When I think of crab, cracking a giant crab claw usually comes to mind. So do delicious, meaty crab cakes from Maine and Massachusetts. Ordering a crab cake at a restaurant will usually land you a crab cake full of carby bread crumbs or crackers. Let these Mini Low Carb Chesapeake Crab Cakes be the star of your next party! These little guys are easy, though the preparation does take a little time. I adapted this recipe from The Culinary Institute of America’s “Chesapeake Crab Cakes”.
I know people will call me crazy for this one, but I prefer crab over lobster. The lobster I’ve had in the past has often been overcooked, unseasoned and not exciting. But let’s move on to yummy sweet, succulent crab. It has ZERO carbs. It’s also high in protein, vitamins A, B and C, copper and chromium. Crab also has a high sodium content, which is great for strict keto dieters that need the extra sodium. I recommend using a jumbo lump blue crab meat if it’s available at your local store. It’s a little pricey, but crab is pricey regardless, so why not splurge a little and get the good, meaty stuff!
Holding it Together
Crab cakes typically contain breadcrumbs or crackers to hold them together and give them their crab cake texture. In place of these carby fillers, I substituted a small amount of coconut flour to slightly dry out the mix, and golden flax to give it an even consistency. Both of these choices are low in carbs, and I found the combo was the best choice for the texture a crab cake should have.
Sweat Those Shallots
The shallots are cooked in a small pan over medium low heat in a spot of oil. Cook them low and slow until they are translucent. The goal isn’t to brown or caramelize, but to soften and cook. Sweating the shallots gives them a mellow flavor that will lend itself nicely to the crab cake. Sweating the small bit of shallot is important, so don’t skip this step!
Press & Bake
After mixing everything together, it’s time to divide and conquer on a baking sheet. The trick I use to get perfect and consistently shaped cakes every time – a small cookie cutter ring. I place the empty ring on my parchment-lined baking sheet and fill it about 3/4 of the way. Press the mix down firmly into the ring while on the sheet pan. Next, lift the ring (your mix should be dense enough to stay in the ring), and gently push it out with your finger on the tray. Bake and enjoy!
Mini Low Carb Chesapeake Crab Cakes
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp shallot finely minced
- 16 oz jumbo lump crab meat
- 1 large egg
- 2 oz mayonnaise
- 1 tsp hot sauce
- 1 tbsp whole grain mustard
- 4 tbsp flat leaf parsley finely minced
- 2 tbsp chives finely minced
- 1 tbsp Old Bay seasoning
- 1 tbsp coconut flour
- 3 tbsp golden flax meal
- sub coconut flour/flax meal for 1/4 cup almond flour
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a small skillet over medium low heat, heat one tbsp of oil. Add the finely minced shallot. Slowly sweat the shallots, taking care not to caramelize or burn them. This should take about 5 minutes. Then, remove from heat and transfer to a small bowl.
Next, grab the crab and a medium mixing bowl. With your hands, transfer small amounts of crab to the mixing bowl, sifting through the crab to remove any stray pieces of shell. Discard shell pieces.
In the bowl with the crab add the shallot, mayo, egg, hot sauce, mustard, parsley, chives and old bay. Gently fold with a spatula. Next, fold in the flax and coconut (or almond flour if you prefer).
Grab the parchment-lined cookie sheet and a 1.5" round cookie cutter. With a spoon, scoop out about 1 tbsp of mix. Pack into the 1.5" round cookie cutter. Press the mixture gently through the cookie cutter and on the cookie sheet. Repeat this until the cookie sheet is full. You should end up with 26 to 30 crab cakes.
Finally bake the crab cakes in the oven for 15 minutes. **Optional - give the cakes a quick sear in a hot, lightly oiled skillet if desired**
Top with red pepper roulade and chives, or serve along side a bowl of lemon aioli.
Nutrition Facts Per Crab Cake:
Calories: 45 | Total Fat: 3 g | Cholesterol: 24 mg | Total Carbohydrates: 1 g | Sugars: 0 g | Net Carbs 0 g | NET CARBS: 1 g | Protein: 3 g