Apr 13

Viv’s Great Big American Food Adventure: Maryland-style Crab Cakes








Oooh, crab cakes! I hear the absolute best place to have these is in the Chesapeake Bay area, particularly in the city of Baltimore. Being a city close to a rich and fertile coastline, Baltimore is blessed with an abundance of blue crab … the crab of choice when we’re talking about crab cakes. These delectable morsels apparently come either deep-fried or pan-fried / grilled, depending on which purveyor you get them from. You can have them served in between slices of bread, fries or a side salad along with remoulade sauce.



I endeavored to do this recipe justice by changing little to the classic recipe, however, I could not get my hands on Old Bay, which is a seasoning synonymous with crab cakes and is produced in the state of Maryland. Not too sure how this would effect the final taste profile of my crab cakes but I did the best I could in respect to everything else.



The key to yummy patties is to use lump crab meat. And when you are mixing in the ingredients be sure not to be too heavy-handed; try not to break up the pieces too much. Also, it is good to know that when you pack them into cakes you need to squeeze out as much of the moisture as possible. That way they will hold their shape better and stand up to the pan-frying process. I didn’t pan-fry mine … I baked them in a tremendously hot oven with a tiny smear of butter on the pan, just enough to get a nice crust going.



maryland_simple (640x480)



All this reading about American food has got me all flustered now because I so wish I can simply hop on the next flight out and experience all these delectable morsels in person. Goes to show that America is more than just pizzas, burgers and fries. In just under a week I have cooked relatively healthy American dishes using very little oil and fat. During the course of my research I came across a book which details over 500 awesome American delicacies one should try before it’s too late … meaning, before they disappear off the menus for all eternity. If I ever get myself on a plane, States-bound, I would definitely be using this book as a guide. I wonder how much it weighs?



Anyway, back to the task at hand … making crab cakes at home for the first time. Not so difficult once you have watched a video demo and read a few recipes beforehand. Best to be extra prepared when embarking on something you have noooo idea how to put together. For starters, let’s look at the ingredient list, then we’ll get down to the main business of cooking.



Maryland-style Crab Cakes.

  • 350 g lump crab meat
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped green onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced to a puree
  • 4 tbsp panko crumbs
  • salt & pepper




Homemade Tartare Sauce

  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp creme fraiche
  • 1 tbsp cornichons, finely chopped
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • sprigs of dill
  • salt & pepper




So, into a mixing bowl goes the egg + mayonnaise + Dijon mustard. Whisk until everything is well combined and then season with salt and pepper.


Add the chopped green onions (white bits only) and the minced garlic.


Add the crab meat and toss lightly to coat thoroughly. Now stir in the panko crumbs. Cover with cling wrap and store in the fridge for 30 mins.


After 30 mins, fill a ring mould with the crab mixture and press firmly to create a tight fit. Also, by doing this you will squeeze out any excess moisture.


Place on a lightly buttered tray or shallow cake tin. Whack it in the oven at 240°C and bake for 10 mins or until the edges are just turning golden and toasty.


Plate up on a bed of salad along with the tartare sauce and a wedge of lemon. The bottoms of the crab cake will be the more coloured side, hence, making it a better side to present. Using an angled spatula take the cakes off the baking tray and flip it so that the bottoms are now facing up. A light dusting of paprika wouldn’t go amiss either.






When a dish is this simple to put together, using so few ingredients, it is easier to screw up the flavour. So do yourself a favour and use good quality crab meat and proper mayo. DO use butter to either bake or pan-fry your patties because butter not only imparts flavour but, like I said earlier, it helps with crust formation.



Easter is round the corner and I was just thinking that this would be a very good starter to have on the day. No need to be overly formal about it … simply make a big batch and place them in a pile on a bed of lettuce where everyone can simply help themselves. If pure crab patties seems a little extravagant then perhaps bulk them up a bit by mixing half crab and half shrimp meat. I reckon those would go down a treat with the kids.






Well, that’s it from me today. I am thrilled that these turned out so well and did not break up on me during the cooking process. It helps when you are using the baking method, when you are not required to flip the patties halfway during the cooking. Consider that my top tip for this recipe. Join me next time when I make Chilli Con Carne in a baked potato with all the trimmings. Until then, take care and I’ll see you soon.



~ Enjoy! ~




Permanent link to this article: http://foodflurries.com/savoury/maryland-style-crab-cakes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *