Crab Cakes with Ginger and Lime


Asian inspired crab cakes with fresh crab meat, lime, ginger, and sriracha.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Here’s an Asian inspired spin on a classic crab cake—fresh lump crab meat mixed with lime zest, grated ginger, and spicy sriracha sauce, formed into patties, egg-dipped, and dredged in crispy panko, and then lightly fried.

Yum! The crab cakes are small, so you can either serve them for appetizers or serve several as a main course.

Crab Cakes with Ginger and Lime

Now, if you’re like me, you might want to make a double batch, because you can always use any extra crab mixture to top some butter lettuce and a few slices of avocado.

Or, you might find yourself picking at the mixture just to make sure it tastes good, until lo and behold half of it is gone, which, if you’ve made a double batch, still leaves you plenty for the crab cakes. Enjoy!

Crab Cakes with Ginger and Lime Recipe

  • Prep time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 16 appetizer sized crab cakes.


  • 8 ounces fresh lump crab meat, well picked through to remove any bits of shell
  • 3 scallions, including green parts, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger root
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice, plus a little more for sprinkling on at service
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce, depending on how spicy you would like the crab cakes to be
  • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp of panko bread crumbs for crab mixture plus 3/4 cup of panko bread crumbs for breading
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • Lime slices for garnish


1 Prepare crab cake mixture:  In a medium bowl, combine the scallions, cilantro, ginger, lime zest, lime juice, and mayonnaise. Stir in the lump crab meat and the panko to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1 to 2 hours.

2 Form into 1-inch round balls: Using your clean hands, form the crab mixture into 1-inch diameter round balls.

3 Coat in flour, egg, and panko: Set out 3 bowls, one for flour, one for the beaten egg, and one for panko breadcrumbs. Roll each crab ball in first the flour, then the beaten egg, and finally the panko. Set aside on a plate.

4 Cook crab cakes: Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed sauté pan on medium high heat. Swirl in the butter.

After the butter has foamed up and melted, place the panko coated crab balls into the pan and press down gently with a metal spatula.

Do not crowd the pan, you may need to work in batches.

Cook a minute or two, until golden brown on one side, then gently turn the crab cakes over and cook until golden brown on the other side.

fry crab cakes in butter and olive oil

5  Remove to a paper towel lined plate or to a sheet pan in a low oven to keep warm.

6 Sprinkle with lime juice to serve, and serve with a slice of lime.

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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13 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Dena Palmquist

    This recipe is my absolute favorite! We live in dungeness crab country and are lucky to have a bounty of this beautiful seafood. Fresh ginger is the key flavor point. When I double (or triple) this recipe, I dial back the ginger and cilantro a bit to keep balance. Perfection!

  • Laura @ Laura's Culinary Adventures

    Yum! I have recently developed a appetite for crab cakes, and this ginger lime version is fabulous!

  • maureen

    Hello Elise, could you sugest an alternative to the “SRIRACHA” sauce, as i live in Australia , and not familiar with it.
    Regards Maureen

  • Laura

    These were great! Thanks for posting. I wonder if there’d be a way to adapt them to baking? (I’m not good at panfrying.) Would you have to handle the flour/egg/panko differently?

  • Stan Skiwell

    I made these tonight with a salad and garlic bread. Fabulous. That spicy ginger and lime, together with the crab was an amazing combination. Easy to prep, easy to cook, they look great and taste even better. I am going to try to make a small ball of them and deep fry them for appetizers. Thanks for a great recipe.

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Crab Cakes with Ginger and LimeCrab Cakes with Ginger and Lime