Valentine’s Day Appetizer: Crab Cakes

finished crab cake

Recently, a great suggestion came my way from an old friend who asked me to come up with a Valentine’s Day menu for total noms. Usually, my boyfriend and I will go out to a restaurant on v-day… so I figured, why not create a restaurant-quality three-course meal instead of going out this year? Both of us love to go to steakhouses, especially for special occasions, so I decided to bring out my inner Argentinian and craft up a super luxe menu for me and my sweetie.

One of my favorite appetizers is crab cakes- but I never thought to try making them from scratch. Turns, out these little guys are super easy to make, and by making them smaller, they are the perfect size for a starting plate for any meal.

chopped scallions

Nice and light, these crab cakes get their kick from some crushed red pepper, lemon and minced scallions. I adjusted the recipe I found from and added my own twist- a panko crust to make the cakes super crispy on the outside but moist and flaky on the inside. Yum!

So without further adieu, let’s kick off this Valentine’s Day menu. First up, the appetizer: quick ‘n easy crab cakes with a kick!

Valentine’s Day Crab Cakes

Makes 12 small-sized crab cakes

crab cake ingredients


  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon minced green onions
  • 8 ounces crabmeat
  • 1/2 cup crushed Ritz crackers
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon butter


1. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg, mayonnaise, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, tarragon, and scallions. Gently stir in crabmeat, being careful not to break up meat. Gradually mix in cracker crumbs, adding until desired consistency is achieved.

flavory crab meat

2. Create around 12 patties out of the crab mixture (around 2 inches in diameter), lay out on a plate. If you have some time, refrigerate patties for at least an hour. This will help eliminate crumbling when you cook them. The good thing about this is you can prepare the crab in advance and cook quickly when it’s time to eat! Otherwise, you can move right on to step 3.

crab cake patties

3. When ready to cook, take crab cakes and coat both sides in panko. Heat butter in a pan over medium heat.

4. Place crab cakes in pan, and cook until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side.


5. Serve with tartar sauce, lemon slices, or just as is. Enjoy!

As you can see, this is just the first course of a romantic, life-changing, total noms experience. This is not an overstatement or exaggeration of any kind, I swear.

Up next- the main course! Stay tuned!

Happy Eating 🙂

5 thoughts on “Valentine’s Day Appetizer: Crab Cakes”

  1. I need you here! I had Crab Cakes for dinner tonite but yours sound so much better. Maybe you can cater our next affair at Opal Towers!! It will be St Patty’s Day! Corned Beef and Cabbage.

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