Crab Cakes: an easy recipe from Arte Culinario

Sometimes, everything I love doesn’t make it into print. So, although news on Arte Culinario, the insider food tours and cooking classes by chef Mavi Graf in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, made it into my  Hot off the Grill column in Taste and Travel magazine, there wasn’t room enough to include the recipe or extra photos. It had been great fun shopping for ingredients in Puerto Vallarta’s Mercado del Mar and hanging out in Mavi’s kitchen. And the crab cakes? Amazing.

Deals at Mercado del Mar

Deals at Mercado del Mar in Puerto Vallarta

Table for two at Arte Culinario

Table for two at Arte Culinario – Mavi grows the edible flowers in patio containers. Brilliant!

The crab cakes were one of those easy, delicious recipes I knew I’d want to make again and again, so here it is, in all its tasty glory:

A work of art

Crab cakes as art

Crab Cakes: an easy recipe from Arte Culinario
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 4
Author: Mavi Graf
  • 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
  1. Mix all ingredients together. Let this mixture rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before making the patties.
  2. Scoop tablespoons full of mixture and round them out to make patties, cover
  3. 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.
  4. You can make them ahead and freeze or keep them in an airtight container for up to 3 days and warm them up when you need them in a pre-heated oven at 170°C (375°F) for 15 minutes


Travel Planner

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.

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

Michele Peterson
Michele Peterson
Dividing her time between Toronto, Mexico and Guatemala (or the nearest tropical beach), Michele Peterson is an award-winning writer, blogger, editor and publisher who specializes in travel, cuisine and luxury lifestyles.
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Showing 14 comments
  • Lesley Peterson

    I’d love to take this food tour in Puerto Vallarta and try all the fresh seafood and edible flowers. Scrumptious photos!

  • Colleen Friesen

    Great looking crab cakes, especially if one was sitting at that particular table! Nice photos and great sounding recipe. Thanks Michele!

  • Carol Perehudoff

    If only I cooked. Actually, I sometimes cook but I’d rather you made them for me. Better yet, I’ll go to Mexico …

  • esperanza

    The crab cake, pansies , cosmos and star fruit look almost too pretty to eat. What a treat it would be to go to market and then sit on the balcony at the Arte Culinario!

  • Irene S. Levine

    Food tours and cooking classes offer so much more than than—they give travelers a taste of the city. Hope I get to Puerto Vallarta again.

  • Neva @ Retire for the Fun of it

    This chef really creates art for the eyes as well as the taste buds. The fact that he grows his edible flowers for his food is really taking control of organic eating. Does he grow dandelions just for eating too?

  • Carole Terwilliger Meyers

    Sounds yummy! Here’s a SuperSimple margarita recipe to serve with the crab cakes,

  • Michelle

    This chefs presentation is art and so beautiful! I’ve never taken a cooking class while traveling, but I’m definitely inspired now!

  • Anita @ No Particular Place To Go

    Mmmmmm! I especially love the flowers arranged with the cakes. A feast for the eyes and mouth!

  • santafetraveler

    The crab cakes look yummy- but I have no clue what 500 grams of crab is equal to-lol.

  • Dyanne@TravelnLass

    lol Michele – when I saw that wee “-crab-cakes…” in your link on BTB facebook group – I was helpless but to click it. 😉

    In a word: Yummers!

    I only wish… not sure I’m gonna find any fresh crab here on this mountain top in the Andes (Cuenca, Ecuador, my new “home”). Ah well, maybe when I get down the coast…

  • Kristin Henning

    Sounds tasty! Now all I need is a kitchen. I’m saving this for that ‘someday.’

  • Lisa Richardson

    Would love the opportunity to taste the local crab cakes in PV. I’ve never found any to compare with Maryland crab cakes & the prerequisite Old Bay seasoning, although the crab is rarely from the Chesapeake nowadays.

  • Suzanne Fluhr

    Coincidentally, we had crab cakes for dinner this evening. However, I cannot claim to have made them myself. We’re also spoiled by some crab cakes we get at a kind of shabby looking place in Brigantine, NJ. Pretty much all crab and you can get them broiled or fried. We’ve never been to Puerto Vallarta. Maybe someday—uno se puede esperar.

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