Crab and Corn Cakes with Sweet and Spicy Dipping Sauce

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Prep Time: 50 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6

Corn pairs well with the crabmeat in these crispy cakes because it does not mask the seafood’s delicate flavor. The easy mayonnaise-based dipping sauce, a heady mix of heat, sweet and tart, is the ideal bright, bold accompaniment.


  • 3/4 cup fresh corn kernels
  • 1 1/4 cups mayonnaise
  • 3 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
  • 1 egg
  • 4 slices soft white bread, crusts trimmed and bread cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 cup minced green onions, both white and green portions
  • 1 lb. jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage
  • 2 Tbs. chili-garlic sauce
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. honey
  • Grated zest of 1 lime
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • Canola oil for frying
  • Lemon or lime wedges for serving


Put the corn kernels in a food processor and pulse 3 or 4 times, until the kernels are broken up but still chunky.

Transfer the corn to a large bowl. Add 1/4 cup of the mayonnaise, 1 Tbs. of the lime juice, the Old Bay seasoning, the 1/4 tsp. salt and the egg and stir to combine. Add the bread cubes, green onions and crabmeat and toss gently to combine. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, to make the dipping sauce, in a bowl, stir together the remaining 1 cup mayonnaise, the remaining 2 Tbs. lime juice, the chili-garlic sauce, honey and lime zest. Season with salt. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Place the bread crumbs in a shallow bowl. Divide the crab mixture into 12 equal portions and shape each portion into a patty 1 inch thick. Gently coat the entire surface of each patty evenly with the bread crumbs. Place the cakes on a baking sheet, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Place a large fry pan over medium-high heat and coat with a thin film of oil. Working in batches, gently place about 4 cakes at a time in the pan, being careful not to crowd them. Fry until golden on one side, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a spatula, carefully flip the cakes over and fry until browned on the other side, 3 to 4 minutes more. Transfer the cakes to paper towels to drain briefly. Repeat with the remaining cakes, adding more oil to the pan as needed.

Transfer the cakes to a platter and serve warm, with lemon wedges and the dipping sauce. Makes 12 cakes; serves 4 to 6.

Drink note: The delicate texture of crabmeat begs for the finesse of a sparkling wine. But corn forms a lovely marriage with Chardonnay, a specialty of France and California. The solution? Open a bottle of Blanc de Blancs, sparkling wine made solely from Chardonnay grapes.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Two in the Kitchen, by Christie Dufault & Jordan Mackay (Weldon Owen, 2012).

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