Moroccan-Spiced Crab Cakes

READY IN: 35mins
Recipe by NcMysteryShopper

These succulent crab cakes and the accompanying cilantro dressing are adapted from Matthew Kenney's Mediterranean Cooking (Chronicle Books). The Cilantro-Orange Dressing makes about One Cup. The dressing can be refrigerated for up to 4 hours. Let return to room temperature before serving.

Top Review by I Cook Therefore I

I was luke warm with these, but DH loved them so I'm comprimising and giving a 4-star review. They didn't really want to stay together to cook in the pan very well, it seemed to me that there needed to be more of a binding agent in this recipe. I thought the dressing was kind of bland. I was anticipating there to be a LOT of flavor from the spices in these crabcakes, but to me the overall flavor was of crab, not the different flavors together. My DH really liked that about this dish, I, however, have a hard time eating straight crab, I like crab, but I like crab with stuff, not as the overwhelming flavor of a dish. So, for those of you out there who like really crabby crab cakes, these are for you, just personal taste that I wanted more of the other flavors to stand out. Thanks for posting!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Cilantro-Orange Dressing.
  2. In a saucepan, boil the orange juice over moderately high heat until reduced to 2 tablespoons, about 8 minutes. Let cool, then transfer to a blender.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small dry skillet, toast the cumin seeds over moderate heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Grind the cumin in a mortar or spice grinder.
  4. Add the cumin to the blender along with the cilantro and lemon juice and blend until smooth. With the blender on, add the canola oil in a thin, steady stream. Season with salt and cayenne.
  5. Crab Cakes.
  6. Heat the olive oil in a nonstick skillet. Add the red pepper and celery and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the vegetables are just softened, about 2 minutes. Add the scallions and ginger and cook until the scallions are wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the cumin, turmeric and cardamom and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the cream and boil until reduced by half, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool slightly.
  7. Add the crabmeat to the cream mixture along with 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon of the bread crumbs, 1 1/2 tablespoons each of the parsley and chives, and the lemon zest. Season with cayenne and salt and mix gently but thoroughly.
  8. With moistened hands, shape the crab mixture into 8 cakes, using a scant 1/3 cup for each; the cakes should be about 3 inches wide and 3/4 inch thick. Spread the remaining bread crumbs on a large plate. Coat the crab cakes with the bread crumbs and transfer to a baking sheet lined with wax paper.
  9. Heat 2 tablespoons of the canola oil in a medium nonstick skillet. Add half of the crab cakes and cook until browned and crisp, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter. Repeat with the remaining canola oil and crab cakes. Arrange the crab cakes on plates, drizzle with the Cilantro-Orange Dressing and garnish with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon each of the parsley and chives.

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