Andrea’s Citrus Tarragon Crab Cake Recipe Revealed

For those of you who know Andrea, or have been fortunate enough to eat her crab cakes, I’m sure this title alone captivated your attention. For those of you who need an introduction…Andrea Nasarow is a perfection-focused, talented home cook in Seattle who makes the most delicious crab cakes. She also happens to be a close friend of mine.

Andrea Nasarow Eat Seattle

For Labor Day, we gathered our foodie friends for a blow out extravaganza. Andrea, myself and the grill master Michael Atalla provided the food and our other 10 friends brought their prized wines to share. Once again, Andrea’s crab cakes were a highlight that got the oohs and ahhs that they always deserve.

Andrea Nasarow Crab Cakes


Working through my mild hang-over the next day, my mind kept wandering back to those crab cakes which prompted me to give her a ring to see if she would be interested in sharing the recipe with my audience. She mentioned that she uses a little of this and a little of that but that the key trick to her success is using the freshest crab from Pure Food Fish Market and not adding fillers that take away from that fresh crab taste.

So, I proposed that I bring the wine, the camera, grab crab at Pure Food Fish and we write down Andrea’s famous recipe for others to enjoy. Recipe as follows:

First off…let’s look at the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) of the best crab cake:

  • Moist and sticks together
  • Full of crab that isn’t overpowered by spice or dulled by bread crumbs
  • Cooked to a golden brown. The Maillard Reaction accentuates the flavor

How to achieve all of this….

Crab Cakes on Baking Sheet

Andrea breaks it down for us simply:

  • Use the freshest ingredients (ideally from a farmer’s market). Pure Food Fish supplied the chunky fresh crab meat
  • Don’t use anything non-fat, low fat…
  • Season properly
  • Make your own bread crumbs
  • Experience…your crab cakes will get better and better the more you make them which will allow you to improve it over time
  • Accompany crab cakes with homemade garlic herb aioli

Here’s a glimpse of our day:

Ingredients for Citrus Tarragon Crab Cakes:

Serving 6-8, 1 hour total to prep and cook

1 lb Dungeoness Crab- shelled and picked

1 Whole egg

1 Sweet Walla Walla Onion

1 Garlic clove (minced)

1/4 tsp Cayenne

1 tsp Lime zest

1 tsp Lemon zest

1 Tbsp Tarragon (stemmed and chopped)

1 Tbsp Cilantro (stemmed and chopped)

1/2 Lemon juiced

1/2 Lime juiced

1 C Bread crumbs

1/2 C Mayonaisse

Sea salt & pepper to taste (Andrea prefers a dash of white pepper which is stronger than black)

*Make bread crumbs with a good quality fresh baguette. Chop bread into 1/2 inch chunks then add to food processor. Pulse until finely ground.

1) Sauté chopped onion in olive oil over medium heat in skillet until golden brown (4 minutes). Season with salt, pepper and a dash of cayenne. Add garlic and sauté for 2 more minutes. Set aside to cool.

2) In large bowl mix crab meat, lemon juice and zest and mayo. Add 3/4 cup of the fresh bread crumbs. If it is still too moist add the last 1/4 cup. Add tarragon and cilantro and cooled onions.

3) Form into balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Set in fridge for 30 minutes.

4) Pan fry crab cakes in skillet until golden brown over medium high heat. Use either a high heat oil (grape seed or coconut oil) or clarified butter. If crab cakes are thick place lid on  pan to ensure the center warms. It should take approximately 4-6 minutes on each side to golden.

5) Plate up and serve with a bed of greens and garlic herb aioli.

*Wine that pairs well: Crisp Chinon Blanc, Sav Blanc, Champagne or Pinot Blanc

Crab Cake Eat Seattle

 Ingredients for Garlic Herb Aioli:

Serves 6-8,     10 minutes

1 Garlic clove (minced)

1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 tsp Lime zest

1/2 Tbsp Tarragon (chopped)

1/2 Tbsp Cilantro (chopped)

1/3 C Mayo

2/3 C Sour cream

Sea salt & pepper to taste (Andrea prefers a dash of white pepper which is stronger than black)

1) In small bowl (or mortar and pestle) make a paste of the garlic, olive oil and a pinch of sea salt.

2) In medium bowl mix all ingredients together and add the garlic paste to it.

Garlic Herb Aioli- Eat Seattle


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