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Nov 15, 2008 07:26 AM

crab cakes unhealthy?

I was always under the impression that crab cakes were considered unhealthy. however, i got a craving for them recently and decided to make my first attempt at them. here is the recipe i plan to use:

1 lb lump crab meat
1/2 panko breadcrumbs
2 eggs
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp old bay seasoning
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp mustard

When i add up the total calories and divide by 8 cakes at the least they are only 100 calories each. What gives? Is it that the cakes in restaurants use a lot more breadcrumbs and mayo or is my impression of crab cakes as unhealthy incorrect?

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  1. I think a large part is that they are fried . . .

    1. The crabcakes you're making are very small.

      At Ruby Tuesday (I picked them because I knew I could get nutrition info easily from their website) their Jumbo Lump Crab Burger is 1031 calories, 62 grams of fat. That includes the bun and any sauces but no side items.

      5 Replies
      1. re: ccbweb

        Certainly isn't the crab meat, must be a lot of filler and sauce to get up to 1K cals.

        1. re: ccbweb

          I agree. One lb of crab and 1/2 cup of panko for 8 cakes is really small. For an entree sized portion (perhaps not as large as the Ruby Tuesday one), you're probably going to need to eat about three of those. And the OP's calculations don't include the oil you're frying them in. So for about three crabcakes (including the oil), you're talking about at least 600 calories. I'm guessing if you want to cook the crabcakes in oil like how it's done at restaurants, they probably use at least 1 TBS (120 calories) of oil per crabcake of that size.

          1. re: Miss Needle

            well, i plan to make crab cakes between appetizer and entree size so i figured that should yield about 8ish and then to bake/broil them.

            1. re: fldhkybnva

              I made crab cakes last night, and I think they are fine from a fat standpoint. I used 1/2 lb of crab claw meat, very small stalk of interior celery, 1/2 a small red pepper, both diced, about 1/4 cup panko, 2 Tbs reduced fat Dukes mayo, 1 egg, fresh parsley, squeeze of lime, black pepper. Shaped and dipped both sides in another apprx 2 Tbs panko + 2 tbs flour. ('cause I ran out of panko) Fried them in about 1 tsp. of butter (so...5 fat grams there) in a non-stick pan.

              it made 7 small cakes, which served 2. I lined the plate w/ arugula and served it w/ yellow tomato (the last one from my non-deceased garden...and which interestingly tastes just like a grocery store tomato, since it was picked green and ripened in the house for 3 weeks) salsa.

              So...just like EVERYTHING, they deliberately make it a fat bomb in restaurants because they think that's what people like. I could have put more mayo as filler and it would have been easier to form the patties, then I could have fried it in 1/2 inch of butter... the panko would have turned a prettier golden brown and it would have had that delicious taste of butter...up to a point...and then it would just taste like grease, which is what many (if not most) restaurant crab cakes taste like to me.

        2. Like anything, they are only unhealthy if you eat them three times a day seven days a week. As an occasional meal, even for a dieter, there's nothing at all wrong with them.

          1. It depends on the individual. If you're under severe dietary restrictions. avoid. Otherwise, it's little different than the occasional breakfast with fried eggs, bacon, hash browns, toast, butter and jam. Actually, your crab cakes seem healthier.

            1. Well, your numbers are a little off if we're talking your average sized crabcake (which I know you are not in this particular case, but your question seemed to be posed generally). 1 lb of crabmeat -- if you don't use filler -- is going to get you 6 average sized crabcakes, max. So the calories count per cake would be higher.

              But not too much higher. For the most part you are right. Crabcakes are a great, low calorie option, since the high calorie ingredients get spread throughout each cake. As others have noted, it's the frying that usually bumps up the calorie count. But since I, like you, broil mine using almost the exact same recipe (less one egg, cracker meal or one slice of de-crusted white bread intead of panko, and way more Old Bay), I definitely think of my homemade cakes as a guilt-free food.