CRAB CAKES

 

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Crab cakes are every seafood lover's favorite appetizer. When made at home, they are unadulterated, juicy, and bursting with flavors. With good quality lump meat, appropriate seasoning, and a little patience, you can indeed make the best crabcakes at home. Keep reading for the easiest and most authentic crab cake recipe!


If you have lived in Maryland, you will know what I mean by crab cakes. They are not your run-of-the-mill crab cakes but the iconic dish of the mid-Atlantic coast. Made with Chesapeake blue crabs, they are meaty, made with just enough filler to hold things together, and have a sweet flavor. During my grad days in Maryland, visiting the crab shacks in the summer months was a ritual. When I moved to California, guess what I missed the most? No brownie points for guessing, CRAB CAKES!!!!, of course :(


I hated it when I would go to a restaurant, order an expensive plate of crab cakes, only to realize that they probably used more bread crumbs than crab meat! Right around this time, I decided to make crab cakes at home. Although a daunting task, I figured that if I could get my hands on fresh, good-quality lump crab meat, the recipe isn't that complicated. I got the crab meat from Whole Foods, it was expensive but was quite to my liking. The rest of the process was smooth as silk. But before we get into the recipe, here is a quick rundown on crab cakes for the unversed.

 


WHAT ARE CRAB CAKES?


Crab cakes are popular seafood appetizers native to the United States. They are small to medium-sized patties made with crab meat and other ingredients, such as bread crumbs, mayonnaise, eggs, and seasonings. 


ABOUT THE RECIPE


I have made this recipe a hundred times and every time it came out perfect and it has fetched me rave reviews from friends and family over the years. I am really proud of this recipe of mine and I'm glad I get to share it with you all.


The first and most important step is to get fresh, good-quality crab meat. After that, all you need to do is add all the ingredients to a bowl, stir to combine and shape the crab cakes. The key to making the best crab cakes is minimizing the use of fillers and not going overboard with the mixing. Another trick to prevent crab cakes from falling apart while frying is to refrigerate them after forming them. When ready to serve, sear them on each side until golden brown and serve with your favorite sides. 


INGREDIENTS


Here is what you need to make perfectly juicy irresistible crab cakes:


Crab Meat - The star ingredient is crab meat. For the best crab cakes, I recommend using lump or jumbo lump crab meat. The other options are backfin and claw. The lump meat is the most expensive of all but yields the juiciest cakes. You may use any kind of crabs as long as you are using lump meat. The best kind of crab is the Maryland blue crab but other varieties work perfectly well. The Dungeness crab is the most readily available and cheapest crab out there, I think it works well too.


Old Bay seasoning - My favorite seasoning with any kind of seafood is Old Bay seasoning. It has a magic and aroma of its own that makes the crab cakes so special. You can get it at any grocery store.


Eggs - They act as a binding agent to whole the crab meat together.


Parsley and lemon juice - Freshly chopped parsley and lemon juice add to the flavor of the crab cakes.


Sauces and condiments - Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, mayonnaise, and freshly ground black pepper.


Panko breadcrumbs - This acts as a filler, so don't go overboard with it. You may also use normal breadcrumbs. 


HOW TO MAKE IT?


Once you have all the ingredients in place, making crab cakes is a cakewalk. 


In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.


After an hour, divide the mixture into 12-15 parts depending on the size of cake you are looking for. With wet hands, shape them into small patties about half an inch thick. If you have time let the patties sit for 15-20 minutes.


Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a large nonstick skillet and heat over medium heat. Place crab cakes carefully on the skillet and sear until lightly browned, for about 3-5 minutes. Add more oil if needed and gently flip to cook the other side. Cook 3-5 minutes.


Serve immediately with your choice of dips or sides.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


Which kind of crabmeat should I use?


Jumbo lump works the best. If you can't find it, use lump crabmeat instead. 


Can I Use Canned Crab Meat?


