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Dungeness Crab Cakes

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One of the great bennies of living in the Puget Sound area is the fact that there is such an abundance of seafood.   And, seafood is very high on my ‘love list’, especially Dungeness Crab Cakes.  What a surprise that those ugly, prehistoric looking crabs could taste so sweet and delicious!

Overhead photo of six Dungeness crab cakes.
Dungeness Crab Cakes

We live an hour or so from Port Angeles, WA on the Olympic Peninsula, where the long Dungeness Spit extends out into the gulf for five miles. The Dungeness crab gets it’s name from the town of Dungeness, Washington, which is now called Old Town Dungeness.   It seems more reasonable to me that the crabs should be named after the Dungeness Spit rather than the town of Dungeness.  I bet the Spit was there long before the town.   

Traditionally, crab cakes are fried in oil to give them a crisp coating, it also adds a considerable amout of fat calories.  This is a recipe for baked Dungeness crab cakes that are a little lighter but still nice and crispy with toasted Panko bread crumbs.  Each crab cake has only 4.05 fat grams and 151 calories but packed with 16 grams of protein.

Dungeness crabs are native to the West Coast and have a sweeter taste than the snow crab and the king crab.  I love the taste of fresh crab meat but I lack the patience to pick through a whole crab to get to the good stuff.   This recipe for baked Dungeness crab cakes uses fresh Dungeness crabmeat but you still need to pick through the meat for any missed cartilage.  That is a minor effort as compared to sitting down with a whole crab in front of you. 

These cakes are very ‘crabby’ with a minimal of flavor enhancers and some egg and bread crumbs to shape them and hold them together.  They are baked for 20-minutes and served hot with either lemon quarters or a fish tartar sauce, however, they are delicious with my homemade Lemon-Dill Aioli Sauce.

Dungeness Crab Cakes
Dungeness Crab Cakes
Dungenes Crab Cakes
Dungeness Crab Cakes
Dungeness Crab Cakes
Dungeness Crab Cakes

Adapted from:  Ivar’s Seafood Cookbook

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Dungeness Crab Cakes

Dungeness Crab Cakes

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Dungeness crab cakes, filled with succulent, juicy dungeness crab meat, herbs and seasoning, then coated in toasted Panko crumbs and baked. No frying here, and just plain delicious!

Ingredients

  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives or scallions
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced celery
  • 1 tablespoon finely copped fresh dill
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning mix
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 pound fresh Dungeness crab meat, picked over with any cartilage removed
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs plus additional
  • 1 cup toasted panko bread crumbs for breading
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F
  2. Line a baking tray with parchment paper
  3. Add the egg to a medium-size mixing bow and whisk to combine. Add the mayonnaise,scallions, red bell pepper, celery, dill, Old Bay seasoning mix and the lemon juice. Mix together and add the crab meat and 1/2 cup of panko bread crumbs, adding additional bread crumbs if needed in order that the mixture holds it’s shape when squeezed together.
  4. Divide the mixture into six equal portions and shape each portion into a small cake about 3-inches in diameter and 3/4 inch thick. Place on a plate and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, add the 1 cup of bread crumbs to a bowl and toss with the olive oil, spread the crumbs out on the lined baking sheet and toast them in the oven just until golden. Remove and cool.
  6. Coat each cake in a shallow dish of bread crumbs, pressing the crumbs firmly into the surface.
  7. Place the cakes on the same parchment lined baking sheet used for the crumb toasting and transfer to the middle rack of the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a serving plate.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 150Total Fat: 4gCholesterol: 89mgSodium: 265mgCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 16g

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Sarah Delanty

Friday 2nd of October 2020

I just made these and was able to get not 6 but 12 crab cakes and they were definitely 3” In the oven now. I thought I may have been more generous with the veggies but crab was 1 lb and I measured out the mayo and used one egg. Cannot wait time eat one!

Dahn Boquist

Friday 2nd of October 2020

Awesome, thanks for the comment, Sarah. enjoy!

jim

Wednesday 26th of February 2020

This is how crabcakes should be made, not a lot of filler, just crab. Dungeness is by far the most flavorful crab there is. On the east coast, and the gulf coast they use a lot of seasoning to give their crab flavor. Dungeness comes with all the flavor , just cook it and enjoy!

Pat Nyswonger

Wednesday 26th of February 2020

Thanks for your comments, Jim....I totally agree with you and feel so blessed to be living in the Pacific NW where we have access to all sorts of seafood! Dungeness crab is one of my favorites!

Michelle B

Saturday 12th of October 2019

Nice recipe. I live next to old town and dungeness bay and catch my own crab. In fact going tomorrow. I'm always looking for new inspiration as to what to do after we have eaten our fill of steamers. looking forward to trying your version. I just have to correct you though, there is no gulf anywhere in the pacific nw. The spit extends into the strait of Jaun De Fuca. Just thought you might like the edit as your article is good in many other ways.

Pat Nyswonger

Saturday 12th of October 2019

Hi, Michelle....thanks for the info, I will make a note on that. You are so blessed to have access to crabs and steamers right at your door! Enjoy the crabbing.

Danielle

Tuesday 6th of February 2018

Hi! I found this recipe and am excited to try it! I was wondering what the mayo-looking stuff in the bowl with the egg, veggies, and herbs in the third picture is? I want to make sure I'm not missing something in the recipe. Thanks!

Pat

Tuesday 6th of February 2018

Hi, Danielle...hey,thanks for catching that error! That 'mayo-looking stuff' in the bowl is in fact, 1/3 cup of mayonnaise. :) Sometimes, no matter how much we proof our work we still miss something. I appreciate your feedback, I have made the correction in the recipe card. Enjoy these crab cakes they are delicious! :)

Laura Gilger

Friday 22nd of May 2015

These look great! Do you think I could freeze them? Family is coming and it would be nice to just pop them in the oven.

Pat

Friday 22nd of May 2015

Hi, Laura, well, we have never had any left over to freeze but they should be fine. I would probably put the un-cooked patties on a parchment lined sheet pan and freeze them first, then store them in a seal-top bag. Also, bake them while they are still frozen and extend the cooking time by about five minutes. Let me know how they turn out. :)

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