crab cakes: a seamless summer dinner

Whenever I’m in the need of a recipe, the first place I look is Real Simple‘s website. The number of magazines I read has drastically fallen, but I still subscribe to Real Simple solely for the recipes. I have yet to try one that wasn’t a home run. So when John requested crab cakes this week for dinner, I got online and did a quick search. I found this recipe, which I think is meant to be for tiny appetizer crab cakes than a meal, but we made it work for us with bigger crab cakes and hefty sides of roasted sweet potatoes and asparagus.

I was a little nervous, not because it looked hard (it’s actually really easy), but because there was no Old Bay seasoning in these and they are oven-baked instead of skillet-fried. But Real Simple has yet to fail me, so I followed the instructions.

The recipe says it makes 20 cakes, but I only got 9 larger cakes. My fears of the missing Old Bay were completely unfounded. They were delicious, particularly the Sriracha mayo as a dipping sauce. I am definitely going to have to experiment more with that concept. I don’t even like Sriracha, but just a little added to some Hellman’s really took this meal to the restaurant level. I liked how easy this recipe was to throw together, but next time I will add some non-stick spray to the pan. I forgot and that caused some problems in flipping and removing the cakes. All together, this was a fairly low maintenance meal to make that tasted like it took a lot of work. Also I think crab cakes are one of those dishes that just tastes like summertime (also on that list: bratwurst, tacos, pretty much all seafood).

The sides I paired with this meal were also easy because I could roast everything at the same temperature just for different times. I typically am really bad at timing the different elements of a meal to all be ready together, but this meal came together seamlessly with little stress. 20 minutes for sweet potatoes, 13 for crab cakes flipping after 5,  and 10 minutes for asparagus.

And of course, these were so delicious that I didn’t get a chance to take a picture, but if you really want to know what these look like, click on the links to Real Simple.

Sesame Crab Cakes with Chili Mayo from Real Simple


  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 8 ounces lump crab meat
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime zest
  • 5 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • kosher salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha (Asian chili-garlic sauce)


  1. Set oven rack in the lowest position and heat oven to 450° F. Brush a rimmed baking sheet with the oil.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the crab, bread crumbs, scallion whites, egg, sesame seeds, lime zest, 2 tablespoons of the mayonnaise, and ¾ teaspoon salt. Form the mixture into 20 patties (about 1 tablespoon each) and place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the Sriracha and the remaining 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise. Dividing evenly, spoon onto the crab cakes; sprinkle with the scallion greens and additional sesame seeds. Serve with the lime wedges.

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