We started with two 2-pound Dungeness crabs, which we then cleaned and cracked, resulting in about 1 1/4 pounds of lump crab meat for our homemade crab cakes.
- 1 pound lump crabmeat, picked through and any bits of shell removed (try not to break up the lumps of crabmeat as you pick through it)
- 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, divided
- 1/2 cup chopped shallots
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons prepared tartar sauce
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- About 4 slices white bread, crusts removed, torn into small pieces, yielding 2 cups
- 2/3 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 Cook the shallots: Heat one tablespoon of butter in a small skillet over medium high heat. Add the shallots and a half teaspoon of salt.
Cook until the shallots are translucent, a couple minutes. Do not brown. Let the shallots cool.
2 Make the crab cake mixture: Whisk together the eggs, Worcestershire sauce, remaining half teaspoon of salt, paprika, freshly ground black pepper, tartar sauce, lemon zest, Tabasco, parsley, and the cooked shallots.
Gently fold in the crabmeat and torn bread, taking care again to not break up the lumps of crab meat. The mixture will be very wet.
4 Form the crab cakes: Using your clean hands, take a scoop of the crab mixture and gently form it into a patty form about 2 1/4 inches across and 3/4 inches thick. Continue until you've made 12 crab cakes.
5 Coat with breadcrumbs: Line a rimmed tray with a piece of wax paper just large enough to hold the cakes, and sprinkle the bottom of the tray with half of the bread crumbs.
Set the crab cakes in one layer on the top of the layer of breadcrumbs and sprinkle them with the remaining breadcrumbs.
6 Chill: Cover the crab cakes loosely with another sheet of wax paper and chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
7 Cook crab cakes: Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat until the butter melts and foams up.
When the foam subsides, working in batches, place the crab cakes in the pan (do not crowd the pan), and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side.