A white rectangular platter topped with golden fried crab cakes, with wedges of yellow lemon and green leaves

Crab cakes

  • serves 8
  • Easy

Rich brown crab tartare sauce pairs perfectly with delicate white crabmeat in this classic starter idea


Make these classic crab cakes, then check out our mini crab cakeshealthy fish cakes, easy fish cakes and Thai fish cakes.



  • Maris Piper or other floury potatoes 500g, peeled and chopped
  • spring onions 2, finely chopped
  • white crabmeat 300g
  • cayenne pepper a pinch
  • lemon ½, zested
  • plain flour 75g
  • eggs 2, beaten
  • panko or dried breadcrumbs 100g
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • watercress to serve


  • egg yolk 1
  • Dijon mustard 2 tsp
  • lemon ½, juiced
  • olive oil 120ml
  • brown crabmeat 50g
  • capers 1 tbsp, drained and chopped
  • flat-leaf parsley finely chopped to make 1 tbsp
  • cornichons 6, finely chopped
  • dill or chives finely chopped to make 1 tsp


  • Step 1

    To start the tartare sauce, whizz the egg yolk, mustard and lemon in a jug or tall container using a stick blender. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil, a little at a time, and continue blending until the mixture starts to emulsify. When all the oil has been added, fold in the brown crabmeat and check for seasoning, adding a little more lemon juice, salt and pepper or a dash of water if the mayonnaise is too thick. Cover and chill.

  • Step 2

    Cook the potatoes in a pan of boiling water until very tender, then drain and leave to steam-dry. Push through a ricer if you have one, or use a sieve to remove any small lumps. Tip the mash into a bowl with the spring onions, white crabmeat, cayenne and lemon zest. Season well and fold in 2 tbsp of the mayonnaise mixture. Stir briefly until just combined, then mould into eight crab cakes. Put on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Chill for 30 minutes until firm.

  • Step 3

    Put the flour, eggs and breadcrumbs in three separate bowls. Fold the remaining ingredients for the tartare sauce into the remaining mayonnaise mixture.

  • Step 4

    Once the crab cakes are firm, lightly dust in the flour, then dip into the egg and coat in the breadcrumbs. Heat a 1⁄2cm depth of oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and fry the crab cakes for 4-5 minutes on each side or until golden, crisp and piping hot. Serve with the tartare sauce and watercress.

Get more inspiration for this meaty shellfish with our crab recipes...

Quick and Easy Cacio E Pepe Recipe with Crab

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 368
  • Fat 23.1g
  • Saturates 3.2g
  • Carbs 24.3g
  • Sugars 1g
  • Fibre 1.8g
  • Protein 14.7g
  • Salt 0.9g