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Crab cakes are a sure crowd pleaser for an evening with friends and family. And this recipe for easy crab cakes dipped in panko crumbs is a classic that’s super simple to whip up yet looks impressive enough to serve as an appetizer for Thanksgiving, Christmas or any special occasion or as a light lunch.
I discovered this recipe during a cooking class at Arte Culinario, the insider food tours and cooking classes hosted by chef Mavi Graf in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
I’d interviewed Chref Mavi for my Hot off the Grill column and later for Lonely Planet’s Mexico: From the Source cookbook, but there hadn’t been enough space to include this recipe or the photos of her beautifully presented crab cakes.
The crab cakes were one of those easy, delicious recipes I knew I’d want to make again and again. So I was thrilled when Mavi agree to share it with us.
Shopping for Seafood at Mercado del Mar in Puerto Vallarta
Arte Culinaro Cooking School in Puerto Vallarta
Crab Cakes Served with Edible Flowers
Easy Crab Cakes: An Arte Culinario Recipe
- 500 grams crab meat
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1/2 white onion medium size
- 1/2 tsp natural sea salt
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
- 1 tsp finely chopped dill
- 2 eggs beaten
- Cooking oil as needed
- 1 egg wash
- Mix all ingredients together. Let this mixture rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before making the patties.
- Scoop tablespoons full of mixture and round them out to make patties, cover
- Dunk into egg wash, then on panko bread crumbs, then on to the hot cooking oil, about 1 minute on each side, until they are golden brown.
- Drain the crab cakes on paper towels to remove some of the cooking oil.
- You can prepare the mixture and form the patties up to one day in advance. Then just fry them before serving.
- You can make them ahead and freeze or keep them in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Just warm them up when you need them in a pre-heated oven at 170°C (375°F) for 15 minutes
Arte Culinario: During these food tours led by the lovely Mavi Graf, who also happens to be one of Puerto Vallarta’s top chefs, participants explore hidden culinary haunts meeting fish mongers, butchers and fruit vendors along the way. You’ll get a behind-the scenes look at bustling food stalls, then enjoy a cooking class featuring appetizer, entrèe and dessert with optional wine pairing.Book in advance.
Restaurants: Wondering where to eat in Puerto Vallarta? Check out our complete guide on our favourite food and drink experiences in Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit.
Where to Stay: I stayed at the new Secrets Resorts & Spa Vallarta Bay, conveniently located beachfront between Old Town Vallarta and Marina Vallarta (where Mavi’s classes take place). It’s a culinary destination in its own right and the adults-only Preferred Club offers an upgraded suite, access to an exclusive lounge, special concierge service and other luxe amenities.
More Cooking Classes: For tips on improving your culinary skills, read Choosing a Cooking Vacation
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Dividing her time between Canada, Guatemala and Mexico (or the nearest tropical beach), Michele Peterson is the founder of A Taste for Travel. Her award-winning travel and food writing has appeared in Lonely Planet’s cookbook Mexico: From the Source, National Geographic Traveler, Fodor’s and 100+ other publications.
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