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Crab Cakes with Preserved Lemon Aioli

By: Kai Gourmet (Peggye Marks)

Makes: 9 - 4 oz Crab Cakes

Time Required: 1.5 hours


For Crab Cakes

  1. 2 lb Dungeness crabmeat or lump crabmeat

  2. 1 egg, lightly beaten

  3. ½ cup mayonnaise

  4. 1 tsp Dijon

  5. 1 tsp celery seed

  6. 3 tablespoon onion, finely diced

  7. 1 – 2 garlic cloves

  8. ¾ tsp Tabasco sauce

  9. ¾ tsp Worcestershire sauce

  10. 2 ¼ cup panko bread crumbs

  11. Basil – julienned

  12. Lemon

  13. 1 T butter

  14. Canola Oil

For Aioli

  1. 2 large egg yolks

  2. 1 cup canola or grapeseed oil

  3. 1 small garlic clove

  4. 1/2 lemon, juiced

  5. 1 whole preserved lemon, peel only

  6. Kosher salt

Preparing Aioli

  1. Place garlic clove and 1/4 tsp kosher salt into a mortar and pestle and smash into a paste.
  2. Finely mince preserved lemon peel. Set aside.
  3. Put the egg yolks in a food processor and process until smooth. With the blade still running, very slowly pour into the yolks the oil. Blend until thickened and emulsified.
  4. Whisk in the garlic paste and a pinch or two of salt.
  5. Add the lemon juice and preserved lemon and mix thoroughly.  Taste for balance.  If mixture seems too thick, add a little water to the desired consistency. The water will also make it creamier. Place into a covered container and refrigerate for an hour or up to a week. Makes about 1 cup.

CHEF NOTE:  If you don’t want to make homemade Aioli, use 1 cup of your favorite mayonnaise.  Add the garlic paste and preserved lemon.  Add lemon juice until you reach a desired consistency. Let sit at least an hour so flavors can meld or put into the refrigerator until you want to use.  Will last a couple weeks.

Preparing Crab Cakes

  1. Melt butter in saucepan and sauté diced onion over med-high heat.
  2. Grate garlic into pan with onion and sauté until mixture is soft but not brown (about 5 min.). Set aside to cool.
  3. Place mayonnaise, Dijon, celery seed, Tabasco sauce and Worcestershire together and combine.
  4. Add the egg and cooled onion/garlic mixture.
  5. Add to the crab along with ¼ C Panko crumbs and fold into the crab trying not to break up the lumps.
  6. Preheat oven to 350F.
  7. Place rest of Panko crumbs into a plate.
  8. Measure out 4oz portions, creating a round disk.
  9. Coat crab disk with Panko and place on cookie sheet.
  10. In a fry pan add oil and heat on med-high heat until smoking.
  11. Place as many crab cakes as you can into fry pan without them touching each other.
  12. Pan fry until dark golden brown. Turn and brown on other side.
  13. Place crab cakes on cookie sheet when done browning and place sheet in the oven for 5-7 minutes.
  14. Take out of oven, squeeze lemon over top and sprinkle julienned basil on top.
  15. Serve with preserved lemon aioli.

CHEF NOTE:  Be sure to pick through the crab to make sure there are no shell pieces.  Taste the crab before preparing.  If it tastes too salty, simply rinse in water.  Sometimes the saline water the crab comes from can be packed with the tin, making it taste too salty.

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