Fried Maine Crab Cakes

“I like this recipe for crab cakes because there are no bread crumb fillers,” says executive chef David Drake of Alice’s in Lake Hopatcong. “I also like to use Maine crabmeat, which is often the meat from Peekytoe crabs, rather than the usual Dungeness or Blue crabs. Maine crabmeat is flaky, not lumpy. This is a perfect spring/summer dish--the hot, crunchy crab complements the cool and crunchy jicama. Add a glass of refreshing Spanish wine—like Albariño.”

Photo by Frank Diaz.

Fried Maine Crab Cakes With Jicama and Papaya Remoulade with Farmers’ Greens.

Instead of grapeseed oil, which is expensive and can be hard to find, we now use sunflower oil. It’s the newest type of oil—fairly healthy, flavorless, high burning, and inexpensive.

Jicama is available at most supermarkets, but I like to shop in the Latino-friendly markets where the fruits and vegetables are generally better. Jicama should be very firm. Pick a nice one, buy it, and use it. Jicama doesn’t keep.

Ingredients for the crab cakes
1 lb. Maine crab meat
4 TBS. mayonnaise
3 TBS. diced red pepper
2 finely minced shallots
1/2 ounce fresh basil, rough chopped
juice of 1 lemon
salt and white pepper to taste
sunflower oil, as needed

Ingredients for the remoulade and farmers’ greens
1 head of fresh jicama, peeled and shredded
1 cup small diced ripe papaya
1 TBS. finely minced cilantro
2 TBS. olive oil
juice of 1 lime
2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
salt and white pepper to taste
4 oz. field greens
3 TBS. olive oil
1 TBS. sherry vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste


For the crab cakes:
1) Pick the crab of any small pieces of shell.
2) Put in a medium size bowl, add the remaining 5 ingredients, and mix thoroughly.
3) Add salt and pepper to taste.
4) Form into 2 -3 ounce patties and refrigerate.

For the remoulade:
1) In a medium bowl, add the first 6 ingredients together.
2) Mix well and season to taste.

1) In a bowl, toss greens with the olive oil, sherry vinegar, and season lightly.
2) Arrange neat little bunches of salad in the middle of four chilled salad plates and spread each bundle to resemble a wreath.
3) In the center of each wreath, place a small pile of remoulade to fill the hole.

4) Heat enough sunflower oil in a frying pan to come around a half-inch deep. (The pan needs to be large enough to hold all four crab cakes, or do in two batches.)
5) Heat the oil to a moderate temperature, and then place the cakes in carefully to avoid splashing up the sides. Brown evenly on both sides.
6) Once they are ready, take them out of the pan and allow to dry on paper towels.
7) Top each remoulade with a crab cake and serve.

Read more Eat & Drink articles.

By submitting comments you grant permission for all or part of those comments to appear in the print edition of New Jersey Monthly.

Required not shown
Required not shown