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Dutchess_III's avatar

Does any one have an outstanding recipe for crab cakes?

Asked by Dutchess_III (46627points) July 29th, 2015

They just sound so delicious, but I am invariably disappointed in the store bought cakes. They seem to have too many different spices in them, some of them mildly hot, and you can’t even taste the crab.

How do I make my own?

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28 Answers

Aster's avatar

Simply go to and put “crab cakes” in the search box.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I prefer personal recommendations. I mean, I know how to Google.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I prefer the simple cakes. Some good crab, whatever you prefer, an egg, salt and pepper lightly, and as little bread crumbs as you can use. The crab is the star, don’t over power it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

The egg acts as a binding agent, right?
I love crab drizzled with lemon juice and dipped in real butter…would that work for simple cakes too?

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Here is one recipe. I agree with @Adirondackwannabe. The key is to use fresh jumbo lump or backfin lump crab meat. I would skip the chives/parsley, mustard, mayo, and Worcestershire sauce as they take away from savoring the crab flavor.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Yes the egg is the binding agent, along with the bread crumbs. Your recipe sounds amazing.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh, did that turn into a recipe? ? Well, I’ll get the ingredients tonight and we’ll find out!

Dutchess_III's avatar

Is that what all they put in them @Pied_Pfeffer?? Now wonder they’re so yucky.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Dutchess_III Having dined on delicious crab cakes in Annapolis, MD, Chesapeake, VA, and making our own while staying in Nags Head, NC, anything other than egg and a minimal amount of bread crumbs or saltine crackers added to fresh crab is a sin. They should be pan-fried in real butter to create a crispy top and bottom layer and cook the egg. Lemon wedges and cocktail sauce on the side are the only necessary condiments to have on hand.

Here is a recipe for a tasty crab dip that our family loves. We skip the parsley and go heavier on the cocktail sauce and fresh crab. This was served at a niece’s wedding last Saturday, and it was consumed within minutes.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Thanks @Pied_Pfeffer. Especially for the tip on the butter (I always have real butter on hand.) And I saved the recipe…it sound DELICIOUS!

OK, here is what I picked up…

Lump crab meat, canned (give me a break! Where am I going to find “fresh” crab in Kansas?
Green onions (intend to chop very fine)
Lemon juice (maybe a teaspoon)
I searched high and low for regular croutons with no flavoring, but couldn’t find any. I settled for “Texas toast croutons with butter and garlic flavor.” A bit of garlic won’t hurt I don’t think. I plan to smash the hell out of however much crouton I need.

How does it sound?

Stay tuned. Going to fix them tonight.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer in return, here is an addictive salmon dip:

1 can sock eye salmon
1 8 oz package of cream cheese
1 tablespoon smoke sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
bunch of green onions chopped fine.

Mix everyting togedder and mush it all up.

The original recipe called for you to roll the mix in finely crushed nuts, and make into a ball, but I skip that part and just serve it in a bowl.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Dutchess_III Thanks for the recipe. It’s a keeper.

If you can afford it and want the real deal, here is a website that can be used to order fresh or fresh/frozen crab. The cost is slightly cheaper than purchasing a crab cake meal for two in a restaurant. A crab cake dinner at Joe’s Crab Shack is $18.50.

Dad once took us to a place he found near Va. Beach where each days’ crab haul was shelled. It was a bunch of women sitting at picnic tables near the fishermen’s pier, and their speed and agility was something to behold. I’ve shelled many a crab in my life, but those women put me to shame.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Holy crap! That is expensive! Let’s see how these experiments work out and then wait for the Pope to get married so I can bring a dish to his wedding! But thanks.

How do you shell uncooked crab? How do you even shell cooked crab so fast? I waste more calories getting decent chunks of crab meat out than I take in!

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Do you have a rugged set of food scissors and crab forks? They aren’t cheap but they work wonders.

Buttonstc's avatar

How do you shell uncooked crab? I don’t know of anyone who has done this.

How do you even shell cooked crab so fast?

Those ladies do this for a living so of course they’re speedy at it. But don’t be under the illusion that you don’t end up with pieces of clear, hard to see, cartilage going at that speed. If you buy crab meat at the grocery store, be prepared to pick through it carefully or end up with unpleasant surprises while eating.

Actually, if you have your choice of which kind of whole crabs to buy, get Dungenness (from the Pacific coast). They are huge compared to the Blue Claws typically found on the Eastern Seaboard.

