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Crab Cakes vs. Crab Balls: What's the Difference?

April 29, 2023

crab cakes vs crab balls

Crab Cakes vs. Crab Balls

Are you a seafood lover? If yes, then you must have tried crab cakes and crab balls. Both are popular seafood dishes and are loved by many. But have you ever wondered what the differences between these two dishes are? In this blog post, we will explore the key differences between crab cakes and crab balls.

What are Crab Cakes?

Crab cakes are a popular seafood dish made with crab meat, breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, and seasonings. The ingredients are mixed together to form a patty, which is then pan-fried or baked until crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. Crab cakes are usually served with tartar sauce or remoulade sauce and are a staple in many seafood restaurants.

What are Crab Balls?

Crab balls are similar to crab cakes, but instead of forming patties, the mixture is rolled into small balls. Crab balls are also made with crab meat, breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, and seasonings. They are then deep-fried until golden brown and crispy on the outside. Crab balls are typically served as an appetizer or snack and can be found in many seafood shacks and bars.

What's the Difference?

The main difference between crab cakes and crab balls is their shape and cooking method. Crab cakes are formed into patties and are pan-fried or baked, while crab balls are rolled into small balls and deep-fried. This gives crab cakes a crispy crust and a moist interior, while crab balls have a crunchy exterior and a soft, flavorful interior.

Another difference between the two dishes is their size. Crab cakes are usually larger than crab balls and are served as a main dish, while crab balls are smaller and are served as an appetizer or snack.

Lastly, crab cakes often have additional ingredients like peppers, onions, and herbs, while crab balls typically stick to the basics like breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, and seasonings.


Q: Can I use canned crab meat to make crab cakes or crab balls?

A: Yes, you can use canned crab meat, but fresh crab meat is always the best option.

Q: Can I bake crab balls instead of deep-frying them?

A: Yes, you can bake crab balls in the oven at 400°F for 15-20 minutes.

Q: What sauce goes well with crab cakes or crab balls?

A: Tartar sauce and remoulade sauce are popular choices, but you can also try cocktail sauce or aioli.


In conclusion, crab cakes and crab balls are both delicious seafood dishes that are enjoyed by many. While they share many similarities in their ingredients, there are some key differences in their shape, size, and cooking methods. Whether you prefer crab cakes or crab balls, both are great options for any seafood lover. So, why not give them both a try and see which one you like best?

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