Crab Cakes with Vanilla Rémoulade

Crab Cakes Recipe

Savory, satisfying, scrumptious. That’s a great alliteration to describe this crab cake recipe. A nice balance of crab and cake deliver a satisfying dish with the rémoulade rounding out the flavors.

On an educational note: We are most familiar with pure vanilla extract but it is good to know the equivalents if you’re in a pinch: 1 whole vanilla bean equals 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, or 1 tablespoon vanilla powder.–Nielsen-Massey Vanillas

LC Who Can Argue? Note

Lotsa lump crab meat. Scant bread crumbs. And some herbs and spices. You gonna argue with that?

Crab Cakes

  • Quick Glance
  • 35 M
  • 45 M
  • Serves 4
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  • For the rémoulade
  • 1 cup store bought or homemade mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons store-bought or homemade tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Nielsen-Massey Madagascar bourbon vanilla extract
  • For the polenta
  • 3 cups (or more) vegetable stock or chicken stock, preferably organic
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup polenta
  • White pepper, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • For the crab cakes
  • 12 ounces lump crab meat, canned or frozen
  • 1 cup plain dry bread crumbs, divided
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 finely chopped green onion
  • 3 tablespoons finely diced red bell pepper
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Madagascar bourbon vanilla extract
  • Nonstick cooking oil spray, for frying


  • Make the rémoulade
  • 1. Combine the mayonnaise, tomato paste and vanilla in a bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate.
  • Make the polenta
  • 2. Combine 3 cups stock, butter, and polenta in a large saucepan and stir to combine. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until thick and creamy, adding additional stock if the polenta becomes too thick. Season with white pepper and salt.
  • Make the crab cakes
  • 3. Rinse and drain the crab meat, discarding any shell fragments.
  • 4. Dump 1/2 cup bread crumbs in a shallow dish. Combine the crab meat, mayonnaise, egg, the remaining 1/2 cup bread crumbs, the green onion, bell pepper, parsley, cayenne pepper, salt, black pepper, and vanilla in a large bowl and mix well. Shape into patties. Dredge each patty in the bread crumbs to coat.
  • 5. Spray a nonstick skillet with oil and heat over medium-high heat. Place the crab cakes in the hot skillet and cook until crispy and golden brown.
  • 6. Serve the crab cakes with the polenta and rémoulade.


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