Shrimp or Crab Cakes w/Mustard Sauce


K Kruger

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Shrimp or Crab Cakes w/Mustard Sauce

I grill shrimp often using large shrimp (21-25s) or larger (16-20s or <12s). But when the small shrimp are on sale I buy a few pounds and make these. This recipe makes about 16-18 2½-inch cakes. The recipe can be halved or doubled. The following recipe is for shrimp but with a few changes I also use it for crab. The changes are noted at the bottom. I sometimes make a few other sauces (Chipotle Mayo, Key Lime-Roasted Garlic) and serve them all on the side.

2.5 lbs med shrimp in the shell
beer or water
½ c mayo
½ c bread crumbs
4 tablespoons minced Vidalia onion or scallion (white and light
green part only)
2 tablespoon minced red bell pepper
4 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon Old Bay
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
4 egg whites

Put the shrimp in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and add beer or water to barely cover. Bring up to a simmer. By then they are usually done, opaque and firm. Drain and cool (either spread out a bit on a plate or rinsed briefly under cold water in a colander). Peel completely; de-vein.

In the container of a processor, pulse shrimp till finely minced (or do by hand). Scrape the shrimp into a large mixing bowl. Add the mayo, bread crumbs, onion, bell pepper, parsley, Old Bay, and lemon juice, stirring well as you add each item. Taste for seasoning (I like the shrimp to star, the other ingredients in lesser roles). Lightly beat the egg whites and add to the shrimp mix. Stir well.

Form patties about 2-2½ inches around and a between ¼ and ½ inch thick. Place on a plate on waxed paper or parchment and chill 40-60 min, uncovered.

Dump about ¾ cup flour on a plate and mix in a good pinch of salt.

Set a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and add oil to just cover the bottom of the pan.

Remove cakes from fridge. Dredge lightly in the flour/salt mix, shaking off the excess very well. Be gentle--but you don't need a flour coating, the lightest dusting will do.

When the pan and oil are hot, add just as many cakes to the pan as you can without crowding. Sauté, without disturbing them, till browned then flip and brown the other side. Hold in the oven at 200* on a rack on a cookie sheet (for good circulation so the bottom stays crisp), add oil to the pan and sauté the remaining cakes.

Serve or cool completely and freeze. Reheat in a 350* oven on racks on a cookie sheet till hot.

You can also make these much smaller served topped with a ½ teaspoon of sauce as bite-sized appetizers. Nice with a glass of fino sherry or a moderately oaky chardonnay.

Mustard Sauce

½ cup mayo
½ cup sour cream
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons Old Bay, or to taste
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice fresh lemon juice, or to taste
dash Tabasco, or to taste

Mix the mayo, sour cream and mustard. Add the next the ingredients tasting as you go.

Crab Variation

Depending on the moisture in the crab you may need to add more breadcrumbs—be judicious as you don’t want to overwhelm the crab. Use 2 lbs crab meat. Replace one of the egg whites with one whole egg, beating it with the other egg white before adding. If desired add 2 teaspoons dry sherry and cut the lemon juice to 1 teaspoon.


On edit: I now prefer baking these over frying them if the oven is available. Preheat the oven to 400. Have an oven rack in the center position. Line a sheetpan with parchment and spray it with an oil spray (I spray with evoo). Place the flour-dusted cakes on the parchment, spray lightly with oil, then bake 10 min in the center of the oven. Flip the cakes, spray lightly with oil, bake another 10 min. Check them now. If there is any visible white flour spray again, making sure that you hit the flour; bake 3-5 more minutes, remove from the oven and slide the cakes off the parchment onto a plate for serving.

In a hurry? Buy 2.25 lbs precooked shelled and deveined shrimp. Remove the tails, squeeze lightly in paper towels to remove a little excess moisture and you're good to go.

Kevin S.

TVWBB Super Fan
Hey Kev,

Man, I gotta tell ya. You and I have much in common.

Me: Former O/O who loves to eat.
You: Current O/O who obviously loves to eat.

— I also loved the wine reference too... I love a nice "Oakey" chardonnay —

Plus, there's the whole name thing...

Eat well,

Rita Y

TVWBB Emerald Member
I finally got around to trying this recipe, Kevin, and it scored a "10" from Jack. Really delicious! And, for a simple sauce, the mustard sauce was great; the whole recipe is a definite keeper.

Making this was a last-minute decision. I don't usually have any white bread in the house, so I used panko for the bread crumbs. I'm assuming that you use fresh white bread crumbs, right?

The shrimp mixture was quite soft, but rather than add more crumbs, I refrigerated the shrimp mixture for about 15 to 20 minutes before shaping them in hopes it would firm up. It was still quite soft and somewhat difficult to shape. I might try cutting back the egg white by half a white (3 1/2 instead of 4).

At 400° I got very little browning, so I moved the oven rack higher.

I'm going to serve the leftovers on a bed of sauteed spinach (love your spinach "bleeding" technique!)