Emeril's Crab Cakes

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr 52 min
  • Prep: 35 min
  • Inactive: 2 hr
  • Cook: 17 min
  • Yield: 10 cakes
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2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup small diced yellow onions

1/2 cup small diced celery

1/4 cup small diced red bell peppers

1/4 cup small diced yellow bell peppers

Salt and pepper

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1 pound lump crabmeat, cleaned and picked over for shells and cartilage 

1 pound lump crabmeat, cleaned and picked over for shells and cartilage

1/4 cup chopped green onions

1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley leaves

3 tablespoons Creole mustard

4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, (juice of 2 lemons), in all

2 eggs, in all

3 1/2 cups vegetable oil, in all

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (recommended: Tabasco)

1 1/2 cups fine bread crumbs, in all

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

3 teaspoons Creole seasoning, in all

1 tablespoon water

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

Maw-Maw's Slaw, recipe follows

Creole Tartar Sauce, recipe follows

Maw-Maw's Slaw:

1/2 pound white cabbage, shredded (about 2 cups)

1/2 pound red cabbage, shredded (about 2 cups)

1/2 pound assorted greens, such as mustard greens, collards, or spinach, trimmed, washed and shredded (about 2 cups)

1 cup thinly sliced red onions

1 cup chopped green onions, green part only

1/2 cup chopped parsley leaves

1 1/4 cups homemade mayonnaise

1/4 cup Creole or whole grain mustard

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

2 teaspoons sugar

Creole Tartar Sauce:

1 egg*

1 tablespoon minced garlic

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves

2 tablespoons chopped green onions

1 cup olive oil

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon Creole or whole-grain mustard

1 teaspoon salt


  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, and peppers. Season with salt and pepper. Saute for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to saute for 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and cool for 5 minutes. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the crabmeat, green onions, grated cheese, parsley, Creole mustard, and juice of 1 lemon. Mix to incorporate. Set the mixture aside.
  2. In a food processor with a metal blade, process 1 egg and remaining lemon juice for 1 minute. With the machine running, slowly add 1 cupvegetable oil. The mixture will be thick after all the oil is incorporated. Add the Worcestershire and hot sauce, process the mixture to incorporate. Season the mayonnaise with salt and pepper.
  3. Fold the cooled sauteed vegetables into the crab mixture. Fold 1/2 cup of the mayonnaise and 3/4 cup of the bread crumbs into the crab mixture. Mix gently but thoroughly. In a shallow bowl, season the flour with 1 teaspoon of the Creole seasoning and the white pepper. In another bowl, whisk the remaining egg with the water. Finally in 1 bowl, combine the remaining bread crumbs and 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning together. Portion the filling into 1/3 cup balls. Form the balls into patties, about 1-inch thick. Pour the remaining 2 1/2 cups oil into a saute pan and heat to 360 degrees F, about 2 minutes. Dredge the cakes in the seasoned flour. Dip the cakes in the egg wash, letting the excess drip off. Dredge the cakes in the seasoned bread crumbs, covering the cakes completely. Gently lay the cakes in the oil and fry for 4 minutes on each side. Remove the cakes from the oil and drain on a paper-lined plate. Season the cakes with the remaining Creole seasoning. Serve with Maw-Maw's Slaw and Creole Tartar Sauce.

Maw-Maw's Slaw:

  1. Place the white cabbage, red cabbage, greens, red onions, green onions, and parsley in a large salad bowl. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, salt, black pepper, cayenne, and sugar. Mix well. Add the mixture to the greens and toss to mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  2. Serve chilled. The slaw can be made (or chilled) 3 hours ahead.

Creole Tartar Sauce:

Yield: 1 1/3 cups
  1. Put the egg, garlic, lemon juice, parsley, and green onions in a food processor and puree for 15 seconds. With the processor running, pour the oil through the feed tube in a steady stream. Add the cayenne, mustard, and salt and pulse once or twice to blend. Cover and let sit for 1 hour in the refrigerator before using. Best if used within 24 hours.