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Horizontal image of a blue plate with two breaded and browned rounds with fresh herbs next to lemon wedges and a yellow towel.

Western Crab Cakes with Lemon Aioli

  • Author: Fanny Slater
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings (12 small crab cakes) 1x


Give ordinary crab cakes a creative spin with earthy cumin, fragrant fresh cilantro, and a tangy lemon aioli drizzle.


  • 1 pound canned lump crabmeat, drained
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs, divided
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 6 tablespoons minced fresh chives, divided
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley 
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro 
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil (such as vegetable, sunflower, or grapeseed)
  • Lemon wedges, for serving
  • 1 cup lemon aioli


  1. In a large bowl, gently fold the crabmeat together with 4 tablespoons of the panko, the mayonnaise, 4 tablespoons of the chives, and the parsley, cilantro, paprika, cayenne, cumin, salt, and pepper. Season to taste with additional salt if necessary.
  2. Gently fold in the beaten egg. Set aside.
  3. Add the remaining panko to a shallow bowl and place a clean plate nearby. To form the patties, use a 1/4-cup ice cream or cookie scoop and shape the mixture into about 12 equally-sized, tightly packed flattened rounds. Carefully coat the outside of each patty in panko, and set aside on the plate.
  4. Refrigerate the patties for at least 30 minutes, or up to 1 hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 250°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Add the butter and oil to a large skillet and place over medium heat. When the butter has melted, swirl to coat. Without crowding the pan, add a few crab cakes and cook until golden brown, 2-4 minutes per side. Transfer the cooked crab cakes to the prepared baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while you cook the rest in batches.
  7. Divide among plates, garnish with the remaining chives, and serve with lemon wedges and lemon aioli.
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Crab
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Seafood

Keywords: crabcake, seafood, aioli