Full disclosure! There is zero crab meat in these “bootleg” crab cakes. Have you seen the price of crab lately? If you can afford crab go ahead and substitute crab for the imitation crab or ‘surimi’ I used. Us regular folks will be fine enjoying these tasty, affordable seafood treats.

Crab Cake Ingredients

  • A pound imitation crab
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup mayo
  • 1 tbsp. chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp. chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp Old Bay
  • 1 tbsp. chopped chives
  • a tbsp. minced red onion
  • and egg

Sriracha Tartar Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup mayo
  • 1 tbsp. chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. chopped dill pickles
  • 1 tbsp. chopped capers
  • a clove of finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. Sriracha sauce

“Crab Cakes”

First of all, don’t be fooled. These “Crab Cakes” will never taste like actual crab. Surimi is way sweeter than crab, nothing you add will make them taste the same. Let’s embrace the actual mellow flavor, and spice it up with some Sriracha sauce.

First, we need to do some serious knife work. Eyeball 1/4 of your one pound of surimi, and set that aside. Get a large knife and start chopping the rest into fine pieces.

Now take 1/4 you set aside and give that a rough chop, having some nice chunks in the crab cakes will be a nice textural addition.

Next, combine the rest of the crab cake ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Then add all the crab and mix well.

Next, we will form the patties. You can use any method you like. Personally, I used my trusty 1/2 cup measuring cup. Filling it then pressing to form a solid patty, I gently tap the patty out into my hand. Place them on a plate lined with wax paper.


Now, because we kept the filler low, we need to take measures to ensure these bootleg crabby patties hold together. I tried this several times. The best thing here is a good hard freeze. So into the freezer, they go, for at least an hour. They need to be firm, and not “squish” at all when you give them a pinch.

Trust me your patience will pay off. I had 2 batches fall completely apart in the pan. Only when I just walked away and let them really set in the freezer did I get the results I was after.

Let’s Make Some Sauce

This part is easy and will distract us from checking the patties every 2 minutes.
Just combine all the ingredients in the Sriracha Tartar Sauce list.

Keep in mind you can always adjust the level of heat with this. Try adding 1/2 of the sriracha and give it a taste, then add more if you like. Keep going a little at a time till you hit that sweet spot that gives you the heat you need.

Cooking the Crabby Patties

Ok, you waited at least an hour, right? The patties are really firm, with no squish, right? If you hesitated to answer either of those questions put em back in the freezer!

Now that we have exercised our patience muscle. It’s time to fry these suckers up.

In a medium skillet over medium-high heat: add 1/4 cup of vegetable oil and 4 tbsp. butter. When the butter has melted and is foamy add the crab cakes carefully.

Let them sizzle for 3-4 minutes, then flip them very carefully. Now grab a big spoon and baste for another 3-4 minutes. This will result in a butter crispy crust on the surface of the patty.

Golden brown, and delicious

I garnish with a quick pile of mixed greens, tossed in a lemon-herb vinaigrette. You, of course, can garnish however you like.

Bootleg Crab Cakes with Sriracha Tartar Sauce

Chef Eric
Full disclosure! There is zero crab in these "bootleg" crab cakes. Have you seen the price of crab lately? If you can afford crab go ahead and substitute crab for the imitation crab or 'surimi' I used. Us regular folks will be fine enjoying these tasty, affordable seafood treats.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Freezing the patty’s 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 25 mins
Course Appetizer, Dinner
Cuisine American, European
Servings 6 Pattys

Ingredients
  

Crab Cakes

  • 1 pound imitation crab meat (surimi)
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup mayo
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 tsp Old Bay
  • 1 tbsp chopped chives
  • 1 tbsp minced red onion
  • 1 egg

Sriracha Tartar Sauce

  • 1 1/4 cup mayo
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp chopped dill pickle
  • 1 tbsp chopped capers
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1-2 tbsp Sriracha sauce

Instructions
 

Crab Cakes

  • finely chop 3/4 of the imitation crab meat, rough chop the remaining 1/4
  • combine the rest of the 'crab cake' ingredients in a medium mixing bowl, then add the crab and mix well
  • form patty's, and place on a wax paper lined plate or tray
  • freeze for at least 1 hour
  • in a skillet over medium heat add 1/4 cup vegetable oil, and 4 tbsp butter. When butter is melted and foamy add cakes, and cook on each side for 3-4 minutes till golden brown
  • after flipping patty's baste with the butter, and oil in the pan for the full duration of cooking the second side.
  • remove from pan onto a paper towel lined plate till ready to serve

Sriracha Tartar Sauce

  • in a small bowl combine all the Tarter Sauce ingredients and mix well.
  • refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving

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