Crab Cakes a la Pearl


The Pearl Oyster Bar is Kelly's "ultimate most favorite restaurant"  in New York (in her words).  She talked about the restaurant, the lobster roll, the oysters and the crab cakes with such love in her heart that I couldn't wait to try it! Being from Boston, I do consider myself a  connoisseur of the "lobsta" roll.

I was so excited when we finally went!  It was a girls night,  for my birthday! ( I love my birthday ).  They don't take reservations, so we got there just as it was opening; 6:00 PM and grabbed the best seats in the house at the bar.  It was the start of the best night ever and Kelly could not be more right about the Pearl.  This was the best lobster roll I have ever had.  And, the fried oysters? Ridiculous. This place is amazing...  a NYC must-go.

All that said, unfortunately, they stopped making the crab cake. (Kelly nearly cried)  So, we bought the cookbook,  Lobster Rolls and Blueberry Pie  written by the owner and Chef of Pearl Oyster Bar, Rebecca Charles (she was there, cooking that night!) and now, we re-create the Pearl crab cakes whenever we want!  (Rather, whenever lump crab meat is on sale!!)

We make them a bit smaller and Kelly makes a really easy remoulade-ish sauce.  These cakes are a staple for special occasions or whenever you feel like something super delicious.


What you'll need for Pearl Oyster Bar Crab cakes.  We changed the recipe a tiny bit.

  • 1 lb lump crab meat
  • 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 2 shakes of hot sauce
  • 4 shakes Worstershire sauce
  • 2 eggs
  • juice of 1/4 lemon
  • 1 tsp chopped chives, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 tbsp. diced and seeded tomato
  • 1/2 cup of toasted bread crumbs (Rebecca makes them homemade, we use 4C)
  • butter  (Rebecca uses clarified butter, we just melt some butter)
  • lemon wedges for garnish

What you'll do:

1.   In a large bowl, combine mustards, hot sauce, Worcestershire, salt, pepper, eggs and lemon juice.

2.  Add chives, crab, tomato and bread crumbs and toss together.

3.  On a large baking sheet, sprinkle bread crumbs into an even layer.  Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup to form, press mixture into the cup and unmold onto the bread crumbs.

4.  Sprinkle tops of crab cake with bread crumbs. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

5.   When you are ready to fry, preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Heat a large ovenproof fry pan on your stovetop.  Melt 2 tbsp butter in the pan.   Remove the crab cakes from the refrigerator.

6.  Let the excess breadcrumbs fall away as you add each crab cake to the pan into hot melted butter.


8.   Don't fuss with them.  Let them get golden brown-  about 4 minutes.

9.   Gently flip each crab cake, then place pan into the oven for about 5 minutes, until golden.




Remoulade is a classic French condiment requiring much more preparation than Kelly has patience.  Here is her simple, special crab cake sauce:

  • Ketchup 1 tsp.
  • Mayonaise 1 tsp.
  • Dijon mustard 1/2 tsp.
  • Relish 1/2 tsp.
  • Paprika, a dash or 2
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • salt & pepper

Whisk all ingredients together and top your crab cakes.

New England girl in a Jersey Shore world.

New England girl in a Jersey Shore world.

Thank you Pearl, for the most delicious memories and never-ending inspiration!

Thank you Pearl, for the most delicious memories and never-ending inspiration!

Visit the Pearl Oyster Bar at its one and only perfectly quaint location on Cornelia Street in the West Village. 

xo- Measure