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The Lagasse Girls

Authors of The Gluten Free Table and The Lagasse Girls’ Big Flavor Bold Taste and No Gluten

Plain Jane Crab Cakes

Makes 8 cakes

We love how crab cakes mix the feel of upscale seafood with the full-bodied pleasure of down-home comfort food. It’s no wonder they’re among the first to go every time we throw a party! You can make the patties well in advance and fry them up ten to fifteen minutes before everyone arrives.

Some people like to complement the taste of crab cakes with a sauce or dip, but we think that serving them plain really brings out the taste of the crabmeat. The formula below makes crab cakes that hit the sweet spot in terms of consistency: moist but crumbly, not too wet and not too dry. Feel free to dress them up, though, if you prefer.

  • Ingredients
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, plus additional oil for frying
  • 4 slices gluten-free bread
  • ¼ cup chopped chives
  • ¼ cup minced celery
  • ¼ cup minced yellow onion
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 pound lump crabmeat, picked through for shells
  • Tapioca flour for dusting


  1. Using a food processor, grind the bread pieces into fine crumbs. You should have approximately 2 cups of bread crumbs for this recipe. Set aside.
  2. In a small skillet over medium heat, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Add the chives, celery, onion, and red bell pepper until tender, about 3 minutes.
  3. In a medium-size bowl, toss the bread crumbs with the sautéed vegetables, the cayenne, salt, and mustard until evenly incorporated. Set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat the egg with a wire whisk. Next, whisk in the mayonnaise and lemon juice.
  5. Gently fold the mayonnaise mixture into the bread crumb mixture. Add the crabmeat and mix gently, making sure the crab is evenly distributed throughout.
  6. Divide the mixture into 8 portions and shape each portion into a patty. Lightly coat each patty with the tapioca flour. This will help bind the patties for frying. Place the patties on a cookie sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  7. In a large skillet and using as much or as little oil as necessary, fry the crab cakes over medium heat for 2 to 4 minutes on each side. The outside of the cakes should brown and become crispy. Serve alone or with your choice of sauce.