How to Make the Ultimate Crab Cakes for Tailgating in San Francisco

Zack Mills
Zack Mills

When it comes to tailgating prep, Michael Mina appreciates all San Francisco has to offer -- especially "such awesome farmers markets and the freshest seafood. I love using Dungeness crab for crab cakes served with a fun sauce like a piquillo pepper aioli. I’m making these crab cakes for an upcoming tailgate -- it's an easy dish to make ahead of time and great finger foods for when you're out in the parking lot.”

Maryland Crab Cakes

Where:San FranciscoWho: Michael Mina, Michael Mina Restaurant

Crab Cake Ingredients:

  • 10 lbs. lump and jumbo lump crab meat
  • 2.5 cups saltines, finely crushed
  • 10 eggs
  • 4 ½ cups mayonnaise
  • ½ cup Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup hot sauce
  • 4 lemons, juice & zest
  • 5 tablespoons Old Bay
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup tarragon, chopped
  • ¼ cup chives, minced

Tartar Sauce Ingredients:

  • 4 cups mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup finely chopped dill
  • 1/8 cup finely chopped capers
  • ¼ cup finely chopped cornichons
  • ½ cup finely minced red onion
  • 1/8 cup finely chopped tarragon
  • ¼ cup finely chopped parsley
  • ¼ cup finely minced chives
  • 1/8 cup lemon juice


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Pick through crabmeat to ensure there are no shells.
  2. Mix together all ingredients for crab cake except crabmeat and saltines until base mix comes together. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in crabmeat trying not to break up the lumps.
  3. Once crabmeat is mixed with the mayonnaise base, sprinkle in saltines and fold together. Allow mixture to rest in a refrigerator for about an hour until cold.
  4. Using a 2-ounce ice cream scoop, scoop out crab cakes on to a parchment or silpat lined sheet tray. Place crab cakes in the oven and cook until golden brown on the outside but just warmed in the middle, about 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile make tartar sauce. Using a mixing bowl and rubber spatula, mix all tartar sauce ingredients together and set aside. Can be made a day ahead of time.
  6. Prepare a breading station by placing all-purpose flour in one bowl, whisked whole eggs in the second bowl and panko breadcrumbs in the third bowl.
  7. Roll 2 ounce crab cakes into balls, bread each cake by first dredging in the flour, followed by the egg wash and finally by the panko bread crumbs. Fry the crab cakes at 350 degrees until golden brown but just warmed in the middle, about 3 minutes.