If you’re in the mood for crab cakes, buying the meat fresh can be pricey. Tinned crab, meanwhile, can be just as tasty and is seriously underrated, according to Take One Tin author, Lola Milne.

“These are inspired by a Vietnamese dish of fish marinated in lots of turmeric, ginger and garlic, pan-fried and served with the classic Vietnamese dressing Nuóc cham. I’ve repurposed these flavours into crisp crab cakes,” she says.

Vietnamese crab cakes (Lizzie Mayson/PA)
Vietnamese crab cakes (Lizzie Mayson/PA)
Vietnamese crab cakes (Lizzie Mayson/PA)
Print Recipe
Nutrition Facts
Vietnamese crab cakes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 513 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 235mg78%
Sodium 2708mg118%
Potassium 785mg22%
Carbohydrates 63g21%
Fiber 8g33%
Sugar 15g17%
Protein 44g88%
Vitamin A 1286IU26%
Vitamin C 106mg128%
Calcium 151mg15%
Iron 7mg39%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Vietnamese crab cakes

They’re crab cakes made with tinned crab meat.
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Servings: 2
Calories: 513kcal


  • Bowl
  • Large frying pan


For the crab cakes

  • 340 g lump crab meat drained
  • 2.5 cm piece of fresh ginger peeled and grated (about 1 and 1/2 tablespoons when grated)
  • 1 red chilli deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove finely chopped
  • 15 g dill finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 shallots finely chopped
  • 10 tbsp dried breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 tbsp flavourless oil (such as sunflower)

For the dressing

  • 4 tsp fish sauce
  • 4 tsp soft brown sugar
  • 1 red chilli deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove finely chopped
  • 1 lime juiced


  • To make the crab cakes, mix the crab, ginger, chilli, garlic, dill, turmeric, shallots, four tablespoons of the breadcrumbs and half the beaten eggs in a bowl. Shape into eight patties and stick in the fridge to firm up for at least 20 minutes.
  • To make the dressing, mix all the ingredients with two tablespoons of water, check the balance of sour, sweet and salty and adjust accordingly.
  • Just before frying, dip each cake in the remaining beaten egg and then into the remaining breadcrumbs to coat. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and fry the cakes for four minutes per side until golden.
  • Serve alongside the dressing, for drizzling or dunking.
  • Top tip: Try nestling a crab cake in a lettuce leaf with some finely sliced cucumber, then drizzle with the dressing.


Calories: 513kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 235mg | Sodium: 2708mg | Potassium: 785mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 1286IU | Vitamin C: 106mg | Calcium: 151mg | Iron: 7mg

Take One Tin by Lola Milne, photography by Lizzie Mayson, is published by Kyle Books.

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