Crunchy Crab Cakes with Lemon Butter Sauce

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Crunchy Crab Cakes with Lemon Butter Sauce

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300 gr potatoes
rock salt for baking
200 gr fresh white crabmeat
4 spring onions finely sliced
1 tsp dill chopped
1 tbsp Small capers
1½ tbsp gherkins chopped
100 gr plain flour
2 free-range eggs beaten with a splash of milk
150 gr Panko breadcrumbs
Oil for deep frying
Sea salt and freshly ground
black pepper
Lemon Sauce:
2 small shallots peeled and finely chopped
1 clove Garlic peeled and finely chopped
1 stem lemongrass tough outer layers removed, finely sliced
100 ml White Wine
50 ml double cream
250 gr unsalted butter in small pieces
10 basil leaves finely sliced
  • Medium


  • Lemon Sauce:



Crab, cake, lemon and butter Sauce: this is a firm favorite with customers when we put it on the menu. The recipe is from my home kitchen book, which, as always, includes a wonderful pic.

These crunchy crab cakes are tasty and adaptable. I sometimes change the herb or add a bit of fish if I am short on crab. The lemon sauce is pretty easy, but you can serve them with mayonnaise if you prefer. Serve the dish as it is for a starter or with a simple salad and some new potatoes on the side for lunch or supper. 

Recipe courtesy of Nathan Outlaw, Quadrille Publishing and David Loftus Photography.

How to Make Crunchy Crab Cakes with Lemon Butter Sauce:

  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C. Place the potatoes on little mounds of rock salt on a baking tray and bake for 50 minutes–1 hour, until cooked.
  2. Remove and leave for a few minutes until cool enough to handle, then cut the potatoes in half, scoop the flesh out into a bowl, and mash until smooth. Leave to cool.
  3. Once the mashed potato is cool, add the crabmeat, spring onions, dill, capers, gherkins, and a little salt and pepper. Mix together well then taste to check the seasoning and correct as necessary.
  4. Divide the crab mixture into 4 equal portions and roll into balls in your hands. Have the flour, beaten eggs, and breadcrumbs ready in 3 separate bowls.
  5. Pass each crab cake through the flour, then the egg mixture, and, finally, the breadcrumbs to coat evenly. Place in the fridge until ready to cook.
  6. To make the lemon sauce, put the shallots, garlic, lemongrass, and wine in a pan and cook until the wine has almost totally reduced.
  7. Add the cream and turn the heat down low.
  8. Now add the butter, piece by piece, whisking all the time; do not allow the sauce to boil or it will split. Once all the butter is incorporated, season with salt and pepper to taste. Strain the sauce through a sieve into a bowl and cover the surface with cling film or baking parchment to prevent a skin forming. Keep warm.
  9. Heat the oil in a deep-fryer or other suitable deep, heavy-based pan to 170°C. Lower the crab cakes into the hot oil and fry for 3–4 minutes until golden and cooked through.
  10. Meanwhile, gently warm the sauce and add the sliced basil.
  11. Share the sauce between 4 warmed plates or shallow bowls. Carefully lift the crab cakes from the pan, drain on kitchen paper and season with salt. Place a crab cake on each pool of sauce and finish with a drizzle of olive oil. Serve immediately.
Crunchy Crab Cakes with Lemon Butter Sauce
Crunchy Crab Cakes with Lemon Butter Sauce

Credit: Quadrille Publishing and David Loftus Photography;


Nathan Outlaw

Nathan Outlaw is one of the best and most well known British chefs. His eponymous restaurant was named best in the UK by the Waitrose Good Food Guide in 2018 and has held two Michelin stars. The restaurant was closed in June 2020 and launch as a more inclusive and accessible concept.  

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