jalapeno crab cakes


Crab Cakes with Jalapeño Aioli

Crab Cakes with Jalapeño Aioli

Croquetas de Cangrejo con Aioli de Jalapeño

Recipe Yield

6 servings

Cooking time

21 minutes

Rate this recipe

4.84 from 6 votes


For the crab cakes:

  • 1 jalapeño or serrano chile seeded and finely chopped, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves and upper part of stems
  • 3 tablespoons breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or to taste
  • 1 pound jumbo lump crab meat cartilage removed and meat broken into smaller pieces with your hands
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

For the jalapeño aioli:

  • 1 jalapeño or serrano chile seeded optional, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 cup mayonnaise store bought or homemade
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt or to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

For garnish:

  • 2 cups watercress
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • kosher or coarse sea salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

To Prepare

To make the crab cakes:

  • In a mixing bowl, combine the jalapeño, lime juice, cilantro, breadcrumbs, egg, mayonnaise, salt and pepper, and mix well. Gently fold in the crab meat until blended and the mixture holds together. Using your hands, shape into six 3-inch cakes, about 1-inch thick and somewhat flattened on the top and bottom.
  • Set a large 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat and add the butter and oil. When the butter begins to foam, add as many crab cakes as will fit without crowding. Cook 2 to 3 minutes per side. The outside should be lightly browned and the inside cooked, but moist and firm when pressed with a finger. Remove the crab cakes from the pan.

To make the jalapeño aioli:

  • Place the jalapeño, lime juice, mayonnaise, cilantro, salt and pepper in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.

To garnish:

  • In a medium bowl, mix the watercress with the lime juice and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss.


29comments inCrab Cakes with Jalapeño Aioli

  1. Kaileigh

    Feb 01

    I found this recipe in your cookbook and made it for dinner over the weekend. We both loved it!! I really liked that the binders were minimal so you could get the delicious flavor of the crab. The aioli was great as well! It made a lot so we were able to eat it on several things and as a dip for the few days following. I have tried several of your recipes as my boyfriend is Mexican and I’m trying to learn to cook for him, they have all been a hit!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Feb 03

      So glad you guys are having fun in the kitchen Kaileigh 🙂

  2. mr. z

    Aug 04

    Thank you! I feel I can not cook without your help! This was a wonderful recipe.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Aug 15

      Aw, I am sure you can, thanks so much Mr. Z!!

  3. Angie C

    Mar 27

    I love your cooking show your the best chefs on creat

    1. Pati Jinich

      Mar 27

      Aw thank you so much, Angie!

  4. Bobbie S.

    Dec 31

    I’m making these for New Years Eve, tomorrow! They look and sound amazing! Thanks for the recipe 🙂

    1. Pati

      Dec 31

      Have a very Happy New Year, Bobbie!

  5. Dolores Colunga-Stawitz

    Sep 16

    Gracias Pati, this looks like a great recipe. My husband is excited for me to prepare these. Abrazos siempre.

    1. Pati

      Oct 01

      Hope you both love the crab cakes, Dolores!

  6. Anonymous

    Jan 27

    You are my most favorite chef ! I think you’re a very gooswith all your instructions, sometimes I’m not sure about the names of spices you use in your food ,I would like for PBS,to write the ingredients beside your on the screen as I watch you make your recipes. You are such a sweet lady and you have such a wonderful family .
    I hope to get your cook books soon !☆☆☆☆☆

    1. Pati

      Jan 29

      Thank you so much! I hope you enjoy the cookbooks!

  7. Jetta Olson

    Jul 10

    Pati!! You are outstanding-your wit, knowledge, warmth…I can’t say enough nice things about you. Thank you for choosing to do what you’re doing-it means the world to many!! I am Mexican-American and am hoping one day to make all of these wonderful recipes for my family. I started tonight with the recipe of the week- Crab Cakes-what a delight!!! So tasty and decadent. I was hoping to see you in Nantucket this weekend (we reside north of Boston) but can’t pull it off this time-soon, for sure!! Thank you again!

