4 crabcakes
1 hour, largely unattended total


  • 1 pound fresh lump crabmeat
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, optional
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons flour, plus flour for dredging
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, or neutral oil, such as canola or grapeseed
  • 4 tablespoons butter (or use all oil)
  • Lemon wedges

Gently combine the crab, egg, mustard, salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons of flour. Cover and put in the freezer for 5 minutes. Shape the mixture into 4 hamburger-shaped patties. Line a plate with plastic wrap and put the crabcakes on it. Cover with more plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes (longer -- up to a day -- if you like) or freeze for 15 minutes.

Put the flour for dredging in a bowl. Combine the oil and butter in a 12-inch skillet and turn the heat to medium. When the butter melts and its foam subsides, gently dredge one of the crabcakes in the flour. Gently tap off the excess flour and add the crabcake to the pan; repeat with the remaining crabcakes, then turn the heat to medium high.

Cook, rotating the cakes in the pan as necessary to brown the first side, 5 to 8 minutes. Turn and brown the other side, which will take slightly less time. Serve hot, with lemon wedges.

Adapted from a forthcoming book by Mark Bittman to be published Fall 2001