If you love crab cakes, I guarantee you'll love these crispy crab fritters. They're full of fresh lump crab meat and sweet corn and just enough light batter to hold them together. Top them off with one of the 2 simple spicy mayo recipes and watch them disappear!
Crab fritters are great any time of year. Serve them on a lunchtime salad in the summer or add a platter of these tasty little bites to any holiday table. These make delicious hand-held appetizers on a buffet or served plated with sauce as an elegant appetizer.
Crispy crab fritters are made with minimal ingredients. Fresh lump crab meat is accentuated with sweet corn and minced red bell pepper. A few dashes of hot sauce, some lemon zest and scallion or green onion really round out the flavors.
- Crab - Use any fresh shelled crab you can get. Lump Dungeness crabmeat, rock crab, blue crab meat or snow crab all work great. As a West Coast girl, I get Dungeness locally and think it is the best. If you can't find fresh, use the cold tinned crab in the seafood fridge or freezer section. Canned crabmeat is not quite as good but if that is all you can get your hands on, go ahead and use it. If using canned or previously frozen crab, gently squeeze extra liquid out of crab meat before using.
- Corn - Use fresh or thawed from frozen corn for this recipe.
- Cornstarch - Also known as corn flour, this mixes with the regular all purpose flour to create an extra light batter, kind of like tempura.
See recipe card for quantities.
In a large bowl, beat 1 large egg and add milk, hot sauce, and lemon zest. Whisk until well blended.
In a separate mixing bowl or measuring cup, mix the dry ingredients. Add to egg mixture and gently fold ingredients together without overmixing.
Add corn, diced red pepper, green onions, salt, and black pepper, and stir to mix.
Add crab and gently fold in, trying not to break up the chunks of crab too much.
You will have a batter that is filled with the good stuff and just enough flour and egg mixture to keep it all together.
Preheat 1 cm or ½" of vegetable oil in a frying pan. Corn, peanut, canola or olive oil all work well for this. If using an electric fryer, fill with oil as per your fryers instructions.
Once the sauté pan is preheated, drop heaping tablespoons of crab mixture gently into the hot oil to prevent splattering. Leave an inch or 2 of space between fritters to prevent them from sticking together.
Once golden on one side, flip them over and fry until golden on the other side.
Remove fritters with a slotted spoon to a paper towel or cooling rack set over a tray to drain any excess oil. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over finished fritters if you like.
Serve and enjoy dipped in spicy mayo or classic tartar sauce while hot.
Spicy Mayo 2 Ways
I love a good spicy aioli or mayo dip. These 2 are my favorite, go-to recipes. One uses sambel oelek for a warm chilli flavor and the other gets bright Japanese spice from wasabi paste and fresh lemon juice. Pick your favorite or make both!
Wasabi Spicy Mayo Dip: Mix the mayo with the wasabi and lemon until smooth.
Wasabi mayo is bright and tangy with a slight horseradish flavor.
Sriracha Spicy Mayo Dipping Sauce: Mix Mayo and sriracha or sambal oelek until it is a creamy, emulsified dip, and serve with crab fritters.
Sriracha Mayo is a deeper, sweeter flavored spicy mayo. I love them both!
*Feel free to use less spice if you don't like your dip too spicy.
- Milk (Dairy-Free) - You can swap an equal amount of ice cold water or club soda for the milk in the batter.
- Lime - lime juice can be substituted for the lemon zest and juice. Use an equal amount.
- Vegetables - The corn, red bell pepper and green onion are really complimentary to the crab flavor but if you don't have one of them, or don't like them, you can omit any that you want. To swap, use a yellow or orange bell pepper instead of red. Instead of green onions, you can substitute chives or 2 tablespoon grated or finely minced sweet onion.
- Tobasco Sauce - Sub ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or ½ teaspoon sriracha if needed.
Try out these easy crab and shrimp fritter variations.
