Crab Croquettes

Cook Eat World4th JulyCrab Croquettes

By Lee Jackson ↣ Published on: October 24, 2022

The perfect crunch reveals a soft, creamy interior of crab and potato. Crab croquettes are a simple and delicious appetiser, packed with flavour and texture. A decadent seafood delight with every bite.

A bowl of Crab Croquettes

Crab is a luxury, so in turn we should strive to do right by this magical mollusc. One amazing recipe for crab are these simple and delectable croquettes, creamy potato and crab, coated in crispy panko crumb and fried to perfection. They’re light, bright and full of flavour. Perfect for an appetiser, a tapas style snack or communal party food. And they’re simple to make at home!

What are croquettes?

Croquettes are dumplings coated in breadcrumb and deep fried. They are enjoyed around the world but they get their name from ‘croque’, the French word for ‘crunch’. They can be made with an array of fillings using many binding agents to hold everything in shape, such as a thick béchamel sauce (like my recipe for Spanish Jamón Croquetas) or as in the case of our crab croquettes, using mashed potato. They’re then coated in Japanese Panko breadcrumbs and fried until perfectly crispy (see my Menchi Katsu recipe for a Japanese version of croquette). There are more recipes below that use Panko too.

Why they work

My Crab Croquettes are so successful as they are the perfect marriage of texture and flavour. The delicate crab is centre stage as it’s paired with potato and a few other flavour enhancers like oregano, garlic and parsley. They’re also really easy to make at home. I love to make them as an appetiser or as a tapas offering if I’m cooking Spanish. They’re also great eaten hot or at room temperature, so a great candidate for pre prepared food for a get together.

The ingredients for crab croquettes including crab meat, potato, lemon, herbs and more.

Stuff you’ll need

It’s really not difficult to get your hands on the key ingredients of my crab croquette recipe.

  • Crab Meat – White or brown meat or a combination of both. You decide. You can get hold of fresh crab meat from many supermarket seafood aisles. Be sure to use proper crab meat and not fake meat. Fresh is king and where all the flavour is!
  • Potato – A floury potato is best for mashing so Idaho Russet (US), King Edward (UK) or Sebago (Aus) are ideal candidates.
  • Shallots, Garlic, Parsley and Oregano – Are aromatics that support the crab without taking over the flavour. A little salt & pepper complete the seasonings.
  • Lemon zest – brings a mellow lemony freshness to the croquette. And there’s never a better partner to crab than lemon. Be sure to keep the rest of the lemon for squeezing over when they’re cooked.
  • Panko breadcrumbs – are the best for breading. They have a larger, crispier crumb that create the most wonderful, full crunch experience when fried.
  • Flour & Egg – along with Panko make up the three ingredients needed for a breading ‘station’.

Step by Step

See just how easy these crab croquettes are to make at home. Ready in 4 simple stages.

  1. Step 1 – Make the filling. Cook and mash your potato and leave to cool. Fry the shallot and garlic in the butter then combine with the mashed potato, shredded cram meat, herbs, lemon zest and seasoning. It’s a good idea to cool this mixture in the fridge for an hour to make things easier in the next step.
  2. Step 2 – Shape the mixture. Coquettes come in all shapes and sizes, but the traditional shape is a short, stumpy sausage shape. Take small bits of mixture and shape – 📌 TIP: use wet hands and the mixture is less inclined to stick!
  3. Step 3 – Breading station. Create three breading bowls. Bowl 1: Flour (seasoned with a little salt & pepper), Bowl 2: A beaten egg (thin it out with 2 tbpn water) and Bowl 3: Panko breadcrumbs. Then it’s a process of dusting each croquette in flour, then egg then breadcrumb. Place the coated croquettes on a plater and rest for 10 minutes or so. This will help them set a little and ensure the crumbs stay in place when frying.
  4. Step 4 – Frying. Heat the oil to around 170ºC/350ºF and then fry the croquettes in small batches until golden brown. Everything is already cooked inside, so you’re safe at any stage to remove. Drain on paper towels and then serve hot or leave to cool to room temperature. In my humble opinion, hot is best!
A mixture of crab, potato and seasonings is mixed in a bowl, ready to be shaped into croquettes
Cra croquette mixture being shaped by hand into a short sausage shape
Crab croquettes on a platter, ready to be deep fried
Crab Croquettes being deep fried in oil.

Pro Tips to make your life easier

Preparation is key. If you’re looking to serve straight from the fryer, pre-prepare the croquettes to stage 3 and then it’s just a case of frying when you’re ready.

Crab croquettes are placed on a platter, ready for deep frying.

Alternative cooking methods

If you’re not into deep frying, there are more ways to cook the croquettes to crisp perfection.

  • Baking from fresh – Preheat oven to 200ºC/400ºF. Arrange the croquettes on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 12-15 minutes. Turn the croquettes after 6 minutes cooking.
  • Air Fryer from Fresh – Preheat air fryer to 195ºC/385ºF. Lightly spray the basket with some oil and cook in a single layer for 10-12 minutes until crisp.

You can freeze the croquettes at stage 3 ( to avoid sticking, freeze them on a baking sheet first and then decant them to a bag when solid).

  • Baking from frozen – Preheat oven to 200ºC/400ºF. Arrange the croquettes on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 15-20 minutes. Turn the croquettes after 10 minutes cooking.
  • Air Fryer from frozen – Preheat air fryer to 195ºC/385ºF. Lightly spray the basket with some oil and cook in a single layer for 15-20 minutes until crisp.
A bowl of Crab Croquettes

Serving and storing suggestions

Serve the croquettes hot (my favourite) or at room temperature. Serve with a dipping sauce like garlic mayonnaise (try my smoked alioli recipe) or a tangy tomato marinara sauce. They’re the perfect party finger food or appetiser.

