Crab Cake Sandwiches with Oyster-Cracker Breading

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 45 min
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 8 crab cakes
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For the crab cakes:

2 slices white sandwich bread

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 large egg

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

1/4 teaspoon paprika

Pinch of cayenne pepper

1 pound lump crabmeat, picked over

1 1/4 cups oyster crackers

Vegetable oil, for frying

8 hamburger buns, split

Bibb lettuce, for serving

For the sauce:

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives


  1. Make the crab cakes: Tear the bread into very small pieces or rub between your hands into small crumbs. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs and a pinch each of salt and black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the breadcrumbs are toasted and crisp, about 3 minutes; transfer to a large bowl and let cool. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in the skillet; let cool slightly.
  2. Add the egg, mayonnaise, chives, parsley, lemon zest, paprika, cayenne and melted butter to the breadcrumb mixture; stir to combine. Add the crab and gently stir until just combined. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Form the crab mixture into eight 21/2- to 3-inch patties; transfer to the prepared baking sheet and refrigerate 1 hour.
  3. Meanwhile, grind the oyster crackers in a food processor to make fine crumbs; set aside.
  4. Make the sauce: Whisk the mayonnaise with the lemon zest and juice, cayenne, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper in a small bowl until smooth. Stir in the chives. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  5. Cook the crab cakes: Heat 1/2 inch vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Press the crab cakes into the ground oyster crackers, turning to coat. Working in batches, add the crab cakes to the skillet and fry, turning, until golden, 4 to 5 minutes. (Adjust the heat if the crab cakes are browning too quickly.) Drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Serve the crab cakes on the buns with lettuce and sauce.
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