Or as my kids call them, "Crabby Patties"
Whenever I tell people how easy it is to make crab cakes they look at me as if I'm kidding. I tell them, "If you can prepare a meatloaf and cook a hamburger, you can make a great crab cake!"
If you are a purist and want to do it right, you would buy a bunch of blue clawed crabs, boiling them up, chill the creatures and spend hours picking the meat from their tiny little claws.
I remember as a kid, my dad taking us down to my grandfather's house at the Jersey shore to go crabbing. We came home one time with two bushels of Jersey Blue Claws that had to be cooked and cleaned.
After a while my dad who was doing most of the picking came up with the brilliant idea of using a water pick to blast the meat from those tiny little legs to speed things up. His idea worked but when my mom came in the kitchen, she had a fit when she saw crab meat hanging from the ceiling and walls. My dad ended up having to repaint the entire kitchen.
I find it much easier to buy fresh lump crab meat at my local fish market where someone else has spent hours picking the meat. Great if you can find it, even better if you can afford it.
A more affordable alternative is buying "pasteurized" crab meat in 16 oz cans. Costco sells a Phillips brand that is "hand picked lump" that is not bad at all.
On the label they describe how the Phillips family has been processing crab meat for more than forty years for their Phillips Seafood restaurant. The crab comes from the "tropical waters of Asia, then cooked, hand picked and pasteurized".
Is this crab as good as my dad's water picked fresh crab? No way, but it does make a tasty crab cake. My 6-year-old daughter loves to help me make the crab cakes. She says she's making crabby patties like they do on the SpongeBob cartoons. Whatever works,right?
There are hundreds of recipes out there for crab cakes. I think everyone in Maryland has a secret family recipe. I use the recipe on the can as a guide and then alter it depending on what I have in-house the day I'm making them.
The recipe on the Phillips can calls for Phillips Seafood Seasoning. I substitute Old Bay Seasoning but you can use whatever you like or have on hand.
Crab Cakes Recipe
- In a good size-mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients together except for the lump crab meat. Be sure to wash your hands (or your kid's hands) first and then get in there and mix all the ingredients together.
- Fold in the crab meat into this mixture but be careful not to overwork it or the nice large "lumps" will break into small pieces.
- How to Cook
- I typically sauté the crab cakes in a little bit of olive oil and butter mixture but you can also bake them in a 375°F oven for 12 to 15 minutes. Alternatively you can grill them until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F. It's that easy.
- I serve them with a red pepper coulis my wife whips up in the blender.