- Shrimp Fritters - switch out crab for fresh, peeled shrimp and make these into easy shrimp fritters. I find this works best with small shrimp. If you have large ones, consider cutting them in half or quarters before adding to the batter.
- Gluten Free + Low Carb Crab Cakes - If you want a low carb alternative, I've made these awesome Gluten-Free Crab Cakes that use finely grated parmesan to add a crispy finish to these meaty crab cakes. It also has a healthy roasted red pepper dip instead of the richer mayo sauce used here.
- Spicy Crab Fritters - If you love spice, add ½ to 1 teaspoon of hot red pepper flakes to your batter when mixing the wet ingredients.
Just like most of my recipes, there is no special equipment needed for these crab and corn fritters. I've used a frying pan and a shallow frying method. You can certainly drop these (carefully) into a deep fryer with preheated oil if you have one.
The other thing I use is paper towels. It's important to properly drain excess oil off the corn and crab fritters right away when they come out of the oil. This helps them stay crisp and not have an oily taste or texture.
If you don't want to use paper towel, set a cooling rack over a baking tray to catch drips and scoop the fritters out of the pan and onto the rack when finished cooking.
Corn and crab fritters will keep well, covered in your fridge, for up three days. They will need to be re-crisped before eating.
To reheat fritters, heat a dry, non-stick frying pan over medium heat and add fritters. Flip them occasionally to prevent burning. Once they are heated through as much as you like, remove them to a plate and serve.
Alternatively, you can place them on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and reheat them in an oven set to 350' F for 10-12 minutes.
Corn and crab fritters don't freeze well, I don't recommend storing them that way.
Keep your ingredients as cold as possible when mixing up the batter. Keep crab, eggs, milk and veggies refrigerated until using and make batter right before you're ready to fry them. The colder your fritter batter is, the crispier it will be when finished.
Thanks for reading along, I'd love to hear your thoughts if you try these. Do you have a favorite dip for your crab fritters or crab cakes?
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Cheers and happy cooking, Friends
Crispy Corn And Crab Fritters With Spicy Mayo
- 1 Egg
- ⅓ c Milk
- 1 teaspoon each: Lemon Zest and Lemon Juice
- ¼ teaspoon Tobasco or cayenne or other hot sauce
- ½ c Cornstarch aka cornflour
- ⅓ c All Purpose Flour cake flour is an excellent sub
- 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
- ¼ c Red Pepper
- ½ c Corn
- ¼ c Green Onions aka spring onions, scallions or chives
- 1 c Crab Meat packed, approx ½ lb or 250 g
- Salt + Pepper to taste I use ½ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Vegetable Oil enough to fill frying pan ½ inch or 1 cm deep or enough to fill your deep fryer.
- 1 c Mayonnaise Japanese kewpie mayonnaise is my favorite but any other plain, quality mayonnaise will work.
- Either 2 teaspoon Wasabi, 1 teaspoon Lemon Zest and 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
- Or 2 teaspoon Sambal Oelek or Sriracha Sauce
- Beat egg and add milk, hot sauce, and lemon zest. Whisk until well blended.
- In a separate bowl or measuring cup, add cornstarch, flour, and baking powder and mix well. Add to egg mixture and gently fold ingredients together without overmixing.
- Add corn, diced red pepper, green onions, salt, and pepper, and stir to mix. Then add crab and gently fold in.
- Add enough vegetable oil to a medium to large frying pan to make it ½" or 1 cm deep. Set it on the stove set to medium heat.
- Once the oil is heated, drop heaping tablespoons of crab batter in gently to prevent splattering. Leave an inch or 2 of space between fritters to prevent them from sticking together. Once golden on one side (approx. 3-4 minutes), flip them over and fry until golden on the other side. Remove to a paper towel or cooling rack set over a tray and serve while still hot.
- Mix the mayo with either the wasabi and lemon OR the sambal oelek or sriracha. Mix until it is a creamy, emulsified dip, and serve with crab fritters. Feel free to use less spice if you don't like your dip too spicy.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat or seafood
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove.