How to Make Crab Cakes

Crab cakes are a regional favorite in coastal areas across the U.S., especially in Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, where blue crabs are plentiful (though other types of crab meat will do just fine). Recipes for how to make crab cakes vary a bit by region, with some versions using significantly more bread crumbs or "fillers" than others. But they all have one thing in common: fresh and delicious crab meat. If you happen to live near the coast, you obviously will have greater access to fresh crab meat. But lump crabmeat is available in the seafood sections of most supermarkets across the country. This recipe for classic Maryland crab cakes is true to the region, with ingredients such as Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, fresh parsley and, of course, Old Bay seasoning--a signature spice blend of the Chesapeake area that brings out the natural flavor of seafood. Crab cakes can be served as an appetizer or main dish; or put them on buns for crab-cake sandwiches.
-Hey everyone, I'm Judith. Today, I'm gonna be showing you how to make Classic Maryland Crab Cakes, a delicious appetizer that everyone always just loves. So what we're gonna need for this is 1 pound of fresh jumbo lump crab meat, this is the real stuff, no cans of crab meat I here. We have right here 1-1/4 cups of fresh bread crumbs. We've used some white bread, which we've just blitz in the blended and got some nice bread crumbs from there. We have a 1/4 cup of mayonnaise; 1-1/2 teaspoon of Dijon mustard; 1-1/2 teaspoon of bay seasoning; 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice; 1/2 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce; 1 large egg; 1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley; fresh parsley we're using there. We have some lemon wedges for the end to garnish with. We have 2 tablespoons of butter, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and a quarter teaspoon of kosher salt. So first things first, let's mix together creamy baste for our crab cakes. So, we're gonna get our mayonnaise, our Dijon mustard goes in there too; our bay seasoning. It's a really great seasoning, a mix of spices, paprika, celery salt, and bay seasoning, and it just works really well with crab cakes. The egg goes in there too, the Worcestershire sauce and the lemon juice. Alright, so let's get our fork and we're just gonna whisk all of that together and that is gonna be beautiful with our crab. As that is all blended in, let's get our large dish of crab meat. As I said, this is beautiful fresh crab and all we gonna do is quite simply pour over that mixture of mayonnaise, mustard, [unk] extra on top like so. Give it a good mix. And now its time to get your hands a little bit dirty because obviously we have lumps of crab meat and we just wanna break down a little bit. So, don't go too crazy because we don't wanna too fine, but just with your fingers crumble the crab a little bit so it comes in to nice small pieces like so just nice flakes we want in our crab cakes. So, now it's time to add in our bread crumbs. As I said, we just white bread, which we've blitzed in the blender and I always find it's better to use fresh bead rather than bread crumbs that you can buy in the store. It just makes-- It really does make a difference in the taste of the crab cakes. So, we've got our bread crumbs in there and last but not the least, let's put in our fresh parsley and this is just gonna give it a lovely subtle flavor as well. Nothing too overwhelming for our crab cakes. So, once that is all mixed in now, we can cover that with plastic wrap and put it the refrigerator for 1 to 3 hours. So, it's nice and cool for frying. So, we've taken our mixture from the refrigerator. It's been in there about 2 hours. It's got nice and cool and looking great. So, we'll get a large skillet, put it to medium heat and we'll add in our butter, and our olive oil in there too, so that once that smells and gets nice and frothy at it's doing already, we're ready to put our crab mixture in. So, what we wanna do is basically take a little round of crab and, you know, put it in a little circle like that. We can probably make a round about 8 with that in this mixture. There you go and all we gonna do is gonna place them in a skillet and we're gonna fry them 4 minutes on each side. Watch for [unk] it's spinning a little, there we go and we're gonna do the same with all of our crab mixture. We'll it's been about 4 minutes and as you can see. They are just frying up nicely. We're just gonna give them a quick turn to get nice and golden brown at the bottom and we're gonna cut them for another 4 to 5 minutes. Be careful now when you turn them because they do break up easily, but they're gonna be lovely, nice and moist, just fantastic. Well, our crab cakes have been frying 4 minutes on the other side and I think they are just about ready now. As you can see, they are lovely golden brown, nice and moist as we want them. So, it's ready to take out and serve up. I've just got a bit of lettuce here, which works really nicely, will give that nice freshness. Be careful when serving them up that they don't break apart. So, we can just serve that up there with some lemon slice like so. It just worked really, really well with some nice citrus, and there you go, how beautiful is that like everyone. For an appetizer to impress, this is how you make your Classic Maryland Crab Cakes.s

What You'll Need

  • 1   pound jumbo lump or backfin lump crabmeat, fresh or pasteurized

  • 1   large egg

  • 1/4  cup mayonnaise

  • 1 1/2  teaspoons Dijon mustard

  • 1 1/2  teaspoons Old Bay seasoning

  • 1   teaspoon fresh lemon juice

  • 1/2  teaspoon Worcestershire sauce Kosher salt

  • 1 1/4  cups fresh breadcrumbs (from soft white sandwich bread, such as Pepperidge Farm)

  • 1   tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • 2   tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1   tablespoon olive oil

  •  Lemon wedges for serving

Step By Step

Drain the crabmeat, if necessary, and pick through it for shells ( jumbo lump will not have shells). Put the crab in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk the egg, mayonnaise, mustard, Old Bay seasoning, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Scrape the mixture over the crab and mix gently until well combined. Gently break up the lumps with your fingers but do not overmix.
Sprinkle the breadcrumbs and the parsley over the mixture, and mix them in thoroughly but gently; try not to turn the mixture into a mash--it should still be somewhat loose. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 3 hours.
Shape the crab mixture into 8 cakes about 1 inch thick. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat the butter with the olive oil over medium heat. When the butter is frothy, add the cakes to the pan (8 should fit comfortably). Cook until dark golden brown on the underside, about 4 minutes. Flip the cakes, reduce the heat to medium low, and continue cooking until the other side is well browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges on the side for squeezing over the cakes.

You don't have to make a trip to the Chesapeake Bay to enjoy authentic Maryland crab cakes. Once you know how to make crab cakes yourself, you can enjoy the flavor of the region right in your kitchen.
Back to Top