Recipe Makeover: Lighter Crab Cakes

With less filler and no deep-frying to overwhelm the crab, this iconic seafood entrée is healthier and tastier.
Kathy Kitchens Downie, RD

View Recipe: Crab Cakes with Spicy Rémoulade

Instead of being light and refreshing—what we crave this time of year—many crab cakes are heavy in calories, sodium, and saturated fat. Plus they’re often junked up with caloric and sodium-laden fillers and then deep-fried (a tasty technique, but the caramelizing powers of deep-frying overwhelm the delicate, sweet crab). Often there’s too much sauce, too. Here’s how we put this seasonal treat within nutritional reach. We lightly season sweet, premium crab and use just enough mayonnaise, low-sodium panko (Japanese breadcrumbs), and egg to bind it all together. We don’t add any salt to the mixture, to keep sodium in check. The cakes are cooked in a slick of oil instead of deep-fried. We love a good rémoulade but overhaul the condiment to add a flavor punch without as much sodium. Our version of crab cakes is ideal for the season: a ­vibrant and light dish that pairs perfectly with a crisp salad and glass of wine.

OLD WAY
734 calories per serving
8.6 grams saturated fat 
1,285 milligrams sodium
High-sodium breadcrumbs
At least ¼ cup oil absorbed in deep-frying 
Rémoulade overload

NEW WAY
292 calories per serving
1.6 grams saturated fat
571 milligrams sodium
Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1 tablespoon oil for sautéing
Just enough rémoulade

View Recipe: Crab Cakes with Spicy Rémoulade