Crab Cake Lite

If you like your crab cake nearly unadultered, this recipe is for you.  Crab Cake Light pushes the crab meat front and center.  Supporting flavors include just a touch of light sour cream, flat-leaf Italian parsley, minced yellow bell pepper and salt to suit your taste.  Remember, salt brings out the flavor of the crab meat.  Panko breadcrumbs and an egg keeps the crab meat together.  Patties are formed and then chilled in the refrigerator.  Finally a pat of butter sits on each pattie and baked in the oven.

Easy to make, healthy and delicious.  Enjoy it with your favorite fish sauce! 

Crab cake, oven French fries and lemon wedges

Crab cake, oven French fries and lemon wedges

It is as easy as mincing the parsley and yellow bell pepper (or red if you prefer) and gently mixing with the Panko breadcrumbs, salt and crab meat.

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The egg, sour cream and a pinch of sour cream are wisked.  Then bring the two mixture together.

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Not familiar with Panko breadcrumbs?  I use the Japanese-style Panko breadcrumbs from the food store Trader Joe's (R).  It contains wheat flour, cane sugar, yeast and salt.  I once compared the ingredients in the panko to regular breadcrumbs and was astonished at the long, long, long list of additives in the regular breadcrumbs!  

Anyway, panko breadcrumbs is light and airy, almost tasteless.  Its texture is flaky. It browns beautifully and crispy.  There are two types.  One type is made from white bread, what I used here, the other called a tan is made from the whole loaf.

Recipe for Crab Cake Lite
Yields 7 - 3"x1" patties

Preheat oven 400 degrees F
Cooking tools:  ice cream scooper and cookie sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray


  • 1 pound crab meat, all shells removed

  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

  • 2 teaspoons flat Italian parsley, minced

  • 1/4 cup yellow bell pepper, minced

  • 7 pieces of soft butter (From a stick of butter, slice off about 1/2 inch or a little less.)

  • 1 egg

  • 2 Tablespoons lite sour cream

  • Pinch cayenne pepper (or more)

  • Sea salt (or kosher) to taste, but preferably generously

  • Crushed black pepper to taste


In a large bowl, add crab meat, panko breadcrumbs, parsley, bell pepper and salt and pepper.  GENTLY toss to mix.  Set aside.

In a second bowl, wisk egg, sour cream and cayenne pepper.  Pour ingredients into the crab meat mixture.  Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.  GENTLY mix ingredients.

Using an ice cream scooper, scoop out crab meat mixture.  GENTLY, press the mixture into the scooper.  Drop the crab meat onto the cookie sheet.  Lightly press down the crab meat to form a pattie.  Top each pattie with one piece of butter.  Rest the tray of crab meat patties in the refrigerator for 1  to 1-1/2 hours.  

Remove from refrigerator and place on the middle rack of the oven.  Bake for about 12 minutes.  Leaving the tray on the middle rack, turn the broiler on 1-2 minutes to encourage browning on the top.

See just how easy it is to make this Crab Cake Lite: 


Here, I served crab cakes with just lemon wedges and a side dish of rosemary oven French fries.  Other times, I love serving the crab cakes with a favorite flavor-filled sauce such as a horseradish, a dip, or even a shrimp cocktail. 

Crab Cakes on a Platter-2501.jpg
Serving crab cakes with lemon wedges and oven French fries

Serving crab cakes with lemon wedges and oven French fries

Crab Cakes Lite-FY-2510.jpg



Crab cake, lemon wedges and oven French fries on a plate.

Crab cake, lemon wedges and oven French fries on a plate.


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