The next few months bring lots of fun holidays and special days. It’s time for deck parties, potlucks and picnics! Finger foods and small appetizers are fun to serve any time of the year, but especially when you’re outdoors enjoying the warmer weather. These Crispy Tex-Mex crab cakes will be on the menu at my next appetizer party. They’re an appetizer that you can make ahead of time, freeing you up to look after those things that have to be done at the last minute.
I use my Bangkok Crab Cakes with Spicy Dip recipe often. It’s an Asian flavoured crab cake that we love, but this time I opted for Tex-Mex Crab Cakes. I flavoured them with peppers, onions, garlic, and jalapeños and served them with a fruit-filled Strawberry Mango Salsa.
Fresh crab is always best, but you can use frozen crab, too. Thaw it and drain any excess liquid before combining with the remaining ingredients. Mix everything in one bowl, form into small crab cakes and coat with Panko crumbs. Refrigerate until serving time, then fry for 3 – 5 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towel and serve with salsa.
Last week, I ordered crab cakes in a high-end restaurant. I was so disappointed to find that they were mostly made of bread crumbs, with a little crab tossed in! This recipe is the opposite. These Tex-Mex Crab Cakes are packed with crab and seasoned with a small amount of other ingredients. And best of all, unlike traditional Maryland crab cakes, these have no mayo! Adding two egg whites means they hold together beautifully and don’t fall apart in the pan.
Can you bake these Tex-Mex Crab Cakes instead of frying them?
Yes! They may not be as crispy, but they will still be delicious. Bake at 350°F. for 20 – 25 minutes or until golden brown.
Keeping a Tex-Mex theme at this appetizer party, I also served this Prawn Cocktail with Pineapple Jicama Salad,
a platter of these Smoked Salmon Crostini with Whipped Honey Lemon Goat Cheese,
a tray of these Loaded Sheet Pan Nachos,
and finished the meal with a Tropical Fruit Salad with Honey Mint Lime Syrup.
With Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day and long weekends on the horizon, I hope this gives you a few ideas for your spring and summer entertaining.
- 1 cup crab meat, fresh, frozen and thawed, or canned
- 2 egg whites
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp green onion, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp jalapeño pepper, minced
- 2 tbsp cilantro, minced
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 1 1/4 cups Panko crumbs, gluten-free if necessary
- 3/4 cup strawberries, finely diced
- 3/4 cup mango, finely diced
- 1/4 cup cucumber, finely diced
- 1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
- 1 tbsp cilantro, minced
- 1 tbsp jalapeño pepper, minced (optional)
- juice of one lime,
- 1 tsp lime zest
In a medium bowl, gently break apart the crab meat. Whisk two egg whites and add to bowl along with remaining ingredients except 1 cup Panko crumbs.
Fold together gently until well combined without over mixing.
Form into 1-inch patties about 3/4 inch thick. Coat with Panko crumbs and place on a baking sheet.
Refrigerate while you prepare the salsa.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and heat until it ripples. Carefully add the crab cakes. Fry on one side for 4 - 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Turn and fry on the other side for 3 - 4 minutes. Internal temperature should register 145°F.
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Garnish with lime zest. Serve with crab cakes.
Adding jalapeño to the salsa is optional as the crab cakes have a little heat of their own.