Maryland-style Crab Cakes | Nik Snacks ~ Nik Snacks

Bite it and write it. That's what I do.


On 9:00 AM by Nikki @ NikSnacks in , , ,    No comments
2020 is the year of the crab for me. I had crab legs for my birthday,  intermittently during the summer (they were on sale! Like, BOGO sale; I couldn't resist) and that leg love has extended to the crabmeat family and now I'm making crab cakes every weekend. 

Marylanders are SUPER SERIOUS about their crab cakes. When they tell you how it should be done, you should do it. The only filler is crushed saltines and Old Bay seasoning is not a suggestion, it's a must that is just as important as the crabmeat itself.

Jumbo Lump: Jumbo lump crab meat is queen of the crabmeat family. It comes from the crab’s swimmer fin muscles and crabs only have 2 of these. You need a A LOT OF CRABS to make one serving of jumbo lump crab meat. This is why it’s the most expensive type. Don't be surprised to see it range from $30 to $50/lb.

Lump: Lump crab meat is a bit smaller than jumbo lump. It comes from the body of a crab and is the standard for crab cakes. It too, is expensive, but it's the preferred choice of meat for this recipe.

Backfin: Backfin crab meat comes from the body of the crab too. The term “backfin” can also include the broken pieces of lump crab meat. It’s flakier than lump crab meat.

Claw: Claw meat is darker than the other types of crab meat. It’s not as sweet, but it has very strong flavor. Claw meat is the least expensive and is ideal for soups, dips, and stews. It may not be pretty, but it still tastes good. The price range on this is more accessible ($12-20/lb) and is usually what I go for in the store. 

Some cooks prefer to sautée or sear their crab cakes on the stove in butter. If I'm being honest, that's how I prefer them. BUT... I heavily recommend the baking method. When cooked on the stove, that leads to a lot of user error, burnt butter, flattened patties and disastrous flipping techniques. For juicy crab cakes that don't fall apart, I recommend baking so they cook quickly, evenly and retain their texture. Don't worry: You can still have the butter too.

Maryland-style Crab Cakes

2 eggs, large
1 cup crushed saltine crackers
3 T mayonnaise
1 T Dijon mustard
1 T horseradish
1 T Old Bay
1 T Old Bay hot sauce
2 t Worcestershire sauce
2 T chopped dill
2 T chopped parsley
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 lb crab meat
½ cup panko breadcrumbs (optional)
¼ cup melted butter

1. If necessary, pick through crab meat for shells ( jumbo lump crab will not have shells). Put the crab in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.

2. Combine with the crab meat, mayonnaise, Worcestershire, horseradish, parsley, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, crushed saltines, egg, lemon zest, dill and Old Bay seasoning. Stir the mixture lightly just until mixed together uniformly. 

3. Scoop the crab mixture using a 1/3-cup measure and form cakes. Place each one on a prepared sheet pan.

  • 4. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the cakes. Cover the with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes up to 1 hour.
5. Drizzle each cake with a little melted butter. Bake at 450° for 12 minutes. Serve with remoulade.

Remoulade is simply fancy mayonnaise used as a vehicle for some tasty things to accompany seafood dishes. Every recipe is a course in trial and error. Ecru time I make it, it tastes similar yet different and that's how I like it. No recipe or ratio here. Just add a bit of this or that and make your own too serve with your crabcakes.

Garlic clove
Hot sauce
Pickle relish or chopped gherkins