The Best Crab Cakes - The Chef's Cooking School

The Best Crab Cakes

This Recipe for Maryland Style Crab Cakes is great.  Lightly breaded with complimentary ingredients such as roasted corn and red pepper combine to give you a delicious crab cake that can be served as an appetizer or as a meal.  Browned in a skillet or on a grill, or even in a fryer.  The warm interior complimented by the crispy texture on the outside make this a winning recipe.

The Deliciousness of Crab

There is something about crab that is so delicious.  Crab meat tends to be sweeter in flavor in my opinion than even lobster.  Crab meat requires a little more work to attain it.  You have to crack the claws and pull the meat out.   You can buy crab meat already processed.  Most times it is available in cans.

The amino acids, found in high concentrations in crab, are said to be the secret to the sweetness of their meat. Crabs are like an ocean bug, they crawl around and scavenge on dead fish and anything they can get hold of to eat.  

Crab meat is a great compliment in seafood stuffings for fish, mushrooms, lobster dishes and other seafood dishes.  Crab meat is often delicate in nature and when cooked for long periods breakds down to thin string fibers.  Jumbo lump is desirable as well as king crab because they are a heartier meat.

Crab is such a complimentary ingredient it is in classic dishes such as Veal or chicken oscar.  These dishes are thin cutlets that are sauteed and finished with crab meat and holandaise sauce.  They are a very tasty alternative.  

Types of Crab

There are a number of types of crab

Jumbo Lump crab- comes from larger crabs, similar to stone crab in shape a bit smaller though.  
Leg meat- is the meat found within the thin walking legs of a crab.  This meat isn't as readily available as it once was.
Back fin- is  primarily loose strands of crab meat, this is a cheaper variety than jumbo lump and is great if you don't need the big chunks for                 appearance in your crab cake
Special crab- is white meat from the back of blue swimming crab (Cheapest0
Stone Crab- is the coveted claw used in crab cocktail where the claws are cut and you twist and pull them apart.  Great form of crab for cocktails
Dungeoness Crab- is a fairly sustainable option for crab found in the north west pacific coast up to the bay of Alaska
Blue Crab- are most prevalent in the east near the chesapeake bay area.
Swimmer Crab- these are more of a pacific waters crab that come out to feed at high tides, they are good swimmers, not as sweet  of meat 
Snow Crab- or the commonly known name, opilio crab (made famous by the show deadliest catch) are commonly seen on buffets
Soft Shell Crab- are blue crabs that have grown out of their shell and shed the hard shell, they develop a soft shell that for a brief period of time is edible.  They are                          breaded and fried in sandwiches, or served crispy with sauce or even a compliment to the spanish dish, Paella
King Crab- these are the monsters that come in the size of about 5 lbs as a whole crab.  The legs are prized and the meat is much more                              prevalent which is why the price is the highest

Variations of this Recipe

There are several variations to this recipe.  The crab is the prized ingredient, however the jumbo lump is more costly and not crucial to the recipe.  The jumbo lump offers a textural and visual experience that make people impressed by the large chunks of meat.  They are less fiberous than backfin or special.

Crab cakes can be made completely with special crab or backfin crab.  The weight would need to equal in comparison with the recipe.  You would loose the big lump look which is appealing.  The look gives the confidence of the amount of crab inside the cake.  You also loose the higher cost that lump brings which can be a nice.

Another change could be to drop the mayonaise from the recipe.  The mayonaise is both an enriching agent as well as a binding agent.  So you will need to adjust the recipe to accomodate this.

You will double the cornflake crumb and add some heavy cream .  This recipe calls for 3/4 cup of crushed cornflake, and 1/2 cup of mayonaise.  You should be able to keep everything the same with the acception of these 2 ingredients.  You will double the cornflake and add 1/4 cup of heavy cream.  Combine these two ingredients together to soften the crumb before adding to the recipe.  

When you make this recipe change you are looking for your mixture to be a little sticky so you can press them together to make a cake.  This is the most important piece to get the desired cake like appearance in the final product pictured here.  If it is too dry add a touch more cream or corn flake crumb if too wet.

Making them more nutritious

To make this more nutritious I will offer two suggestions.  

1st suggestion

Follow the above change instructions with the additional corn flake crumb and in place of the cream add the same amount of milk.  Like listed above you will want to soften the crumb in the milk prior to the recipe.  Once mixed you will need to determine if it is able to clump to make cakes.  If it is good you are ready.  If it is too wet add more crumb, if to dry add a little more milk.

2nd suggestion

The other suggestion will alter the appearance to the final product slightly.  If you brown them in a pan without additional oil.  You will only use the pan spray to achieve the browning.  You won't get it to the final browing that you have here.  The cakes pictured here had more contact surface exposed to the heat through the oil.

A Chef Smiley with a turkey.

Happy Holidays!

A Christmas smiley ringing a bell.
A bowl of delicious beef and barley soup with carrots, tomato, potato, celery, and peas.

Take advantage of our Premium Stocks & Soups course, FREE for a limited time. Regular price: $99.00.

Pin Recipe
Print Recipe
0 from 0 votes

Maryland Crab Cake

jumbo lump and leg crab meat mixed with roasted corn, red pepper, cornflake
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Want more recipes like this?Sign up for Chef Thymes!
Servings: 25
Calories: 146kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 oz corn roasted corn in oil, salt and pepper
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 oz red pepper roasted, small dice
  • 1 lb crab meat jumbo lump
  • 1 lb crab meat leg meat or backfin
  • 1/2 cup mayo real mayo
  • 3/4 cup corn flake crushed in a ziploc bag
  • 1 cup flour seasoned, salt and pepper
  • 3 each egg scrambled for egg wash, large
  • 2 oz milk for egg wash
  • 12 oz bread crumbs panko preferred

Instructions

  • take corn, if fresh shave off cobb, mix with light amount of olive oil, salt pepper roast at 400 for 10 - 20 minutes until lightly golden in color
    crab cake ingredients
  • open cans of crab, drain or clean fresh, place in a large bowl
    jumbo lump
  • combine, crab, crushed cornflake crumb, mayonaise, red pepper and roasted corn, mix well. You should be able to form into small cakes
  • Portion into desired cake like shape. This recipe yields 1.5 oz cakes. Make larger if desired, however your yield will be reduced accordingly.
    formed crab cakes
  • chill crab cakes, freeze if necessary, then bread cakes in flour then egg then bread crumbs, standard breading technique
  • Once cakes are breaded you will want to brown in them in a skillet with small amount of oil, medium heat. Let pan heat before adding cakes.
  • once browned remove to sheet pan or cookie sheet, this browning can be done ahead then cooked in the oven at 375 for 8 - 13 minutes depending on if you have a conventional oven which is slower or convectional oven which should take about 8 minutes.
    crab cake
  • The cakes should reach an internal temperature of 145 to 155 before serving
Nutrition Facts
Maryland Crab Cake
Amount Per Serving (1.5 oz)
Calories 146 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 18mg6%
Sodium 439mg19%
Potassium 120mg3%
Carbohydrates 15g5%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 9g18%
Vitamin A 75IU2%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Calcium 45mg5%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Sign up for Chef Thymes Today

The Chefs Resources Page
Home Cook

The Chefs Resources is a place for you to quickly pick up items that are recommended as great tools in the kitchen.  This is also a place that will offer suggestions for books and resources to aid you in your culinary adventures.

>