Ready to get cooking?

So, once you learn how quick and easy crab croquettes are to make at home, you’ll be sure to serve them all the time. You (and everyone else) will agree that they’re the perfect marriage of texture and delicate crab flavour. Luxuriously creamy and light, one of my favourite appetisers to make at home. Enjoy!

Any Questions? (FAQ)

Have any questions about crab croquettes? Let men know in the comments.

What are crab croquettes made of?

Fresh crab meat combined with mashed potato, herbs, shallots, garlic and then coated in panko breadcrumbs.

Are croquettes the same as crab cakes?

The ingredients of the croquettes are similar to crab cakes, Croquettes are smaller in size, coated in breadcrumbs and deep fried, whereas most crab cakes are simply dusted in flour and shallow fried.

Are croquettes low calorie?

Deep frying any food adds calories, but at around 120 Calories per croquette, they’re relatively low in calories. Be aware of the oil used in the recipe when making your choices. You can also reduce the oil used by baking or using an air fryer.

A bowl of Crab Croquettes

Crab Croquettes

Rate this recipe

5 from 5 votes
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Recipe by Lee
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine European, French, Spanish
Prep Time40 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Resting30 minutes
Total Time1 hour 25 minutes
Servings (adjustable) 14 croquettes
Calories (per serving) | 117

Ingredients

For the croquette

  • 1 potato (floury variety like Russet, King Edward etc., about 300g/10oz) (peeled and cut into quarters)
  • 1 tbsp butter (unsalted)
  • 2 shallots (finely diced)
  • 2 garlic cloves (peeled and finely chopped)
  • 1 tbsp oregano (fresh - finely chopped)
  • 1 tbsp parsley (fresh - finely chopped)
  • 8 oz crab meat (fresh, brown or white meat)
  • ½ lemon (zest)
  • salt & pepper

For breading and cooking

Instructions

To make the croquettes

  • Cook the peeled potato in boiling water then mash finely with a fork or put through a ricer. Set aside in a bowl to cool.
  • Heat the butter in a frying pan over a moderate heat until bubbling, then add the shallot and garlic. Fry gently for 4 minutes until the shallot is soft. Remove from the heat and then add this to the mashed potato. Add the oregano, parsley, crab meat and lemon zest. Season well with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust salt & pepper as needed.
  • Place this mixture into the fridge for 1 hour to cool so that it’s easier to handle and shape.
  • Arrange a breading station:
    1. Add the flour to a bowl with a little salt & pepper.
    2. In a separate bowl, beat the egg with a couple tbsp of water.
    3. In a third bowl, add the Panko breadcrumbs.
  • When the potato is cold, remove from the fridge and take a small amount and roll into a ball (about the size of a ping pong ball). Roll to flatten the edges to create a thick sausage. Square off the edges with your fingers to create the croquette shape. Repeat this with all the mixture.
  • Gently toss one croquette into the flour. Dust off any excess flour then dip into the egg. Then toss into the breadcrumbs and roll it around to completely coat it in crumbs. Arrange on a plate and repeat the process with all the croquettes. Cover and refrigerate until needed. TIP: leave for at least 10 minutes - this will set the croquettes and avoid them falling apart or the crumb separating from the croquette during cooking.

Frying the croquettes

  • Heat the oil in a small saucepan pan to around 170ºC/350ºF (a bread cube should gently bubble when placed into the pan). Be careful not to have it too hot as the crumb will burn and become bitter.
  • Carefully place 5-6 croquettes into the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes (turning once or twice) until they’re golden brown on all sides. Using a slotted spoon, remove to drain on paper towels while you repeat the process with all the croquettes.
  • Serve hot or cooled to room temperature (hot is best!).

Notes

Alternative cooking methods:
You can cook your croquettes in a few different ways.
  • Baking from fresh - Preheat oven to 200ºC/400ºF. Arrange the croquettes on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 12-15 minutes. Turn the croquettes after 6 minutes cooking.
  • Air Fryer from Fresh - Preheat air fryer to 195ºC/385ºF. Lightly spray the basket with some oil and cook in a single layer for 10-12 minutes until crisp.
Once you've breaded the croquettes, you can freeze them before cooking. Just arrange them on a baking sheet and freeze until solid (this will help avoid sticking in the freezer). Once frozen on the sheet, decant to a freezer bag.
  • Baking from frozen - Preheat oven to 200ºC/400ºF. Arrange the croquettes on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 15-20 minutes. Turn the croquettes after 10 minutes cooking.
  • Air Fryer from frozen - Preheat air fryer to 195ºC/385ºF. Lightly spray the basket with some oil and cook in a single layer for 15-20 minutes until crisp.
Change up the ingredients
  • I like to play with the herbs I use from time to time. Instead of oregano I'll use, dill, chives, thyme, marjoram or mint.
  • I've also made seafood cakes using this recipe, substituting crab for cooked salmon or finely chopped raw shrimp.

Nutrition

Calories: 117kcal (6%) | Carbohydrates: 14g (5%) | Protein: 5g (10%) | Fat: 5g (8%) | Saturated Fat: 1g (6%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.05g | Cholesterol: 15mg (5%) | Sodium: 209mg (9%) | Potassium: 146mg (4%) | Fiber: 1g (4%) | Sugar: 1g (1%) | Vitamin A: 69IU (1%) | Vitamin C: 7mg (8%) | Calcium: 36mg (4%) | Iron: 1mg (6%)
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