Article By: Chef Josh Houghton
Contributing Writer

Lemon caper crab cakes are a flavorful variation of the classic crab cake dish. What
distinguishes them is the addition of lemon zest, lemon juice, and capers, which impart a bright, tangy flavor profile to the dish. The lemon adds a refreshing citrusy note, while the capers contribute a briny, slightly piquant taste. Lemon caper crab cakes offer a delicious twist on the traditional crab cake recipe, combining the sweetness of crab meat with the zesty flavors of lemon and capers. Crab Cakes have been a special dish to me for the past several years, as not only something I love to create and enjoy, but also a fan favorite to my customers. My focus on the quality and amount of crab in the dish, really impresses, while new flavors such as scallion panko, and southern creole, can keep the dish fun and exciting.

– Can opener
– Medium sized mixing bowl
– Non stick Saute pan
– Rubber spatula
– Measuring cups and spoons
– Peeler or microplane
– Cutting board
– Kitchen knife of choosing
– Spatula for flipping or tongs
– 1# lump crab meat
– Juice of 1 lemon
– Zest or 1 lemon
– 2 oz Worcestershire sauce
– 1⁄2 cup of capers
– 1⁄2 cup mayonnaise
– At least 1 cup bread crumbs( I prefer Panko)
– Salt and pepper to Taste
– 4 tbsp canola oil

I firmly believe that the key to an outstanding crab cake lies in the quality of the crab itself. Opting for high-quality canned crab is paramount, with lump crab being the ideal choice if available. While local grocery stores may not offer a plethora of options, prioritizing lump crab over claw meat or special canned varieties is crucial as it ensures richer flavor and minimizes the presence of shell fragments, which while edible, can detract from the overall enjoyment. To begin crafting these delectable crab cakes, zest and juice a lemon into a bowl, combining it with all other ingredients except for the oil and crab. I prefer adding the crab last to preserve larger chunks of meat, enhancing both visual appeal and taste. Open the canned crab, draining any excess liquid, and gently fold it into the mixture until it resembles wet sand. Adjust the consistency as needed – add more mayo if too dry and crumbly or breadcrumbs if too wet and sticky.

Once the mixture is well combined, divide it into eight equal portions.
Heat a pan over medium heat with oil, then shape each portion into a patty, optionally coating both sides with additional breadcrumbs. An extra coating of breadcrumbs on the outside, will provide a little more of a crust, but may require more oil for cooking. Cook the patties for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown and heated through. Since the canned crab and other ingredients are already cooked, this step is adding optimal texture and color, and heat to the dish.

These crab cakes are delightful on their own or served in various ways. My personal favorite, shown in the picture provided is with braised greens and a simple mustard sauce. For the greens, I typically use a combination of collard and baby kale cooked with shallots, lemon, garlic, salt, and pepper until tender. This is best done in a saute pan on medium heat for about 10-15 minutes. The sauce, consisting of equal parts mayo, whole grain mustard, and an IPA or light beer, adds a delightful bitterness that complements the dish’s flavors. Starting with 4 oz of each will provide plenty of sauce for other applications as well, such as salads, burgers or pasta.

While this dish may be considered a splurge for everyday dining, whether treating oneself or hosting special guests, it never fails to impress. Investing in top-notch crab meat guarantees a memorable culinary experience, resulting in a crab cake like no other.

To enhance the flavor and texture of the lemon caper crab cakes further, you could consider
incorporating a few additional ingredients or making some adjustments to the existing ones,
these are some of my favorites if you are looking for a secret ingredient, or tailoring to your personal tastes:

-Fresh herbs: Adding chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, green onions, or chives can contribute brightness and freshness to the crab cakes. Try Celery for a nice Crunch.
-Red bell pepper: Finely diced red bell pepper can provide a pop of color and a slightly sweet flavor to the crab cakes.
-Hot sauce: For a touch of heat, a few dashes of hot sauce like Tabasco or Sriracha can be added to the mixture.
-Garlic: Minced garlic can be added to the mixture for extra flavor. You can either sauté it briefly in oil before mixing it in or use garlic powder for convenience.
-Old Bay seasoning: If you’re a fan of the classic seafood seasoning, adding a teaspoon or twoof Old Bay seasoning can enhance the crab cakes’ flavor profile.

By Published On: April 1, 2024Categories: What's Cookin'?

About the Author: Joshua Houghton

I've been cooking ever since I can remember, and it's not just a passion for me; it's a way of life. Hi, I'm Joshua, and I've dedicated my culinary journey to the art of creating unforgettable dining experiences. What truly sets my heart on fire is the intimacy of cooking in people's homes, where I can connect with them on a personal level. I run my own catering business, where I craft bespoke menus tailored to each client's desires. But it's not just about the food, it's about the stories and memories that unfold around the dinner table. I have a deep commitment to using locally sourced ingredients, not only for their freshness and quality but also to support thecommunity that has always inspired me. Cooking with heart, soul, and local flavors – that's what defines my culinary philosophy.

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