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It’s Time for Dungeness Crab Cakes

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By Dan Clarke

Crab season has finally opened. Ordinarily, fresh Dungeness crab becomes available around the first of December.

For reasons we won’t go into here, the opening of this season was unusually late, but as of the middle February it’s on!

There are many ways to enjoy this delightful crustacean. You can have any fishmonger crack and clean them for you and enjoy them in their purest, simplest form. However, if you are going to do some crab cooking, you can save a lot of time, by purchasing just the crabmeat, as is suggested in the recipe below. This preparation of crab cakes was obtained from Pacific Seafood, the major purveyor of Dungeness crab on the West Coast. 

Taste suggests a bottle of Riesling or a not-overly-oaked Chardonnay might well-accompany the sweet and fresh taste of your crab cakes. If you’re a beer drinker, try serving Anchor Steam Beer with your creations.


Dungeness Crab Cakes



1 lb Dungeness crabmeat

½ cup of mayonnaise

1 egg, beaten

2 cups Panko

3 Tbsp fresh chives, chopped

1 ½ Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

2 ½ tsp lemon juice

½ tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp lemon zest



1.            In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise, egg, and lemon juice.

2.            In a medium bowl, lightly toss together Dungeness Crabmeat, chives, parsley, cayenne pepper, lemon zest and panko. Gently fold in mayonnaise mixture.

3.            Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

4.            Shape mixture into 8 crab cakes, about a ½ cup each.

5.            Preheat a large nonstick pan to medium heat and coat with canola oil. When the oil is hot, place crab cakes in the pan and cook until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes on each side.

6.            Serve immediately.

*Optional: serve with tartar sauce and lemon wedges.

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