I’m a crab snob.
Well, what do you expect? I’m from Maryland. We have a picture of a crab on our driver’s license. Us Maryland folk know how to do crabs right. These crab cakes my friends, these are the real deal.
I grew up about 1 hour from Annapolis, Maryland, where I spent the summers going on my Papa’s boat for the day. We would head out in the early morning, and always have lunch at the same place. The Crab Claw. This place rules.
We would sit for hours stuffing our faces with fresh crabs, (literally pulled directly out from the bay in front of us) and all the best sides including corn bread, thick cut sliced tomatoes, the crunchiest pickles, and so much more. Then we would walk to get ice cream. Obviously.
I’ve been doing this with my family for as long as I can remember. Point being, I know good crab.
This makes me suuuuuuper picky about the the crab I eat. You will never catch me eating artificial crab meat, ICK, and I rarely ever order crab cakes from a restaurant if I’m not in Maryland.
I hate when crab cakes are full of other stuff. It’s called a crab cake for a reason. It should be mainly crab! I also hate when they are all mayonnaise-y, or when they are like one big fried patty of who knows what? I want to be able to see the crab chunks. Yes, chunks. Not bits, not puree, but big hunk-a hunk-a chunks.
Basically, there should only be enough “other stuff” to hold the crab meat together and simply enhance the flavor. Because good crab doesn’t need much (if any) doctoring up.
Sooo, remember that lady I told you about? Cheri Chicago? My mom’s bestie and one of my favorite people to steal recipes from? Well this is a slightly adapted version of her crab cakes. So you know they must be good.
To a lot people crab cakes feel like a summer dish. To me, crab cakes are an anytime dish. In the summer they are light and refreshing, but in the fall and winter they can be equally warm and comforting. They are perfect for a casual at home dinner, and even better served as mini appetizers at the fanciest black tie event. Love em!
Let’s take a moment to talk about mayonnaise.
I’m sorry, I’m just not a mayonnaise person. BUT, I absolutely love it as the side kick sauce for these golden beauties. These crab cakes topped with a dollop of this easy lemon mayo sauce makes me a very happy girl. It’s so easy, so good, and in my opinion totally necessary.
If you feel like impressing your husband, your wife, or your friends, then please try this recipe. And please spend the extra buck to get some good lump crab meat. I really think it makes the difference. It’s a once in a while, special occasion recipe that people won’t forget.
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 16 ounces fresh lump crab meat
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg white
- 1/2 - 3/4 cup corn flake crumbs
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- Juice from 1-2 lemons
- Salt to taste
- 1) Sauté shallot and garlic over low heat for about 5 minutes or until soft. Set aside to cool slightly.
- 2) Combine crab meat, mayonnaise, salt, egg white, and corn flake crumbs into a large bowl. Mix together using a fork, slightly breaking up the crab meat until the mixture is well combined. If mixture is too dry, add a little more mayonnaise. If the mixture is too wet, slowly add a little more corn flake crumbs.
- 3) Add the sautéd shallot and garlic to the crab mixture.
- 4) Form crab cakes into individual patties and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. About a half cup for each patty, or a handful. Place formed patties in the fridge for 30-60 minutes.
- 5) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 15-20 minutes on one side, then flip and continue baking for another 10 minutes. Cakes should be a nice golden brown color.
- 1) Scoop mayonnaise into small bowl. Mix in freshly squeezed lemon juice until you reach the consistency that you like. Add salt to taste.