Crabby Crab Cakes (Maryland Style on Steroids) with Spicy Aioli

This is a quick and simple way to make crab cakes. They are filled with crab and not all that breading, so I aptly name them "crabby crab cakes." The secret is letting them set-up in the fridge for at least three hours to set up. You can either bake or fry these to crispy perfection. My aioli replaces tartar or cocktail sauces and even the need for lemon. It is the perfect flavor addition to these crab cakes. I make these all the time as an appetizer or as an entree. Here's all you need to do:


1 lb. jumbo lump or backfin lump crabmeat, fresh or pasteurized

2 large egg

¼ cup mayonnaise

½ cup of diced yellow and red bell peppers

2 stalks green onion (scallion) sliced thin

1 TBSP Dijon mustard (to taste)

1 or 2 TSP Old Bay seasoning (to taste)

1 TSP garlic powder

1 TSP onion powder

1 TBSP fresh lemon juice

1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce

½ TSP Kosher salt

1 TSP ground black pepper

1 cup panko bread crumbs + more for breading the cakes (I do not recommend using regular breadcrumbs for this dish. The finer crumbs makes the cakes grainy in texture.)

2 TBSP unsalted butter

1 TBSP olive oil


  1. Drain the crabmeat, if necessary, and pick through it for shells (lump crabmeat may have shell still in it; the claw meat does not.)

  2. Put the crab in a large mixing bowl and set aside.

  3. In a small bowl or I prefer to use my Magic Bullet, whisk the eggs, mayonnaise, mustard, Old Bay seasoning, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and salt. Pour the mixture over the crab and mix gently until crab meat is covered in the mixture, but do not overmix.

  4. Sprinkle the bread crumbs and the parsley over the mixture, and mix them in thoroughly but try not to turn the mixture into a mash.

  5. Shape the crab mixture into 8 cakes about 1 inch thick. (I use a ring form to get them consistently the same size.

  6. Then lightly coat each cake top and bottom and sides in panko bread crumbs.

  7. Place on a sheet plan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 or longer hours to allow to set. If you make the cakes and fry them immediately they will fall apart. They need to chill and set.

  8. In a 12-inch non-stick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Fry the cakes until golden brown on the underside, about 4 minutes. Flip the cakes, reduce the heat to medium low, and continue cooking until the other side is well browned and cooked through, approximately 5 minutes. Allow to drain on paper towel or brown paper bag. Serve immediately.

  9. BAKING METHOD: Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Set oven rack to the mid-level position.

  10. Spray a sheet pan with cooking spray and place the cakes in the pan then lightly spray the top of each cake with the cooking spray.

  11. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately.

SPICY AIOLI (Make this at least one hour or more to let the flavors and heat intensify.)


2 egg yolks

3/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil or grapeseed oil

(If you do not want to make you own mayonnaise, I suggest using light mayonnaise as a substitute in the amount of 3/4 cup.)

Salt to taste

1-1/2 teaspoons of garlic powder

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Cayenne pepper or siracchia to taste


  • Place the egg yolks in a blender (do not use your Magic Bullet or cup type blender here.)

  • Add the garlic powder and lemon juice.

  • Run the blender on whip and slow drizzle in the oil. An emulsification will occur and mixture will thicken.

  • Add salt to taste.

  • Add the cayenne pepper or siracchia to taste. Be careful. Once you start to tast a bit of heat stop adding the pepper or siracchia. As the mixture sits for an hour or more the heat will intensify.

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