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Pan-Fried Crab Cakes with Honey Chipotle Aioli and Black Bean Salsa


Appetizers, Seafood


Recipe courtesy of Chef/Owner Jeff Paige Cotton



Everybody has their favorite crab cake recipes and this is Cotton's. We feel pretty good about it because it's our most requested recipe. The readers of the big three food magazines, Food & Wine, Gourmet and Bon Appetit, have all requested it. Here it is!

Number of Servings

Makes about 12 crab cakes


1 lb. Fresh Maine combo crabmeat, picked over for shells
1 lb. Fresh Super Lump or Jumbo Lump crabmeat, picked over for shells
1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 Tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
3 scallions, thinly sliced, green only
1 extra large egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup dried bread crumbs

Preparation - Directions

Gently drain the excess water from the crabmeat. In a mixing bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, salt, pepper, onion powder, scallions and egg.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the crabmeat, fresh bread crumbs and the wet ingredients and gently combine together, being careful not to over mix.

Shape into approximately 12 two-inch round cakes. Transfer cakes to waxed-paper-lined baking sheet. Cover and chill at least four hours and up to one day.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Gently coat each crab cake in the dried bread crumbs. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add half of the crab cakes and cook until golden brown, approximately 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer to a baking sheet pan and hold in the oven while you cook the remaining crab cakes.

Serve with black bean corn salsa and top with a dollop of honey chipotle aioli. Serve immediately.

Use a ready-made equivalent or follow recipes below for the salsa and aioli.

Honey Chipotle Aioli

3-4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup mayonnaise

Combine the chipotle peppers and honey in a blender and mix until smooth. Press the mixture through a strainer to remove seeds.

In a mixing bowl, combine the chipotle honey puree with the mayonnaise.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Black Bean Corn Salsa

2 - 15 ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup small diced green bell pepper
1/2 cup small diced red bell pepper
1/4 cup small diced red onion
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 level teaspoon ground cumin
1 level teaspoon ground light chili powder
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a large mixing bowl combine the black beans, corn kernels, bell peppers and red onion.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and mix well.

Gently fold the liquid mixture into the beans and vegetables, mixing well.

Adjust seasoning with kosher salt and pepper.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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