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Crab Cakes with Homemade Tartar Sauce

Crab cakes with homemade dill tartar sauce

Crab Cakes have to be one of my favourite appetizers – if they are on a menu there’s about a 110% chance I’ll order them.   The good news is that they are not complicated to make at home and the BEST way to impress your next round of guests!

We love entertaining, and do a lot of it.  And if there’s one thing I’ve learned about entertaining, it’s the importance of prepping ahead!  Ugh, the countless times that I’ve scrambled in the past to pull something together before guests arrive (or worse, when they are already there) – have you been there?

These crab cakes are soooooo delicious and can (and should) be prepped ahead!  I recommend below to refrigerate the crab cakes, once prepared (prior to cooking) for around 30 minutes, but you can easily prep them earlier in the day and refrigerate them until just before guests arrive and you need to cook them. Same goes for the tartar sauce, you can prep it hours ahead (I don’t like making it the day before as the red onion can get too strong).

I was searching for a good source for the crab and came across Tru Local [1] – it is a Canadian company that sells locally-sourced high end meat, poultry and seafood and delivers it straight to your door.  The crab was exceptional.  If you want to check them out they’ve been kind enough to extend a discount code for my followers, just click here [1] to order and use code FRAICHE20 at checkout to get $20 off a regular sized box plus a grass fed sirloin (or just the sirloin for a small box).

I would love to hear if you make these, and of course how you like them!  Note that this recipe makes a lot of crab cakes: you can either halve the recipe or make them ahead, freeze them on a tray, and thaw before cooking as per the instructions below. Also pay attention to the fact that you need to divide the Panko as not all of it goes into the crab mixture (I’ve made this mistake before).

Happy weekend my friends!



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Crab Cakes with Homemade Tartar Sauce

These crab cakes are packed with rich flavour, and make an amazing appetizer or a main if served with a light green salad. This makes a lot of crab cakes, so cut the recipe in half if you’re only serving a small crowd.

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Keyword Crab
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Resting Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 20 crab cakes
Author Fraiche Nutrition


Crab Cake Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. rock crab drained in a sieve
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced chives
  • ¾ cup mayo
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • ½ cup finely diced red onion
  • ½ cup loosely packed chopped fresh dill plus extra for garnish
  • 3 tablespoons chopped capers
  • 3 cups panko divided
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • neutral oil for frying ie: avocado or canola

Tartar Sauce Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup good quality mayo
  • ¼ cup finely chopped dill pickles
  • ¼ cup finely chopped red onion
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup freshly chopped dill
  • 1 teaspoon drained capers chopped


  1. In a large bowl combine the crab, chives, mayo, dry mustard, red onion, dill, capers and 1 cup of panko and mix thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to taste then mix in the eggs until combined.

  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the 2 cups of panko on a large plate. Using a large (size 8 or ½ c.) ice cream scoop or your hands, form each crab cake and carefully place it onto the plate of panko, gently pressing some panko on the top of the cake. 

  3. Using a metal spatula, carefully lift the crab cake onto the prepared cookie sheet and repeat until all of the mixture is used up. Refrigerate the crab cakes for 30-60 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, prepare the tartar sauce by combining all of the ingredients together in a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

  5. Line a large plate with paper towel. Add oil to a large frying pan until it is ½” deep. Heat over medium-high heat and fry the crab cakes in batches, careful not to over crowd the pan (we used a large pan and cooked 4 at a time), until the crab cakes are golden on each side. Remove from the pan with a metal spatula and repeat with the remaining crab cakes. Serve immediately with the tartar sauce and fresh dill as a garnish if desired.