Mini Crab Cakes on Seashells

Crab cakes served on scallop shells make for natural party-sized bites.

  • Yield: Makes 2 dozen

Source: Martha Stewart Living, January 2004


  • 3 slices white bread, crusts removed
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat, cartilage removed, crabmeat squeezed dry
  • 1 tablespoon rum
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Hot sauce, such as Tabasco
  • 24 clam or scallop shells (2 to 2 1/2 inches each), rinsed and dried
  • 1/2 cup fresh fine breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Soak bread in milk until almost all milk is absorbed. Squeeze out milk; discard. Set bread aside.

  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low; add two-thirds of crabmeat, the soaked bread, rum, tomato paste, lemon juice, and egg yolk; cook, stirring, 4 minutes. Add cilantro; season with salt, pepper, and hot sauce.

  3. Continue to cook mixture, stirring, until combined and crabmeat is broken up, about 5 minutes more. Remove from heat; add remaining crabmeat.

  4. Mound the crab mixture into shells; transfer to rimmed baking sheets. Stir breadcrumbs into butter in a small bowl; sprinkle mixture on tops of crab cakes.

  5. Bake crab cakes until heated through and brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Serve warm.


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