I know how time consuming Blue Claws can be because I grew up right on Great South Bay in Long Island and spent my childhood summers eating them all the time.

I spent many hours out in my rowboat and down at the town docks crabbing. I would store them in the fridge in the long horizontal crisper drawer found in old fashioned fridges back then until I had enough.

Then I would cook up a whole big pot of them and sit at the kitchen table with claw (or nut)crackers, the aforementioned tiny crab forks and pick them apart one at a time along with a small dipping container of melted butter. Delicious.

(it wasn’t till adulthood that I discovered the 5–10 times larger Dungeness crabs. But it was a moot point since I didn’t live on the West Coast.)

As for making crab cakes, less is more. Crushed Saltines, egg, and plenty of crab are all you need. Perhaps a little bit of onion or garlic powder but that’s about it.

Crab has a very mild delicious taste and it doesn’t take much to overwhelm it completely.

And if you do overwhelm it, it’s a total waste of money. If you’re going to be adding something like ⅔ cup of chile sauce (like in that dip recipe above) you might as well save a ton of money and use chopped or ground shrimp instead because you wouldn’t really be able to tell the difference with that much overpowering flavor added.

Anyhow, let us know how your crabcake adventure turned out.

OwenDale's avatar

i am also waiting for that

Dutchess_III's avatar

Mmm. I didn’t like it. It was definitely better than the store bought, but I didn’t like it.

I still have one can of crab meat, so perhaps I’ll try it one more time with the saltines. Perhaps it was the “Texas Toast with butter and garlic” that threw me.

Could be that….I just don’t like crab cakes. :(

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Tell me you didn’t use canned crab. That’s like fish vomit. It has to be fresh crab.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Where do I find “fresh” crab?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Your grocery store doesn’t have a seafood section? They usually have legs or something on ice. It’s easy to cook. Sorry I was harsh in my answer above. Canning it changes the flavor.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yes, they do have a seafood section, and crab legs, but OMG. Break the bank to buy them. I sure don’t want to spend all that money on an experiment that might not turn out. :( Well, now I suppose I’ll be receiving crab cakes in the mail from you, Bro! ;)

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I don’t think they would ship that well. You’re in the Midwest, so maybe that makes them more expensive. Ours aren’t cheap but they’re affordable.

Dutchess_III's avatar

And SO good. I had fresh crab down at the Fisherman’s Warf in Seattle a few years ago. OMG…..

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Buttonstc Was the post directed to me? If so, I’ve never seen a crab shelled that wasn’t cooked first either. The ones that came off the boat and shelled were steamed first before passing them on to the pickers. Maybe all of them were. All I can tell you was that those women were fast and did a better job of removing the shell fragments than we did on our own with whole crabs. This comes from someone with 30 years of beach week experience shelling them with 15 family members.

As for the dip recipe, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. I would have thought the same thing as you…the cocktail sauce would overpower the crab flavor, but it doesn’t.

@Dutchess_III Ah, you’ve been to the Fisherman’s Wharf in Seattle. Fresh crab is akin to eating fresh, ripe pineapple. Fresh vs. canned are not of the same taste. Both are a culinary sin in my opinion.

Buttonstc's avatar

Since you still have a can left, here’s something you might try to get rid of that canned taste.

Soak the contents in either milk or diluted orange/lemon juice for a few hours before preparing.

If you liked the fresh crab you had in Seattle then it stands to reason that it’s unlikely that the problem is that you just don’t like crab cakes.

When you have something with such a delicate flavor and texture, you have to be very careful what you mix it with.

The simpler and more high quality the other ingredients, the better.

And in the future, if all you have access to is canned, might as well skip it.

Buttonstc's avatar


My previous post was primarily directed at Dutchess since she was the one who asked about shelling crabs.

But I did refer to the contents of the dip which includes Chile sauce. All I can say is that if it works for you, that’s great.

I’d never waste the money if I were just going to add it to Chile sauce. There are at least 10 less expensive fish I can think of to do that with and I seriously doubt that most people would be able to tell the difference or miss the crab since its flavor is so mild.

But, to each his own :)

Dutchess_III's avatar

Crying over my canned crab!

I’ve had crab lots and lots over the years. Even in Kansas it’s on many restaurant menus. I love, love, love it.
I’ll give the canned one more shot. I’ll soak it in milk first. I think lemon juice for too long might kind of eat it up.

Aster's avatar

Use that famous Seafood Seasoning. What’s it called? Can’t think right now . Old Bay?

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