Adapted from a recipe I created for Fine Cooking magazine’s Make It Tonight column (30 minutes or less from start to finish)
Corn—both in the cakes and as a garnish—along with cilantro, lettuce, and lime, gives this classic a slight Tex-Mex spin. On the side, serve tortilla chips to scoop up every mouthful.
- 1 pound cooked lump crab meat, picked over and patted dry
- 1 1/3 cups panko
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1 cup corn kernels, divided (from about 1 ear)
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup neutral-flavored cooking oil, such as canola, sunflower, or safflower
- 4 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus sprigs for garnish
- 1 lime
- 1 cup sour cream or Mexican crema
In a large bowl, combine the crab, panko, salt, and 3/4 cup of the corn. Gently stir in the eggs. With damp hands, shape the mixture into 8 cakes, each about 3/4-inch thick (arranging the cakes on the back side of a rimmed baking sheet, or other similarly large, flat surface, will make it easy to slide them into the skillet).
In each of two large skillets over medium heat, warm the oil. Carefully slide 4 cakes into each skillet. Cook until golden brown and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. (Alternately, use one skillet and cook the cakes in batches.)
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the lettuce and cilantro and arrange the mixture on plates. Zest and juice the lime. In a small bowl, combine the zest, juice, sour cream, and salt to taste.
Top the plates with the crab cakes and sour cream mixture. Garnish with the remaining 1/4 cup corn and cilantro sprigs and serve.