the mixture into twelve 3-inch patties, pressing gently to flatten. Lightly coat each cake with more panko. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.


Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook the crab cakes in several batches (so they don’t crowd the pan and get steamy) until brown and crisp, about 4 minutes per side.


Serve with seafood cocktail sauce or aioli—or just a refreshing slice of fresh lemon.


Make sure to handle the crab meat gently to keep the large chunks in tact. The best crab cakes are ones where you can taste the crab.

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  • Reply
    August 21, 2017 at 1:58 am

    Love this recipe. Love the photo!

  • Reply
    Gigi Wallace
    August 22, 2017 at 2:13 am

    I just made this recipe minus the dash of hot sauce and with salmon in lieu of crab. I occasionally have left over salmon and now I have the perfect recipe to spend out a delicious meal. Thank You Cooking Afloat!

  • Reply
    Ashley Jones
    June 25, 2021 at 4:31 am

    this sounds absolutley delicious, great for leftovers probably! thanks for giving the different twists so I can try a different one each time.

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