IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Crabcakes with Orange-Chive Tartar Sauce

Cook Time:
15 mins
Prep Time:
15 mins
4 crabcakes

Chef notes

I love these crabcakes because they are light, fresh and creamy, not laden with tons of filler. The sauce is a fun take on a traditional tartar sauce, and the added citrus is nice and bright.

Technique tip: Chill the crabcakes so they firm up for easier frying. The sauce can be made one day in advance; store in the refrigerator.

Swap option: Use a sweet onion instead of shallots.


Orange-Chive Tartar Sauce (makes about 1½ cups)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 10 cornichons, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chives, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • tablespoons canola oil, plus more for shallow frying
  • 2 large shallots, finely diced (about 1¼ cups)
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish, drained
  • 1/2 tablespoon Calabrian chile paste
  • 1/2 lemon, finely zested
  • 1/4 orange, finely zested
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over
  • 2 tablespoons Wondra flour, plus more for frying


For the orange-chive tartar sauce:


In a medium-sized bowl, stir the mayonnaise, orange zest, orange juice, vinegar, cornichons, capers and chives to combine.


Season with salt and pepper, to taste.


Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to let the flavors meld before; garnish with chives before serving.

For the crabcakes:


In a medium sauté pan, heat the canola oil until it begins to shimmer over medium-high heat.


Add the shallots and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 4 minutes.


Transfer the shallots to a large bowl and add the mayonnaise, mustard, horseradish, chile paste, lemon zest and orange zest, and gently stir to combine.


Season with salt and pepper, to taste.


Add the crabmeat to the bowl, sprinkle the flour over the top and gently mix until just combined.


Divide the batter into 4 equal portions and form into cakes.


Transfer the crabcakes to a parchment-lined sheet pan, loosely cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour and up to overnight.


Pour 1/2- to 3/4-inch of canola oil (enough to come halfway up the crabcakes) into a deep cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven and heat over medium heat to 325 F on a deep-fry thermometer.


Spread some flour on a plate and season it with salt and pepper.


Carefully dredge the chilled crabcakes in the flour and tap off the excess.


Working in batches, fry the cakes on both sides until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side.


Transfer to a paper towel-lined sheet pan and season with a bit of salt; serve immediately.