Pick through crab and remove any shell debris. Mix the first nine ingredients together and gently fold into crab meat.
Divide mixture into eight even amounts. Use your hands to gently form mixture into evenly sized balls. Roll in panko bread crumbs to coat and gently press into a flat patty. Mixture will be a little delicate, but should not fall apart. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours (this helps them set).
Remove from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes before cooking. Heat 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Reduce heat to just under medium and cook crab cakes 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown, adding oil as needed.
For the Mango-Lime Cashew Sauce:
Place all the sauce ingredients in a food processor and blend until pureed and smooth. If the sauce is made in advance and refrigerated, allow to come to room temperature so it isn't cold when served.
Spoon the sauce onto a plate and place the crab cakes on top of the sauce or serve on the side at the table.
Mangoes vary, seasoning may need to be adjusted depending on ripeness and size of mango.To make this recipe with pecans instead of bread crumbs, heat should be turned to medium-low once the skillet is hot to avoid burning the nuts before the middle is heated through. Cook the pecan coated crab cakes for 2-3 minutes on each side. See salad photo for example.To make the cashew sauce into a salad dressing, thin with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 or 2 tablespoons water. Tips for Making the Best Crab Cakes
Select lump crab because you'll want some larger, meatier pieces in there for the best texture. Blue crab is the tastiest option with a delicate, sweet seafood flavor.
Prep-ahead, cover and store in the fridge for up to 48 hours to make dinnertime even easier.
Bring to room temp for 15-20 minutes before cooking so the middle has a chance to get hot before the coating browns too much.
Reheat gently by allowing the leftover crab cakes to come to room temp for 15-20 minutes. Heat a skillet over medium heat with a light coating of oil. Once hot, reduce heat to medium-low and gently warm the crab cakes in the skillet for about 3 minutes on each side.
Freeze uncooked crab cakes without the coating for up to 1 month. Defrost in the refrigerator and coat just before cooking. Note, raw onion intensifies in flavor when frozen.
Freeze cooked crab cakes for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge and follow the reheat instructions above for best results.