Brown Rice Crab Cakes

Leftover brown rice helps stretch a pound of crab into eight good-size crab cakes. I get the best results with cooked rice that has first been spread on a plate and chilled in the refrigerator, which dries it out a bit. Depending on your preference, serve with Perfect Herb Mayonnaise or Ultimate Cocktail Sauce on the side.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 45 min (includes chilling time)
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 8 servings
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1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over for shells

1/2 cup mayonnaise 

3/4 cup cooled cooked brown rice 

1/2 cup chopped scallions (white and green parts) 

1 large egg, beaten 

Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons juice) 

1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon 

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 

1 1/4 cups fine dry breadcrumbs, plus more as needed 

Canola oil, for frying 

1 lemon, cut into wedges, for serving 

Perfect Herb Mayonnaise, for serving, recipe follows

Ultimate Cocktail Sauce, for serving, recipe follows

Perfect Herb Mayonnaise:

1/2 teaspoon gelatin

1 large organic egg plus 1 large organic egg yolk 

1 teaspoon dry mustard 

1 teaspoon sugar 

1 small garlic clove, minced 

1/4 cup chopped mixed soft herbs, such as any combination of Italian parsley, basil, chives, tarragon, and chervil 

1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups extra-virgin olive oil 

Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 1 1/2 tablespoons) 

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar 

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 

Ultimate Cocktail Sauce:

1/2 cup ketchup

1/4 cup hot chile sauce, such as Sriracha 

1 tablespoon prepared horseradish, drained 

1 tablespoon grated fresh horseradish, or to taste 

Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 1 1/2 tablespoons) 

2 teaspoons finely minced red onion 

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 


  1. In a large bowl, combine the crab, mayonnaise, rice, scallions, egg, lemon zest and juice, and tarragon. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the breadcrumbs and stir them in. You should be able to make a crab cake that just holds together but is still a bit wet. If the mixture is too wet to hold together (and it might be, depending on how wet the crab and cooked rice are), stir in up to 1/4 cup more breadcrumbs.
  2. Form the mixture into eight 1-inch-thick cakes and put on a plate or platter. Refrigerate for 1 hour to firm them up. 
  3. When ready to cook the crab cakes, heat 1/2 inch oil in a large nonstick skillet and preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Spread about 1 cup breadcrumbs on a plate and lightly dredge the crab cakes in breadcrumbs. Fry the crab cakes in 2 batches until golden on both sides and heated through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Drain the first batch on paper towels and keep them warm in the oven while you cook the second batch. Season the crab cakes with salt and serve with lemon wedges. 

Perfect Herb Mayonnaise:

Yield: 2 cups
  1. In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 2 tablespoons of cool water and let sit until absorbed, about 5 minutes. Put the bowl in a pan of hot water and stir to melt the gelatin.
  2. In a blender or food processor, combine the gelatin mixture, the egg and egg yolk, mustard, sugar, garlic, and herbs and process until smooth. With the machine running, add the oil in a slow steady stream (just drips at first, adding more rapidly once the mayonnaise begins to thicken) to make a very thick mayonnaise. Stop and add the lemon juice and vinegar once the mixture begins to thicken and then add the remaining oil, stopping just before it has thickened to your liking. It will thicken a bit more once it is chilled. 
  3. Scrape into a small bowl, season with salt and pepper, and cover the surface with plastic wrap. Chill until ready to use. The mayonnaise will keep 3 or 4 days in the refrigerator, though the garlic flavor will intensify over time.

Ultimate Cocktail Sauce:

Yield: 1 cup
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the ketchup, chile sauce, the prepared horseradish, the fresh horseradish, lemon juice, onion, and Worcestershire. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Refrigerate until will chilled. The cocktail sauce will keep up to 3 days, tightly covered, in the refrigerator. It may separate, so give it a quick stir again before serving.