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Dec 2, 2011 05:17 PM

Substitute shrimp for crab in crab cakes?

I don't care for crab or lobster. (I know, I know, don't even bother to try & convince me. They are just giant water bugs to me. Yuck!) Has anyone tried using shrimp in a crab-type cake?

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  1. Yes, coarsely chop the shrimp. A food processor works well for this. Here's a recipe specifically for shrimp cakes:
    But, any crab cake recipe should translate well with shrimp.
    Shrimp cakes are a cheaper and more available alternative to crab.

    1. Shrimp cakes are definitely doable, but I don't think you can easily replace shrimp in a traditional crab cake recipe. They have entirely different textures and need their own methods to be good.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Terrie H.

        I agree. Most crab cakes recipes call for precooked crab, which is very dry and does not stick to itself very much, while shrimp is very sticky. I would guess (and this is just a guess) that crab cake recipes made with shrimp would be very dense and hard.

        I'd look around for different shrimp cake recipes. I bet you'll be able to find one you like, though I've never made them and can't really reccomend a recipe.

        What you can do is substitute crab in crab cakes for left over (or canned) salmon.

        1. re: luciaannek

          I've never seen a crab cake recipe, nor have I ever made one (using wonderful Chesapeake lump) using cooked crab. Good crab meat is moist and sweet when cooked.
          YMMV, but I wanted to add my experience for the OP.

          1. re: monavano

            You make crab cakes using raw crab meat? I haven't seen that method and am curious!

            1. re: monavano

              I was under the impression that unless you're buying live crabs (which are not available where I live) you're getting cooked crab meat. Isn't the lump crab meat that comes in the clear packages already cooked?

              1. re: luciaannek

                yes, you are absolutely right.
                trad blue crab crab cakes are just crab, mayo, egg, cracker or bread crumbs. Shrimp defly would not work. Now shrimp PANCAKES or fritters, which call for a batter with shrimp in it- that's how you do a shrimp version.

                now that i say that, i am thinking of the famous shrimp and taro fritters at dim dum. they are made from ground/pureed (w/ some chunks) raw shrimp combined w/ egg white and ?, made into a patty, covered w/ julienned taro, and deep fried. but it still is a fritter and not anything like a crab cake.

        2. I've never made them but I can't imagine why you couldn't. The above recipe looks good.

          Pretty sure I've seen them on menus in Charleston, SC. Think I've seen them in an old Gullah cookbook. That's pretty much what coastal folk might do with smaller shrimp..mince, form little cakes with something to bind it together, sautee, enjoy.

          1 Reply
          1. re: 9lives

            Sorry, friends, but it won't work. I once tried making a crab cake with chopped shrimp and the result was horrible; you really do need the flaky texture of crab to keep the cakes from ending up as gloppy, gelatinous masses of crustacean protein.

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

     rock! I follow your logs and always appreciate your imput on different questions here. Thank-You