Baltimore or bust! When it comes to crab cakes, no places does it better than Baltimore, Maryland. For me a quality crab cake has very little filler and is only loosely bound together. I don’t want my crab cake to taste like bread, I want my crab cake to taste like crab and too often this isn’t the case. For example, as much as I love Maine (my family vacations there yearly), trust me and don’t waste your time on a New England style crab cake. It almost seems like the goal of a New England style crab cake is to recreate the centerpiece of one of their favourite winter sports, a hockey puck. But, I digress. The point is to emphasize that a crab cake should showcase the crab. Crab is one of those foods in life that is about as close to perfection as it gets. A crab cake should only further highlight, rather than obscure the amazingness of crab.
As you can probably tell, anything crab-related I take extremely seriously. For this reason, I have been working on my crab cake recipe for years. During the process, I found out that I could no longer eat gluten, so this added another challenge. Finally, I emerged with a crab cake recipe I am proud of that can be either gluten-full or gluten free (see ingredients to uncover how).
I love to eat these crab cakes in many ways, but my favourite way is the simplest way. A warm crab cake, a slice of lemon to squeeze lemon juice over the lemon, and some homemade herby tartar sauce (recipe included below). I would love to hear in the comments how you like to enjoy your crab cakes. Enjoy!
- 1 pound jumbo lump crab meat
- ½ cup Hellmann’s mayonnaise (full-fat)
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (I use a reduced sodium gluten-free Worcestershire sauce and if you cannot find a gluten free alternative, you can leave this out)
- 1 tablespoon Tabasco hot sauce
- 20 crackers (if gluten free, use Schar’s table crackers and if not, use unsalted saltine crackers)
- Canola oil for frying
- Tartar sauce and lemon wedges for serving
- Place all crackers into a Ziplock bag and use your hands to crush them into very fine pieces. Set aside for later.
- In a large bowl, combine crab meat, mayonnaise, egg, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and crackers.
- Gently mix ingredients together until everything is evenly distributed throughout mixture. Be careful not to mix too aggressively because you want to preserve the chunkiness of the crab meat.
- Scoop crab meat into ½ cup measuring cup and then mold into crab cake shape.
- Allow crab cakes to firm up in the fridge for at least 1 hour, or, if you have time, overnight.
- Heat canola oil in a frying pan over medium heat and cook crab cakes for approximately 4 minutes per side (or until golden brown). Cook crab cakes in batches so the pan does not become overcrowded.
- Serve crab cakes with lemon wedges and tartar sauce. For a quick homemade tartar sauce, I like to mix mayonnaise, lemon juice, parsley, dill, capers, and dill pickles. The ratios of each ingredient will change depending on your taste preferences.