    1. Pati

      Jul 11

      Jetta thank you so much for your message. It means so much to me!

  8. Catalina

    Jul 01

    GREAT FOOD with good instructions.Thank you so much. Love your recipes

    1. Pati

      Jul 03

      Thank YOU Catalina!

  9. TraceyG

    May 18

    These look great! I cant wait to make these! I am watching this episode now on @create and wanted to get the recipe to print out …I wish this web page had a “search” bar, took me a bit to find it, bummer …hopefully it can be added.
    I love watching your shows!
    Thank you for being “down to earth” to watch. 🙂

    1. Pati

      May 23

      There is a search bar! You just have to click on the search icon that looks like a looking glass, right there on the right hand corner 🙂

  10. Leslie Warren

    Feb 14

    trying them tonight with my own twist…. we’ll see how my addition works!
    Saw the re-run (I watch them all over and over) with the emails on how to pronounce “Worcestershire Sauce” with which I have trouble pronouncing… it’s pronounced “Lee & Perrin’s” 🙂

    1. Pati

      Feb 14

      Haha! I like that, Leslie, thank you.

  11. Bobbie

    Aug 22

    Hola Pati, mucho gracias for the Crab Cakes with Jalapeno Aioli. I was a personal chef and caterer for years and have been cooking since a very small child. I come from a family of accomplished cooks, and my son is a schooled chef. Your crab cakes are wonderful and your jalapeno Aioli is incredible. I direct many people to Pati’s Mexican Table on PBS and also to your website. You are a ray of sunshine!

    1. Pati

      Aug 25

      Thank you!!

  12. Linda LaBrot

    Jul 12

    The Crab Cakes with Jalapeño Aioli is fantastic!! So easy to make, too.
    This recipe will grace our supper table for years to come. Thank you!

  13. Linda LaBrot

    Jul 04

    Hola Pati,
    Drooling over your Crab Cakes with Jalapeño Aioli. This meal will be on our dinner table this coming week. YUM! Love your show!

    1. Pati

      Jul 05

      Hope you love ’em!

  14. Steve

    Jun 06

    These crab cakes look amazing, I can’t wait to make them.

    1. Pati

      Jun 08

      Thank you! I hope you try them.

  15. Richard Larcome

    May 09

    During episode #406 season 4 Pati went to a mexican restuarant and visited with a chef who made chorizo burgers. the recepie did not appear on the website for the episode. I have most of the recepie except for the blended ingredients for the meat preparation, could I please get this inforamtion from you please? Thanks Rich

    1. Pati

      May 12

      Hola Richard, Here’s the recipe…

      2 1/2 pounds ground beef
      1 1/4 pounds Mexican chorizo
      1 onion, chopped
      1/2 tablespoon black pepper
      1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
      1/2 teaspoon cumin
      5 cloves of garlic, whole and peeled
      1/2 cup water
      10 slices bacon, cooked
      10 slices pepper jack cheese
      Tomato slices, to garnish
      Red onion slices, to garnish
      Green leaf lettuce, to garnish
      Hamburger buns

      Chipotle Mayo:
      1 chipotle pepper from chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
      1 cup of heavy mayonnaise

      In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef and the chorizo.

      In a blender, add the onions, black pepper, salt, cumin, and garlic and mix at medium speed adding water. Pour the blender mixture into the beef mixture. Form into 10 oz burger patties by hand.

      To make the Chipotle mayo, using a blender, mix the mayonnaise and chipotle pepper a low speed. You can make it as spicy as you wish

      Cook burger to desired temperature. Heat buns in oven at 350 F for 5 minutes adding butter to the bread.

      Assemble burger: start with the base of the bread and layer the lettuce, slice of tomato, sliced onions, cooked burger patty, pepper Jack Cheese, cooked bacon, chipotle mayo and top of bread.

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