recipe LAURA CABOT  |  photography DOUGLAS MERRIAM

Jonah Crab Balls with
Cajun Remoulade Dipping Sauce


While preparation from start to finish takes only an hour, you can make the sauce ahead of time and form the crab balls early in the day for entertaining ease. Once fried, the crab balls will sit crisply in a 200° oven for up to an hour.

Makes 24 (1-inch) crab balls and 1½ cups sauce

1 cup mayonnaise
¼ cup cornichons, finely chopped
¼ cup capers, squeezed dry and chopped
2 tablespoons Frank’s RedHot Hot Sauce
1 tablespoon fresh chervil or parsley, minced
1 tablespoon smoked paprika

Crab balls
1½ cups plain panko breadcrumbs
Canola or vegetable oil
1 pound Maine Jonah crab meat
1 cup soft white breadcrumbs
½ cup scallion (white and green parts), minced
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Dash of Tabasco sauce


Mix all of the ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or as long as 2 days.

Crab balls
Pour panko breadcrumbs in a medium-sized shallow bowl and set aside. In a high-sided, heavy-bottomed skillet, pour in enough oil to reach 1½ inches in depth. Affix a candy thermometer to the side of the skillet and place the pan over medium-high heat.

Gently mix the remaining ingredients together in a large bowl. Form the crab mixture into small balls using a tablespoon measure, and roll each ball in panko breadcrumbs. Refrigerate the coated crab balls for up to 8 hours if not frying right away.

When the oil is hot (between 350° and 375°), place 6 to 8 balls in the pan—do not crowd them. Fry the crab balls, turning only once, until golden brown (about 5 minutes total). Drain on paper towels. Working in batches, repeat the process until all crab balls are fried.

Serve hot, with remoulade sauce on the side for dipping.

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