All About Crab Cakes
Crab cakes originated as a humble fisherman’s dish and they are now incorporated into many different cuisines around the world. These delicate cakes are great both on their own as an appetizer, or with sides as a meal.
Generally served crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, crab cakes can be made in all different sizes. Crab cakes are primarily made with lump crab meat and a binding agent like eggs or mayonnaise. They can be seasoned with a plethora of ingredients like garlic, onion, thyme, salt, pepper, and lemon.
Read on to learn a bit more about this popular seafood dish!
Origin of Crab Cakes
Typically associated with the area around Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, the first recipe for crab cakes was penned by Crosby Gaige in 1930, but it is thought that they were gaining in popularity before this.
Combining crab with filler was a great way to stretch the meat and make a meal when times were tight in the dirty thirties.
Types of Crab Meat
So, what type of crabmeat should you use to make your crab cakes?
Jumbo lump crabmeat is generally the choice of crab cake purists. That’s why Cameron’s jumbo lump Maryland crab meat is perfect when you’re making crab cakes at home.
The regular lump crabmeat is more delicate and requires less binding for the cakes. Claw meat crab cakes are less expensive to make, but the meat is quite juicy and requires additional binding to hold the cake together.
Crab Cake Seasoning
When seasoning your crab cakes, it is best to use herbs and spices that will complement and not overpower the crab.
Some common crab cake seasonings to use are:
- Old Bay seasoning mix
You are certainly not limited to these seasonings though. Feel free to get creative! Finely chopped onions and red pepper also routinely show up in crab cakes.
Cooking Crab Cakes
You can cook your crab cakes a variety of ways, depending on both the chosen meat and binding agent. Crab cakes are typically fried; either in a pan or in a vat of hot oil. Other recipes may also call for a sauté or a broil.
You can make your crab cakes in all different sizes. Small ones, about an inch in diameter and quite thin, are great for cocktail parties. If you choose to make big patties you could serve them on buns as burgers.
Crab cakes make a really delicious base for eggs benedict as well—just substitute them out for the English muffins and Canadian back bacon.
A few good rules of thumb to remember when cooking crab cakes are:
- The fresher the crab meat—the better.
- Gently mix the crab cake mixture with your hands so as not to break up the crab meat.
- Be careful with the crab cake patties throughout the cooking process so they don’t break apart!
Crab Cake Sides
If you want to serve crab cakes as a meal, the possibilities are endless as to what you can serve on the side. Some of the more common side dishes for crab cakes include French fries, green salad, coleslaw, or a fresh white bread roll.
When it comes to serving a sauce with your crab cakes, there are so many possibilities.
The beauty of crab cakes is that their light delicate flavor allows for them to be served with nearly any flavor.
Some of the more common sauces you will see served with crab cakes include:
- chipotle aioli
- horseradish mayo
- tartar sauce
- seafood sauce
Wine or Beer?
If you are going to serve crab cakes at a party, chances are that your guests may be a little thirsty.
Crab cakes, like most light seafoods, pair well with white wines.
- Sauvignon Blanc: The acidity present in a New Zealand, Marlborough, Sauvignon Blanc cuts right through the richness of the crab meat.
- Riesling: Try a cold glass of Riesling if you’re having fried crab cakes on a hot summer’s day. The sweetness of the varietal pairs well with deep fried crab cakes, especially if there’s a kick to them.
Not a wine fan? Try a cold beer with your hot crab cakes.
- Hefeweizen: This German wheat beer is dry in nature, and yields hints of citrus that pair phenomenally with crab.
- Pilsner: Check out a Czech Pilsner if you’re looking for a light and refreshing beer to go with your rich crab cakes.
You can buy delicious Maryland blue crab cakes and many other great products from our online store.
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By: Melanie Craighead