Spicy Crab Cakes with Walnut Crust

  • Yield: 4 main course; 8 appetizer servings
  • Prep: 25 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins

A crunchy crust of finely chopped California walnuts and Japanese style bread crumbs provides a contrasting texture to these light fish cakes. Lemon wedges and tartar sauce tone down the spiciness for those who prefer less heat.


Walnut Coating:
1 1/2cups panko Japanese style bread crumbs
1/2cup finely chopped California walnuts
Crab Mixture:
1pound fresh crab meat, or 4 (6-ounce) cans crab
1/2cup finely chopped California walnuts
2cups panko Japanese style bread crumbs
2-- eggs, beaten together
1/4cup finely diced red bell pepper
3/4cup mayonnaise
1tablespoon Asian chili garlic sauce or chili paste
1teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1teaspoon soy sauce
1teaspoon lemon juice
1/4cup chopped fresh chives
1teaspoon coarse salt
1/4teaspoon pepper
2tablespoons canola oil
-- Lemon wedges
-- Tartar sauce


  1. To make the coating, in a shallow bowl or baking dish, stir the panko and walnuts together.  Set aside.       

  2. If you are using fresh crab, remove any stray pieces of shell or cartilage.  If you are using canned crab, dump it into a large strainer and drain it thoroughly, gently pressing out excess liquid.       

  3. In a large bowl combine the crab with the walnuts, panko, eggs, bell pepper, mayonnaise, chili sauce or paste, sesame oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, chives, salt and pepper.  Stir and toss the ingredients with fork until evenly combined.  The crab cakes will be easier to form if at this point you cover the bowl and refrigerate the mixture for 2 to 3 hours, or overnight if you wish.           

  4. Cover a large platter or baking sheet with waxed paper, and place the walnut coating next to it.  Scoop up 1/3-cup blobs of the crab mixture and, between the palms of your hands, pat and shape them into cakes 2 to 3 inches across and about 3/4 inch thick.  As the cakes are formed, very gently press the top and bottom of each one into the walnut coating, leaving the perimeter of the cake exposed.  Set the formed cakes aside on waxed paper.             

  5. Heat 2 tablespoons canola oil in a large skillet over moderately high heat.  Add as many cakes as will comfortably fit in one layer, and cook about 3 minutes on each side, until golden.  Add more oil to the pan if necessary, and cook the remaining cakes the same way.      

  6. Serve the crab cakes as soon as possible, while they are crisp, accompanied by lemon wedges and tartar sauce if you wish.

Recipe courtesy of Taylor's Market and Chef Roxanne O'Brien.

Nutritional Info *per serving

  • Calories 234
  • Glycemic Load 0
  • Fat 10g
  • Saturated Fat 6g
  • Cholesterol 43mg
  • Sodium 537mg
  • Carbohydrate 21g
  • Fiber 1g
  • Protein 10g
  • Trans Fat 0g