Crab cakes with roasted Poblano hollandaise

Crab cakes with roasted Poblano hollandaise
Makes 6 servings

These restaurant-style crab cakes boast large pieces of crab, shrimp, and scallops for a brunch that feels like a special occasion. Mixing some of the bread crumbs into the crab mixture is the secret to cakes that hold together without being starchy. Coating them in the Japanese-style coarse, flaky bread crumbs known as panko, and allowing them to stand a few minutes to mingle with the filling beneath results in a perfect, crunchy crust that doesn't fall off when you dig into the crab cake.

This is the recipe I use when I want to pull out all the stops for my guests. It is always a treat for out-of-towners who have never experienced Dungeness crab. It makes a great brunch or lunch, or eliminate the hollandaise and serve miniature crab cakes as hors d'oeuvres. These are equally at home morning, noon, or night. For brunch, top each crab cake with a poached or fried egg before cloaking with the hollandaise. Or make them into small cakes as a party hors d'oeuvre and serve the poblano hollandaise on the side for dipping.

Also, you can substitute lobster or halibut for some of the seafood if you like, or use all crab.


  • 1 pound crab meat, coarsely chopped (fresh is best, but you can substitute good-quality canned crab)
  • 1/2 pound shrimp, peeled, deveined, and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 pound medium size sea scallops, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup minced scallion
  • 1/2 cup minced celery
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain or Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 cups panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Oil, for baking sheet
  • About 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, for brushing cakes
  • Roasted Poblano Hollandaise
  1. Mix together the crab meat, shrimp, scallops, mayonnaise, scallion, celery, mustard, and cayenne in a large bowl until everything is well combined. Stir in [1/2] cup of the bread crumbs. Refrigerate for 10 minutes to allow the crumbs to absorb any liquid from the seafood.

  2. Form the mixture into 12 balls, then press and turn the patties in your cupped hands to smooth the sides and form uniform, hockey puck-shaped patties about three-quarters of an inch thick.

  3. Put the bread crumbs into a bowl and, one at a time, put a crab cake into the crumbs and turn it to coat all sides, then cup it again in your hands, gently pressing the crumbs into the surface of the cake. Set the coated crab cakes, evenly spaced, on an oiled baking sheet for 20 minutes to allow the crumbs to adhere.

  4. While the cakes sit, preheat the oven to 400oF. After the cakes have rested, brush the tops lightly with the melted butter, then bake until golden brown and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Alternatively, you can sauté them in a skillet in butter or oil.

  5. To serve, place two crab cakes on a plate and cloak generously with the Roasted Poblano Hollandaise.
Roasted Poblano hollandaise
Makes 6 servings

In this twist on a classic, I flavor a classic hollandaise sauce with roasted poblano chiles for a sauce that kicks back. The sauce is great over poached eggs or drizzled over quesadillas. It's the perfect addition to the Crab Cakes on page TK.


  • 1 medium poblano chile
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 8 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Roast the chile over a gas flame or under the broiler until it is blackened on all sides. Remove from the heat and place on a plate or board and cover with a bowl. When it is cool enough to handle, pull and scrape off most of the peel, then pull out the stem and seeds. Cut the chile into 1/8-inch dice.

  2. Whisk the egg yolks with 1 tablespoon of water in a medium metal mixing bowl. Place the bowl over a saucepan of just-simmering water. The bowl should not be touching the water. Whisk continuously until the yolks are frothy. Add the butter a tablespoon at a time and continue to whisk until it thickens into a creamy-thick sauce. Whisk in the lemon juice. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and stir in the roasted poblano. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

"Without Reservations," by Joey Altman

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