Mrs. Duvall's Crab Cakes

Robert Duvall's love of crab cakes stems from his childhood in Annapolis, Maryland, where crab is required eating. When he bought The Rail Stop in The Plains, Virginia, he passed on his mother's recipe and gave chef Tom Kee permission to update it. But Kee thought the crab cakes were perfect just as they are.

Plus: More Seafood Recipes and Tips

  • Servings: 4


  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 pound lump crabmeat, picked over
  • 1 cup finely crushed soda crackers
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

How to make this recipe

  1. In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, onion, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, salt and cayenne. 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, then keep warm in a low oven. Repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and 2 tablespoons of oil and cook the remaining crab cakes. Serve with lemon wedges.

Make Ahead

The crab cakes can be prepared through Step 1 and refrigerated overnight.

Suggested Pairing

All these cakes need is an oaky California Chardonnay.

Contributed By Published March 2000

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