Maryland Crab Cakes

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Making Maryland Crab Cakes is not hard, all you need is a little patients. This recipe will show you how to make the best Maryland Crab Cakes you’ve ever made.

Who doesn’t like Maryland Crab Cakes? There is nothing like them if you love seafood. Crab meat from the blue crabs of Maryland is the most flavorful and sort after crab meat in the country.

It is known for its delicate but robust flavor. I once saw a guy selling crab cakes at an open air market a few years ago for as much as I have paid for crab cakes in a nice restaurant and he sold out in less than two hours.

Just for the record the crab cakes were not even cooked, they were prepped in balls about four ounces in weight, place in a plastic container and packed in a cooler of ice.

If you have ever lived in or visited the state of Maryland especially the Baltimore area then you know that sitting down to table (laced with paper or plastic) of blue crabs fresh out of the steamer is truly one of the joys of life.

Also, enjoying a delicious Maryland Crab Cake whether it’s baked, broiled, grilled or deep fried is a part of the States culinary and cultural foundation.

When you make these crab cakes for company expect more guess the next time you make them. But don’t panic because instead of making the larger crab cakes you can just make the crab cake mixture into nice petite one ounce cakes or balls.

A lot of people think that if you get the best crab meat then you will make the best crab cakes.

This is not always the case, having a high quality product is just half the battle. The seasonings that you use are very important as it should complement the mild yet unyielding seafood flavor and freshness of the crab meat.

The sauce which is usually mayonnaise base with egg added along with the bread crumb, cracker crumb, flour or whatever you care to use can make the difference between your crab cake staying together or falling apart.

One of the key techniques to making a good crab cake is using the least amount of breading and filler as possible while producing a cake that stays together during the cooking process and does not interfere with the taste or texture of the crab meat itself.

The most important step of all is mixing the crab cake mixture. You really don’t want to over mix your crab cake mixture or you will have shredded crab cakes and that will definitely be disappointing.

No matter how good the flavor of a Maryland Crab Cake is if the crab meat is all shredded up the texture of that crab cake will be mediocre at best.

The best crab meat to use for any crab cake recipe is fresh Maryland blue crab meat (jumbo lump or backfin). There are pasteurized canned crab meat product that are pretty good but nothing is better than fresh.

Pasteurized canned crab meat can last for weeks in your refrigerator and months in the freezer. While fresh crab meat will only stay fresh for a couple of days.

Fresh crab meat can be frozen with little or no loss in quality as far as using it for crab cakes go. When freezing fresh crab meat don’t hesitate, if you think that you are not going to get around to using your fresh crab meat on time place it in the freezer immediately.

Leftover crab cakes hold up very well in the freezer, about two to three months raw and four to six months cooked.

Maryland Crab Cakes are great served alone or on a bun and it’s always great to have tartar sauce, cocktail sauce or even a little remoulade sauce.

Additional Tips

When mixing crab cake mix if you don’t feel safe using a spatula or spoon I suggest using your hands with fingers apart from each other. You’ll have more control and probably want shred your crab meat.

If you think you’re going to have a problem cooking crab cakes in a pan simply place them on a greased oven safe pan and spread a very little oil on the top then bake in 400° preheat oven until golden brown.

Make this recipe your own

Often times as experience cooks we tend to have a driving desire to take something as simple a crab cake recipe and improve it. But it does not take a lot to improve on the simplicity of the crab cake.

You can always add your own special seafood seasonings or a little hot pepper if you like spice but what really improves the flavor of this delicate morsel is less.

Sometimes using less ingredients can expose the true flavor, texture and freshness of the crab meat. So, sometimes you can really make a better crab cake by doing less.

Try cooking it a different way

The best known method by far of cooking crab cakes is frying. I have seen so many fried crab cakes roll off of hot cooking lines of restaurant kitchens until I even forget how nice they turn out using other cooking methods.

In this recipe I use a combination of sautéing and baking to produce a light less oily crab cake. But just baking or broiling works very well too.    

Here is a short video on Maryland Crab Cakes preparation the full version is near the bottom of the recipe card.

Difficulty: Intermediate Prep Time 15 min Cook Time 15 min Total Time 30 mins Best Season: Summer



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  1. Remove shell from crabmeat (if any).  

    In a bowl, combine bread crumbs, crabmeat and old bay and gently mix until well blended.

    Do not over mix, avoid shredding crab.

  2. Lightly sauté peppers, set aside and let cool.

  3. Beat egg, lemon juice and mayonnaise until well blended. 

  4. Add peppers, parsley and mayonnaise mixture to crab and lightly fold until evenly moistened, but do not over mix. Set aside for at least 15 minutes.  

  5. Form crab mixture into cakes, cakes should be about 1/2 inch thick.

  6. Fry crab cakes in oil over medium heat until golden brown on both sides (about 1-2 minutes per side).  

    Place on oven safe dish and finish in preheated oven 325° for 15 minutes. 

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1ea

Servings 5

Amount Per Serving
Calories 220
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10.8g17%
Saturated Fat 1.3g7%
Cholesterol 85mg29%
Sodium 820mg35%
Total Carbohydrate 13.6g5%
Dietary Fiber 0.7g3%
Sugars 2.1g
Protein 14g29%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Keywords: Maryland crab cake, crab cake, crab cakes, fried crab cakes, crab meat

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