Mrs. Duvall's Pan-Fried Crab Cakes

Total Time
Prep 10 mins
Cook 30 mins

This recipe is the actor Robert Duvall's mother's recipe for crab cakes, and I think it is the best one there is. The crab cakes are small so they have the perfect ratio of crunchy exterior to creamy crab interior. Please use the best crabmeat you can find for best results. I use saltines for the soda crackers. This recipe was originally published in a 2003 issue of Food & Wine.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. In a medium bowl, combine the mayonnaise, onion, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, salt and cayenne pepper. Fold in the crabmeat and 1/4 cup of the cracker crumbs. Shape the mixture into 16 cakes about 1 inch thick. Coat the crab cakes with the remaining cracker crumbs and transfer to a baking sheet lined with wax paper.
  2. In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in 2 tablespoons of the oil. When the foam subsides, add half of the crab cakes and cook over moderate heat until golden and crisp, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Drain the crab cakes on paper towels and keep them warm in a low oven. Cook the remaining crab cakes in the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and 2 tablespoons oil. Serve with lemon wedges.


Most Helpful

I have been using this recipe since the 1980's and EVERYONE that has has the luck to have dinner when I made these crab cakes thought they were the MOST delicious crab cakes they ever had ever. ate ever!!!!! Everyone uses bread crumbs and it it is the soda crackers that make this great!!

suzesully April 16, 2013

This recipe is the best. I first saw Robert Duvall on TV where he made these. Have made them many times and they are the BEST!

Mary3ll3n February 16, 2009

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a