HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


sauce for crabcakes?

I'm making crabcakes either today or tomorrow. I'd like to have an easy side sauce to serve with it. Usually I do an a bumped up tartar sauce kind of thing, but I was wondering if anyone else has some simple but flavorful ideas.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Remoulade! Mayo, mustard, sour cream, minced cuke, minced red bell, some capers, a touch of lemon juice and cayenne to taste, finish with some minced parsley.

    1 Reply
    1. re: cheesemonger

      I like Emeril's recipe for Remoulade. I am sure you can find it online.

    2. I enjoy a curried sauce, but you might find it fights with the delicate flavor of the crab too much for your taste. Even so, make some up tonight and you can always keep it in the fridge, in a rubbermaid air-tight container for the next time you make fried fish:

      1/2 - 1 cup mayo
      1/2 tsp cayenne
      1/2 tsp curry powder
      pinch of salt.

      This is one that is important to make at least one day before because the spices need to melt into the mayo. Next day, taste it and adjust accordingly.

      1 Reply
      1. re: MysticYoYo

        that sauce sounds delicous! I do eat lots of fish, so I might try it next time I make salmon. How long does it last in the frig?

      2. I've done sour cream with a little minced chipotle and some of the adobo sauce. Doesn't get any easier than that. As someone else has said, though, you don't want to overwhelm the crab.

        1. These sauce recipes are typically made for Gravlax but work equally well with crab cakes.

          From Marcus Samuelsson

          Mustard Sauce:
          2 tablespoons honey mustard
          1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
          2 teaspoons sugar
          1 1/2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
          Pinch of salt
          Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
          1 tablespoon strong black coffee, cold
          3/4 cup grapeseed or canola oil
          1/2 cup chopped fresh dill

          Mustard Sauce:
          Combine the mustards, sugar, vinegar, salt, pepper, and coffee in a blender. With the machine running, gradually add the oil in a very slow, steady stream, until the mixture is thick and creamy. Transfer the sauce to a bowl, and stir in the dill. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight to allow the flavors to mingle. (Can be prepared up to one day ahead.)

          2) Gravlax Sauce Ingredients:
          1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
          1 Tablespoon sugar
          3 Tablespoons Swedish mustard (Dijon can be substituted)
          1 egg yolk
          1/4 cup olive oil
          2 Tablespoons chopped fresh dill
          salt and pepper

          Gravlax Sauce Directions:
          In a bowl, mix together the 1st 4 ingredients. Slowly whisk in the olive oil and then the dill. Salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate.

          3) For mustard sauce:
          1 tbs. sweet mustard
          1 tsp. French mustard
          2 tsp. sugar
          1 1/2 tbs. white wine vinegar
          Salt and pepper
          3/4 cup salad oil
          1/4 cup chopped dill

          1. I like a Dijonaise (sp) just some mayo, dijon mustard and some lemon juice & pepper.

            1. Not a sauce but a serving suggestion, we have them on a bed of arugala or watercress that has been tossed in a champagne/lemon vinegarette..very lovely together..the warm crab cakes with the cool, slightly bitters and hint of sweet, because I put honey in my dressing.
              Or make a ginger and rice wine vinegar dressing-
              olive oil, rice wine vinegar, sugar, fresh ginger, lemon, sea salt, pepper, a hit of soy sauce. I got this idea from Jamie Oliver.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Lori SF

                Mmmm That sounds good Lori, I might give that a try next time.

              2. a balsamic or malt vinegar reduction served with crabcakes is a nice alternative to mayo based sauces. Just slowly reduce vinegar over low heat.

                1. Mayo, a touch of tarragon, a pinch of lemon zest, and some kind of spicy -- I like Sriraca, Togarashi (sp?), or Thai chili paste; some Chalula (depending on what you put in them) or somechili oil might work well.

                  Just a little per bite though; as everyone says the crab should shine through. I find painting the plate (rather than a ramikin or a monkey dish on the side) limits it well.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Richard 16

                    Sounds delicious! I'll bet this would be good on seared scallops, too.

                  2. A restaurant in Denver used to do A&P crabcakes. A&P stood for Atlantic and Pacific. The Atlantic crab cake was served with a traditional Remoulade. The Pacific cake was served with a mango/corn/black bean/jalapeno salsa. Sauces were the base and crab cakes sat on top. Very pretty and tasty presentation.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Pampatz

                      A simple lemon aoli is good. Crab has a very delicate flavor and you don't want to overpower it.

                    2. Last year when ramps were in season, i made ramp vinaigrette for crab cakes. Just took them for a spin in the blender with honey, vinegar and olive oil. So good I made it twice. You could probably replace w/ scallions and garlic.

                      I also like Mango vinaigrette w/ crab cakes or salmon cakes.

                      1. For something really simple, I like a combination of one part whole milk yogurt to one part mayo, a squeeze of lemon juice, a little lemon zest (no pith), a smashed bit of roasted garlic, some finely chopped parsley, some chopped fresh chive, and/or tiny bit of fresh thyme. Season with salt and pepper.

                        1. I wish I had the patience to make crabcakes for myself, but I don't. If someone is paying me at work--yes, but to have to break all those shells and pick through all the meat--I wasn't born with patience cells like that. One of the best food experiences I have ever had though, was eating a crabcake at G&M's in Baltimore. Yesterday I went to the BLT Fish shack, ordered a crabcake (with a pretty tasty tartar sauce), but the crabcake was overcooked, and only so, despite there being quite a bit of crab in it.
                          Where oh where in NYC can you get a crabcake that is undeniably delicious? I can't even think about the sauce, before I get the cake right. fayefood.com

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: fayehess

                            I for one never gather crab meat, I buy the pre-shelled meat.

                          2. wasabi mayo does the trick for me.. or once I found a southwestern corn salsa type sauce- I think it had mayo base.

                            1. I am always concerned about sauces for something so delicately flavored as crab cakes. Sauces tend to over power the sweet flavor of the crab. The only sauce I would ever think of serving with crab cakes is a hollendaised sauce or bernaise... suble, delicate but not over powering. When paying the exubertant prices crab gets a pound- why overpower it with sauces.

                              1. Better-Than-Tartar Sauce

                                My husband invented this to go on cold poached lobster halves garnished with chopped chives, but it's also great on shrimp cocktails instead of cocktail sauce. I like it a lot with fried or broiled fish and ESPECIALLY WITH CRABCAKES! --anywhere you might use tartar sauce.

                                1/2 cup Grey Poupon dijon mustard
                                1/2 cup Hellmann's mayo
                                a GOOD shake of Old Bay seasoning. NOTE TO SELF: BUY NEW OLD BAY FOR THIS RECIPE. DON'T TRY TO USE WHAT YOU'VE ALREADY GOT IN YOUR CUPBOARD!!!

                                Mix all together. You can make this by the Tablespoon or by the cup, depending on how much you need.

                                1. I mix some Japanese mayo with a little Heinz chili sauce sauce and a tablespoon of tobiko (flying fish eggs).

                                  1. These are two sauces I make for crab or salmon cakes.

                                    SAUCE FOR FISH CAKES

                                    1/2 c. mayonnaise
                                    1 T. white wine vinegar
                                    1/3 cup finely chopped green onions, green part only
                                    salt and pepper to taste

                                    In a small bowl combine all of the ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate until ready to use.
                                    Yield: 3/4 cup

                                    SPECIAL SAUCE

                                    1 cup mayonnaise
                                    1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
                                    2 tablespoons honey
                                    1/4 teaspoon to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, depending upon how hot you like it

                                    In a small bowl combine all of the ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate until ready to use.
                                    Yield: 1 1/4 cups