Classic & Gluten-Free Crab Cakes in an Air Fryer Recipe

Classic & Gluten-Free Crab Cakes in an Air Fryer Recipe

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Classic & Gluten-Free Crab Cakes in an Air Fryer Recipe
4.5 - 2 vote[s]

Crab cakes are a traditional menu item at most seafood restaurants. They are particularly popular along the mid-Atlantic coastline where crabs are plentiful, especially Maryland blue crabs. Crab meat is tender, sweet, and a little briny.

When you combine flaked crab with breadcrumbs, eggs, and seasonings, you can form patties and cook them until golden brown and crisp. I like to think of them as the ultimate seafood burgers. They are especially delicious when served with a homemade tartar sauce or wasabi mayonnaise over a bed of fresh greens. This is a perfect appetizer dish.

Shopping for Crab Meat

Let’s be clear, crab is a special treat. It is not inexpensive. It is also not that easy to find fresh. Most crab you will see in your fishmonger’s display case is already cooked and has been frozen to preserve it. You will find legs and claws that you can crack and extract the meat. That is a tedious task for making crab cakes.

It is perfectly fine to purchase containers of lump or claw crab meat that is already cooked and in the refrigerated section of the market. If you can find a combination of both, that is ideal for crab cakes. Otherwise, go the for lump because it is a littler sweeter than claw. Always check the date on the container to be sure the crab meat is fresh.

If you can’t find fresh crab meat, the canned is an okay substitute. Just be sure you drain it very well and be mindful of the sodium content when using canned crab in a recipe.

Don’t be tempted to substitute imitation crab in cakes. These shockingly pink and white, oddly shaped morsels are riddled with ingredients that aren’t remotely related to crab. This is a highly processed food. If crab isn’t within your budget, feel free to make these recipes with fresh or canned salmon or tuna.

One thing you must do before you add crab to your patty mix is to go through it with your hands to pick out any shell fragments. It is very common for crab meat to contain tiny bits of shell. Biting down on a hard bit is not very pleasant.

Cooking Crab Cakes

I have always pan fried my crab or fish cakes. I have never tried to bake them. However, cooking them in an air fryer is a game changer. The result is a healthier, lower calorie cake. They still remain moist. I do recommend serving them with a nice sauce for even more moisture.

If your air fryer is large enough, you can do 4 crab cakes at once. Otherwise, cook these recipes in 2 batches and keep the cooked cakes warm in a low oven. They should stay crisp for a few minutes.

There are 2 recipes for crab cakes here. The first is for a fairly classic cake with a lighter spin. The second recipe is for a gluten-free crab cake that is Paleo and Keto diet friendly. Both recipes will serve 4 people as an appetizer. Just top the crab cakes with either of the sauce recipes or a jarred cocktail sauce.

Air Fryer Classic Crab Cakes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound lump crab meat, shells picked out
  • 1 scallion, sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup finely minced red bell pepper
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 TBS milk
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs, divided
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1-1/2 tsps fresh lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for serving
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
  • Dash of hot sauce
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil spray for cooking
  • Lemon wedges and tartar sauce for serving (recipe follows)

Total time:25 minPrep time:15 min – Cook time:10 min – Serves:4 people
Author:

Directions:

1. In a small mixing bowl, lightly beat the egg and milk together. Stir in 1/4 cup of the breadcrumbs.

2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the mustard, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, Old Bay, hot sauce, salt, and pepper. Gently fold in the crab meat and breadcrumb/egg mixture to combine all.

3. Preheat the air fryer to 375°F for 3 minutes.

4. Place the remaining 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs on a plate. Shape the crab mixture into 4 round patties. Coat them in the remaining breadcrumbs.

5. Spray or brush both sides of the crab cakes lightly with olive oil. Place the cakes in the basket or on the crisper plate of the air fryer. You might have to cook in 2 batches. Set the timer for 5 minutes. At 5 minutes, carefully turn over the cakes and reset the timer for another 5 minutes. The cakes should be golden brown and crisp. Continue cooking if necessary.

6. Serve the crab cakes with tartar sauce (instructions below) and lemon wedges.

Gluten-Free Air Fryer Crab Cakes (Paleo and Keto)

Gluten-free crab cakes in an air fryer

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound lump crab meat, shells picked out
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 TBS mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup finely minced celery
  • 1 TBS minced fresh parsley
  • 1 scallion, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil spray for cooking
  • Lemon wedges and wasabi mayonnaise for serving (recipe follows)

Total time: 25 min + 30 minutes chillingPrep time: 15 min – Cook time: 10 min – Serves: 4 people

Directions:

1. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, mayonnaise, and mustard. Stir in the crab and set aside.

2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the almond meal with the celery, parsley, scallion, Old Bay, salt, and pepper. Gently fold in the crab and egg mixture to combine well.

3. Preheat the air fryer to 375°F for 3 minutes.

4. Shape the crab mixture into 4 patties. Place them on a plate and refrigerate for 30 minutes so they firm up.

5. Spray or brush both sides of the crab cakes lightly with olive oil. Place the cakes in the basket or on the crisper plate of the air fryer. You might have to cook in 2 batches. Set the timer for 5 minutes. At 5 minutes, carefully turn over the cakes and reset the timer for another 5 minutes. The cakes should be golden brown and cooked through. Continue cooking if necessary.

6. Serve the crab cakes with wasabi mayonnaise (instructions below) and lemon wedges.

Two delicious sauces for the crab cakes

Tartar Sauce

Tartar sauce recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup good mayonnaise
  • 2 TBS minced pickles or cornichons
  • 1 TBS white wine vinegar
  • 1 TBS capers
  • 1 tsp grainy mustard
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Total time: 5 minServes: 4 people

Directions:

1. Place all the ingredients in a mini chopper or food processor. Pulse a few times until well combined. It is okay to be a little chunky.

2. Serve with your crab cakes.

Wasabi Mayonnaise (Paleo and Keto)

Wasabi Mayonnaise recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup compliant mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon wasabi paste
  • 1 tsp minced chives
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt or celery salt

Total time: 5 minServes: 4 people

Directions:

1. In a small mixing bowl, combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice, and wasabi. Mix until smooth. Fold in the chives and salt.

2. Serve a dollop on top of your crab cakes.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *