This crab cake sauce is the perfect match for crab cakes, but also delicious on any type of fish. This tangy lemon tarragon mayonnaise that is so delicious, you may find yourself licking the spoon clean!
(This post was originally published on March 7th, 2012 and has been updated to contain nutritional information. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn commission on qualifying purchases.)
Crab Cake Sauces
There are many kinds of sauces you can serve with crab cakes. While they are traditionally served with a Remoulade sauce, this Lemon-Tarragon Mayonnaise is a fabulous alternative. If you’d like a sweeter sauce, this Shrimp Cocktail Sauce is also delicious.
Making the crab cake sauce
This crab cake sauce is simply a mixture of fresh tarragon and chives, lemon and salt and pepper.
It takes just a few minutes to whisk together, and will stay fresh in the fridge for 3-4 days.
The recipe can easily be doubled.
This Crab Cake Sauce would be fabulous with these Potato and Salmon Cakes!
Crab Cake Sauce (Lemon Tarragon Mayonnaise)
Lemon Tarragon Mayonnaise
- Place all ingredients into a small bowl and whisk until combined.
- Chill until ready to use.
Now onto the crab cakes.
How to make crabcakes
Not everyone is fortunate enough to live in an area where fresh crab is plentiful. The next best to fresh crab meat is pasteurized crab meat which is usually found in the cooler near the fish department at your local grocery store.
Unlike canned crab meat, pasteurized crab still needs to be refrigerated and will stay fresh for a few months. For this crab cake recipe, I started with Paula Deen’s recipe, adding more veggies and switched the flour for panko bread crumbs, to make them more crispy.
What’s the best kind of crab meat for crab cakes?
There are several grades of crab meat. Jumbo lump is considered the best because of the size of the pieces. For crab cakes, lump meat, which is still good quality, is fine. Claw meat can be used too and it’s a few dollars cheaper. I like to use a combination of both lump and claw meat. Click here for more tips about crab.
If you want crab cakes that are uniform in size and weight, you can measure the mixture. My crab cakes weighed about 2.5 ounces each. I like to weigh them all first, then cover them in panko. This keeps your hands cleaner.
Making crab cakes ahead of time
Because crab is seafood, it’s very perishable. You can certainly make the crab cakes several hours before you plan to serve them. In this case, omit the panko bread crumbs. Form the patties and wrap well with cling film. Keep refrigerated until ready to fry. Then dust with flour or panko just before frying.
- 1 lb. crab meat picked free of shells (If you can't find fresh, you can buy it pasteurized in the grocery store chiller with the fresh seafood)
- 1/3 cup Ritz crackers crushed (about 8)
- 3 green onions finely chopped
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper finely chopped
- 1 stalk celery thinly sliced
- 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
- 1/4 cup mayonnnaise
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3/4 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Dash cayenne pepper
- 1 cup Panko bread crumbs or flour for dusting
- avocado oil (or peanut oil) for frying
- Gently mix crab, chopped vegetables and seasoning together
- Form mixture into balls, (about 1/3 cup mixture per patty)
- Flatten each ball. They should be about 3/4" thick. If making ahead of time, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 hours.
- Coat in Panko bread crumbs or dust with flour.
- Heat oil in a large skillet, about 1/4″ to 1/2″ oil until shimmering.
- Fry crab cakes in batches, 3-4 at a time, cooking about 4 minutes per side. Serve with Lemon Tarragon Mayonnaise.