How to make crab cakes. Including two crab cake recipes.

how to make crab cakes
Although crab cakes are immensely popular nowadays in the US, especially in the Chesapeake Bay area of Maryland, they are actually said to have been introduced into the US by English settlers during colonial times.

Making cakes of meat or seafood mixed with bread, has long been tradition in many countries, even way before colonial times. They are easy to make, cheap and extremely tasty.

Recipes for crab cakes, or crab croquettes as they are also known, have not varied much since the beginning of the 20th century.
The main ingredients for crab cakes are crabmeat, bread crumbs and egg. Other ingredients that have recently been added to some popular recipes are mayonnaise, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper and occasionally parsley.

Many crab recipes call for the meat of blue crabs as one of the ingredients. Blue crabs are prolific in the Maryland region; however, any white crabmeat or a mixture of brown and white crabmeat can be used.

Recipes in the UK tend to mix mashed potato with the crabmeat to make their crab cakes, which would be more similar to the traditional croquette recipe. On the other hand, US recipes call for only crabmeat, whilst the rest of the ingredients either bind or season the crab cakes.

You can make crab cakes in various sizes depending on whether you want to make a starter or appetizer or even a main meal. They are delicious bite size, 3oz or 6 oz and can be eaten on their own or served with a fresh green salad or fries.

Below are two recipes for crab cakes: 1 simple classic recipe from Maryland, USA and 1 recipe from the UK.

Crab cakes (USA)

  • 1 lb (450 g) of Maryland crabmeat (or any white crabmeat)
  • 1 cup of dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup of mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp of Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to season
  1. Pick through the crabmeat, making sure to remove all tiny pieces of shell and cartilage.
  2. In a medium size mixing bowl, combine the bread crumbs, egg, mayonnaise, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper.
  3. Add the crabmeat to this mixture and mix together thoroughly.
  4. If the mixture is too dry, add more mayonnaise, milk or another egg.
  5. Form cakes from the mixture with your hands. There should be enough for 6 medium sized cakes or more if you are making smaller ones.
  6. Place the cakes onto a plate or dish and cover with aluminium foil. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes (the cakes will keep their shape better).
  7. Fry the crab cakes in a little oil or butter on both sides until they are a golden brown colour (about 5 minutes each side).
  8. Remove from the pan and serve hot.

Crab cakes (UK)

  • 8 oz (225 g) of mixed crabmeat
  • 8 oz (225 g) of cooked mashed potato
  • 2 oz (55 g) of dry bread crumbs
  • 1 oz (30 g) of oatmeal
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • ½ a small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp of freshly chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp of lemon juice
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper
  • flour
  • oil for frying
  1. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the crabmeat, mashed potato, parsley, onion, lemon juice, cayenne and the salt and pepper.
  2. Add one of the beaten eggs and mix well, binding the ingredients together.
  3. Flour your hands and make 9 cakes from the mixture.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the breadcrumbs with the oatmeal, adding some black pepper if desired.
  5. Dip each crab cake into the remaining beaten egg and then coat with the bread crumb and oatmeal mixture.
  6. Heat some oil in a frying pan and gently fry the crab cakes, turning once, until they are brown on both sides.
  7. Serve hot with a fresh salad or fresh vegetables and potatoes.

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