Taking the ‘crab’ cake
  |  First Published: June 2013

Crab cakes are an all time favourite in most families but they can be a bit drab after a while. The following recipe is a popular way to spice up a weekday meal.

Cooking the crab

I used sand crab for this recipe.

To cook the crabs, place them into boiling water. Wait for the water to come back to the boil then cook them for around 7 minutes.

I cook the crabs on the stove in a 16.5L stock pot. I’ll fill it from half to three-quarters full with water and bring it to the boil. This sized pot and the associated volume of water is very important. Smaller pots will boil over and will limit the amount of crabs that you can cook at a time. The larger deep-sided pot allows you a larger volume of water to crab ratio, which will heat back to the boil quicker. Although the clear lid steams up, it still allows you to see what is going on inside the pot without having to lift the lid.

Chinese Crab Cakes

I serve these crab cakes with a variety of dipping sauces ranging from a homemade chilli sauce, a soy sauce based dipping sauce (soy sauce with a dab of wasabi stirred through) and/or a Chinese style dipping sauce (recipe follows).


100g vermicelli noodles

3 eggs

3 green shallots, finely sliced

Freshly ground salt and pepper

1 teaspoon Yeos sesame oil

250g crab meat

Canola oil, for frying


1. Soak the vermicelli noodles in a bowl of boiling water for a few minutes until softened. Remove the noodles from the water, drain on paper towel to remove excess. This is important as excess water will cause the crab cakes to fall apart. Then roughly chop the noodles into shorter lengths.

2. Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Stir the chopped noodles, shallots, salt and pepper (to taste) and the sesame oil into the egg mixture before carefully folding the crab meat through.

3. Heat the canola oil over a medium hot heat in a heavy based frypan. Add the crab mixture, a heaped tablespoon per cake, one crab cake at a time, to the hot oil. Don’t overcrowd the pan. The heaped mixture will sink slightly as it cooks. Fry the crab cakes until golden brown on one side, flip them over and repeat on the other side.

4. When golden brown on both sides, remove the crab cakes from the pan and drain on crumpled paper towel. Continue this process until all the crab mixture is used.

5. Serve the crab cakes on a platter alongside the dipping sauces.

Chinese Style Dipping Sauce

2 teaspoons cornflour

3 tablespoons Kum Lee Kim soy sauce

1 tablespoon sugar

1 cup chicken stock

2 tablespoons Chinese cooking wine (or dry sherry)


Combine all of the dipping sauce ingredients into a saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring continuously, until the sauce has thickened slightly.

Good Ol’ Crab Cakes

The mixture for these crab cakes needs to be prepared at least a couple of hours in advance. This needs to chill in the fridge a couple of times during the process to firm up and become easier to handle.

The choice of mustard type differs in my family depending on who is making the crab cakes - from hot English (me), to simply using all Dijon (daughter Kim).

You could substitute low fat Greek yoghurt for the mayo. As well as substituting fresh breadcrumbs for the crushed Ritz crackers.


1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons prepared mustard of your choice

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Couple of dashes of Tabasco sauce

1 cup finely crushed Ritz crackers (or Jatz)

250gms crab meat

Canola oil, for frying


1. In a large bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, egg, mustards, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco sauce. Stir in the crushed Ritz and keep stirring until the crackers are moist. Now fold the crab meat through the mixture gently. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

2. Remove the bowl from the fridge and shape the crab mixture into crab cake sized patties. Place the crab cakes on a plastic wrap covered plate and then cover the whole thing with plastic wrap. Return the crab cakes to the fridge for about an hour to firm up.

3. Heat your cooking oil in a heavy based frypan over a medium to hot heat. When the oil is hot, carefully add the crab cakes. Fry the crab cakes until golden brown then carefully turn them over to fry on the other side. When golden brown on both sides, remove the crab cakes from the pan and drain on crumpled paper towel.

The crabs for this recipe were supplied by Bay and Ocean Seafoods Ph (07) 3390 4470.

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