Coconut Crusted Crab Cakes

  • Recipe courtesy of Tom Douglas
Total Time:
1 hr
20 min
Inactive Prep:
30 min
10 min
4 servings


  • 1 pound crabmeat, drained, picked clean of shell, lightly squeezed if wet
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions, both green and white parts
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red bell pepper
  • 2 teaspoons peeled and grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, plus 1 cup more for dredging
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs, plus 1 cup more for dredging
  • About 6 tablespoons peanut or canola oil
      • Sweet chili sauce
      • 4 lime wedges
      • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
      • 2 tablespoons sugar
      • 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
      • 2 tablespoons water
      • 2 teaspoons chopped cilantro leaves
      • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
      • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped lemongrass, tender white part only


      Lime Dipping Sauce, recipe follows

      Put the crabmeat in a large bowl and add the mayonnaise, scallions, bell pepper, ginger, salt, and pepper and gently combine using a rubber spatula. Add the 1/2 cup coconut and 1/2 cup panko and gently fold in. Divide the mixture into 8 mounds and form into patties about 3-inches in diameter and 3/4-inch thick. Put the patties on a large plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 30 minutes or longer.

      When you are ready to fry the crab cakes, combine the 1 cup of coconut and 1 cup of panko in a shallow container. Lightly dredge the patties in the crumbs, shaking off any excess. Put 2 large nonstick skillets with over medium high heat. Add about 3 tablespoons of oil to each pan. When the pans are hot, place 4 patties in each pan. Turn the heat down to medium and fry the cakes until golden and heated through, turning once with a spatula to brown both sides, about 4 minutes per side.

      Transfer the crab cakes to plates, serving 2 to each person, accompanied by ramekins of sweet chili sauce and lime wedges.

      Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl.

      Yield: about 1/2 cup