Monday, August 22, 2011

Crab Cakes- a Family Recipe

    I am a crab cake snob. There, I said it. As much as I love crab cakes, I seldom order them in restaurants.  You see, I don't like a bunch of "stuff" in my crab cake that's not crab. No green peppers. No onions. No parsley. I love the taste of the crab itself, and that's what I like my crab cakes to taste like. I want them to taste like the ones my mom makes. Like the ones that my grandma made when I was a little girl visiting her and my granddaddy in the little fishing village by the "crickshore."

    My grandpa was a waterman, and blue crabs (callinectes sapidus) were plentiful in the summertime. He'd send a bushel basket of them home with us, their claws scrabbling against the wooden slats. We had to be careful because those claws would pinch! We had to cook the crabs alive- that's the part I never liked. Crabs that were blue when they went into the pot came out of the pot a gorgeous orangy-red color, and were ceremoniously placed in the middle of our newspaper-covered table to cool enough to be devoured.

    While everyone else was picking and eating crabs, my mom was usually picking out crabmeat and setting it aside to make crab cakes or deviled crab, another favorite. The following recipe for crab cakes is the one I grew up eating. I made some last week from crabs my brother shared with me, and we enjoyed them with cole slaw, sweet corn on the cob and fresh tomatoes. Summer eating doesn't get much better than that, does it?

1 lb. fresh crabmeat
4 slices white bread, crusts removed
1 egg
3-4 Tablespoons  mayonnaise
2 teaspoons prepared yellow mustard
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
dash of Worcestershire sauce
pinch of sugar
cayenne pepper to taste (I use about 1/4 teaspoon)
salt to taste- Depending on how they're cooked, some crabs may need more salt than others.We don't eat much salt, so I find that the salt the crabs are cooked with is sufficient and I don't add any extra.
To prepare:
Pick through crab meat to remove any bits of shell.
Hold slices of bread under running water to wet. (Careful- they get mushy quickly!) Gently squeeze slices to remove most of the water. You don't want them dripping with water, but you also don't want to squeeze them into a hard lump.
Put moistened bread into a bowl with the egg, mayonnaise, mustard, baking soda, Worcestershire, sugar, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly until mushy.
Add crab meat and gently mix until combined. (I like to leave my crab in bigger pieces so I mix it as little as possible.)
Form the crab mixture into cakes. (I use about 1/3 cup per cake.)
Cover the bottom of a frying pan with vegetable oil. Heat oil until hot. Place crab cakes in hot oil, reduce heat to medium and cook until golden brown, turning once.
Remove to paper towel to drain.

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  1. Yum, crab is one of my favourite seafood! That recipe looks fantastic we have a nearly similar recipe but we put them on crab shells for added visual.

  2. As you can see from my post today, I love crab cakes. I am pretty sure I just found a new favorite way to prepare them!

  3. This is famaily recipes at their best. All I need is good quality crab.

  4. Your word is good, thank you for giving up this recipe, maintaining the honesty of true taste.

    Thank you.

  5. We love crab cakes around here. I used to love getting them at Phillip's in the Baltimore Harbor area but last time was disappointed they had changed the recipe. I had forgotten all about deviled crab. My mother made that occasionally.


  6. I'm visiting my friend in Baltimore, and I'll have to show her your recipe for crab cakes! It looks delicious.

  7. They look out of this world amazing. one of our family's favorite too! Crab cakes are so filling yet light in a way! LOL! Love them and your recipe sounds amazing

  8. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe; you see I LOVE crab cakes, and maybe I am a crab cake snob too. I live far from the fresh crabs; but really enjoy a good. So many times i have ordered one in restaurants and was so disappointed with a greasy mess of I don't know what. I am keeping this for the time I can find the fresh real thing.

  9. My hubby would kill for these!!! They look so good! Great pic!

  10. I totally agree with you, I like my crab cakes as they are and not all adapted and mushy. These look great and I would for sure love to try them...

  11. Your crabcakes look and sound wonderful! Thanks for sharing a family recipe, I'd love to give this a try!

  12. I'm so glad you feel good about getting off your chest the fact of being a crab cakes snob...with that recipe who wouldn't. I feel the same way about Italian food...hence the reason I tend to stay away from Italian restos. There...I said it. LOL

    Betty, I just also finished looking at how you passed your vacation...good on you for getting off the recliner and onto living with nature ;o)

    Good to be back and flavourful wishes,

  13. I love crab cakes. These look delicious and so simple to prepare as well. Thanks for sharing!

  14. Oh how delish! I'm going to try these, too!
    Shern, your college roomie

  15. I might be a crab cake snob too! All I know is I love crab cakes filled with crab and boy are they good. We get the Dungeness crab in Nor Cal but I'm sure your recipe would work fantastic with our crab;-) I'm glad you shared a favorite family recipe with some nice history to go with it;-)

  16. Loved reading about your memories and seeing the delicious recipe!!

  17. We love crab too! Your crab cakes looks so good. Will have to give this a try someday. Have a lovely day!

  18. Awesome crab cakes! And I love REAL crab cakes. Why should we pay for crab and get a bunch of veggies?

  19. I am not a crab cake snob but wish I was. If we ever get to have dinner together in this life, this is what I want you to fix. Ok?

  20. I've never really dabbled much in crab cakes so I defer to your expertise! These sound fabulous!

  21. I am a crab cake snob too! Not that I have a wonderful, old family recipe like yours but I make them often when I can get my hands on fresh, not pasteurized, crab from Maine. These sound wonderful and I love the whole meal!

  22. I'm a crab cake snob too and I Have to say that yours look incredible!!! There's nothing worse than ordering crab cakes at a restaurant and getting subpar ones :(


  23. What a great recipe! They look fantastic, don't blame you for being picky :)

  24. I love a good crab cake...and it looks like you are the one to go to for a recipe! Thanks for sharing this lovely recipe! I hope you are having a nice day. I'm enjoying my Labor Day with baking and friends. Much love from Austin!

  25. I agree, I get tired of all those restaurants who add like 700 other things to crab cakes, and only a tiny bit of crab. Gimme the crab, baby! Your recipe sounds delish, I hope to make it one day for a special occasion :)


Thanks for stopping by scrambled hen fruit! I appreciate all of your comments and look forward to reading them.

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