While fresh crab meat yields the best crab cakes it is not always possible to get some, in that case, you may use pre-packaged lump crab meat. I get mine from Whole Foodsit is expensive but tastes as good as fresh. Keep in mind that the crab meat should come from the refrigerated section of the store and not from cans. The ones in the can are salty and results in soggy cakes.


Can these crab cakes be baked?


Yes! You may bake these crab cakes as well but I highly recommend searing them in a hot skillet with oil or butter. That crunchy golden crust that we all love on our crab cakes is the result of searing them till golden brown.

If you are planning to bake these, preheat the oven to 450°F. Grease a baking sheet with nonstick spray. Bake the crab cakes for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges and on top. For making them extra juicy don't forget to brush some molten butter before serving.


Can I make this recipe ahead of time?


Yes! If you are making these ahead of a party, simply store the crab patties in the refrigerator in a covered container lined with a paper towel. The patties stay well for 1 to 2 days but no more, after that they start turning soggy. When ready to serve, heat a skillet and sear them as usual. And here's a tip, brush some molten butter for adding freshness to the crab cakes.


Can I Substitute Old Bay Seasoning?


Old Bay Seasoning is the heart of authentic crab cakes. If you don't prefer it the next best substitute in my opinion would be the Cajun Seasoning. Just keep in mind that Cajun seasoning is spicier, so adjust the level as per your preference.


What can I do with leftovers?


If you have leftovers enjoy them as mini crab cakes sliders or turn them into crab cake burgers. You can also enjoy them in a gyro or turn them into crab cake tacos. Just be as creative as you can!


SERVING SUGGESTIONS


Crab cakes are universally favorite seafood appetizers. You may serve them with your favorite tip and a lemon wedge. My favorite dip to team with crab cakes is the Citrus Aioli Dip. The other most common dip is the tartar sauce.


You can easily convert crab cakes into a full meal by combining them with some sides like corn on the cob, mashed potatoes, caesar salad, baked/roasted potato wedges, steamed vegetables, buttered dinner rolls, or coleslaw.

 

STORING SUGGESTIONS


Uncooked crab cakes can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator, and then sear on a hot skillet with oil or butter when ready to serve. 

You can also freeze fully cooked crab cakes for up to 3 months. Make sure to cool them down completely before storing them in airtight bags. Thaw in the refrigerator and then warm on a hot skillet for 8-10 minutes flipping once in between. You may also warm in a preheated oven at 350°F for 10-15 minutes. 


CRAB CAKES

CRAB CAKES

Yield: 12
Author: The GradChef
Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 30 Mininactive time: 1 HourTotal time: 1 H & 45 M
Crab cakes are every seafood lover's favorite appetizer. When made at home, they are unadulterated, juicy, and bursting with flavors. With good quality lump meat, appropriate seasoning, and a little patience, you can indeed make the best crabcakes at home. Keep reading for the easiest and most authentic crab cake recipe!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb lump crab meat
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp old bay seasoning
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumb
  • canola oil, for cooking
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.
  2. After an hour, divide the mixture into 12-15 parts depending on the size of cake you are looking for. With wet hands, shape them into small patties about half an inch thick. If you have time let the patties sit for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a large nonstick skillet and heat over medium heat. Place crab cakes carefully on the skillet and sear until lightly browned, for about 3-5 minutes. Add more oil if needed and gently flip to cook the other side. Cook 3-5 minutes.
  4. Serve immediately with your choice of dips or sides.

Notes:

If you don't prefer Old Bay seasoning substitute with Cajun seasoning. It is spicier, so adjust the level as per your preference.

Nutrition Facts

Calories

94.41

Fat (grams)

4.73

Sat. Fat (grams)

0.76

Carbs (grams)

4.52

Fiber (grams)

0.44

Net carbs

4.08

Sugar (grams)

0.77

Protein (grams)

8.11

Sodium (milligrams)

523.03

Cholesterol (grams)

53.61

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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