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Crab Cake Po' Boys with Lemon Aioli

These massive sandwiches combine crispy crab cakes and a tangy, honey-sweetened mayonnaise on a crunchy baguette. It's the kind of crave-inducing food that owners Joshua Henderson and Danny Sizemore create on the fly in their vintage trailer in Seattle called Skillet.

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  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon minced thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons minced piquillo peppers (about 3)
  • 1 tablespoon minced cornichons (about 4)
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over
  • 2 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Four 8-inch hoagie rolls or baguettes, split
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced


  1. In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise with the lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, parsley, thyme and honey and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir the mayonnaise with the piquillo peppers, cornichons, shallot, egg, parsley, mustard, salt and lemon zest. Season with pepper and fold in the crab and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the panko. Form the mixture into 2-inch cakes about 1/4 inch thick; you should have about 12 crab cakes.
  3. Spread the remaining 2 cups of panko on a large plate. Coat the crab cakes with the panko, pressing to help the panko adhere.
  4. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1/4 inch of vegetable oil until shimmering. Fry the crab cakes in 2 batches, turning once, until golden on both sides, about 6 minutes total. Drain on paper towels.
  5. Meanwhile, preheat the broiler. Spread the hoagie rolls with the butter and toast under the broiler until the edges are golden and crisp, about 1 minute. Spread the rolls with a generous amount of the lemon aioli. Lay 3 crab cakes on the bottom half of each roll and top with shredded lettuce and sliced tomatoes. Close the sandwiches and serve immediately.

Make Ahead

The recipe can be prepared through Step 2 and refrigerated overnight.

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