¾ cup mayonnaise

2 to 3 chipotles en adobo sauce, seeded and minced

3 cloves garlic, grated

2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice

Kosher salt

2 tablespoons sliced green onions

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 large egg

¾ pound lump Dungeness crabmeat, picked over

1 ¼ cups panko breadcrumbs

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons canola oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter


Blend together ½ cup of the mayonnaise, the chipotles, about a third of the garlic, and the lime juice in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt.


Mix together the green onions, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, egg, and the remaining garlic in a large bowl. Stir in the crabmeat, ¾ cup of the panko, and the remaining ¼ cup of mayonnaise and season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide into 8 equal portions and gently form each portion into a ball. Gently pat each ball into the shape of a small patty, about 2 ½ inches across. Dip each crab cake into the remaining ½ cup of panko to coat, patting so that it adheres.


Add the oil and butter to a large, heavy nonstick frying pan and heat over medium heat until a pinch of the breadcrumbs sizzles immediately when added. Add the crab cakes and fry without disturbing for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Using a fish spatula, turn the crab cakes and fry another 1 to 2 minutes, or until cooked through and golden brown. Remove the crab cakes to a paper towel-lined plate and drain for about a minute. Arrange the crab cakes on individual plates, divide the chipotle mayonnaise among them, and serve immediately.


Makes 8 generous crab cakes. Pasty crab cakes that taste more like filler than crab are an all-too-common disappointment, so this is a recipe for crab cakes that are crisp and buttery on the outside, tender and moist on the inside, and big on sweet crab flavor. If Dungeness crabmeat is unavailable, try another variety. Be careful not to shred the crabmeat when mixing it with the other ingredients, and use gentle pressure when forming the cakes so that they hold together. One last thing—you may want to make extra chipotle mayo because it’s great on burgers too.