Crab Cake Italian Sandwiches
Are you looking for some delicious ways to incorporate crabs cakes into more of your weekly meals? If so, you must try this sensational Crab Cake Italian Sandwich! We’ve merged all the things folks love about Italian hoagies (or subs, or grinders— depending on where you reside) with our award winning crab cakes. The results are simply spectacular!
Brief History of the Hoagie
This writer hails from the land of hoagies, the city of brotherly love, and an area steeped in superior sandwiches (not just my opinion, I promise). The Italian hoagie, rivaling the cheesesteak for sandwich dominance, is said to have originated in Philly’s shipyards. A stretch of land known as Hog Island (a location where the Philadelphia Airport now resides) had a majority Italian-American workforce. The workers on Hog Island were known as “Hoggies” and a quick, easy, filling sandwich, made with leftover deli items from the Italian section of the city, soon adopted the same name, the Hoggie. Thanks to a mash-up of local dialects and accents, the pronunciation of the sandwiches, “hoggies”, came out sounding something like “hoagies”. After some time, the spelling caught up to the pronunciation (or so legend says).
Classic Italian Sandwich Fillings Shopping List
To make a semi-authentic Italian hoagie (semi-authentic thanks to our crab cake addition), you must seek out some necessary ingredients.
Hoagie rolls are a soft, slightly chewy, long sandwich roll averaging about 6-12-inches in length. These are ideal rolls, well suited for the task at hand—harboring and containing oodles of ingredients. French or Italian long rolls will work in a pinch, just avoid firmer, crustier breads and rolls (like baguettes) as these may result in ingredient “fall-out”.
The classic Italian hoagie contains a plethora of meats. Most often you’ll find cured ingredients like; prosciutto, salami, capicola, pepperoni, or mortadella in authentic hoagies. We recommend using prosciutto for this sandwich variation. The salty, nutty, melt-in-your-mouth qualities that prosciutto posses pair well with the sweet and savory crab meat.
A good Italian hoagie contains oodles of fillers. We recommend a nice blend of vine-ripe tomatoes, shredded lettuce (we like green leaf), red onions (thinly sliced), and zesty peperoncini pepper slices (the pickled, light green, semi-mild peppers, often seen as ‘pepper rings’).
We’ve included a recipe for a traditional hoagie dressing, a tangy-sweet vinaigrette using dried herbs, EVOO, and balsamic vinegar. Some Italian hoagie aficionados like either a “dressed’ hoagie (with the vinaigrette) or a hoagie that is slathered in a little mayo, or both. Feel free to experiment with your favorite combination.
We strongly recommend sharp provolone or deli-sliced mild provolone for this recipe. Not just for authenticity, provolone has a robust creaminess that pairs well with the fillings, dressing, crab cakes, and prosciutto.
Crab Cake Italian Sandwich
- 1/4 cup balsamic dressing
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- Pinch of paprika or crushed red pepper flakes
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 each Cameron’s 4oz Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes divided into 6 equal portions
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 each 12-inch hoagie rolls semi-split
- 6 thin slices sharp provolone or deli-style provolone cheese
- 6 mini crab cakes cooked
- 1 cup shredded lettuce
- 1 medium tomato sliced
- 1/4 cup red onion peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup peperoncini sliced
- 2-4 tablespoons hoagie dressing
Make the dressing
- Place all of the ingredients in a sealable container or glass jar. Vigorously shake the jar to combine the ingredients and set aside until ready to use.
Cook the crab cakes
- Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat and butter the surface. Take the crab cake mixture out of the container, divide into 6 equal portions, and shape those portions like a hockey puck. Cook the crab cakes until both sides are a nice golden brown color, about 3-6 min. Remove from the skillet and set aside on a paper towel until ready to assemble the sandwiches.
Assemble the sandwich
- Place hoagie rolls on a clean work surface and open them up, almost like a book. Fill the rolls with cheese, crab cakes (3 per roll), lettuce, tomato, onions, and peppers. Then, drizzle the entire works with some of the hoagie dressing. Secure (if necessary) with a toothpick before slicing in half and serving.
Not Just Any Crab Cake
Yes, the real deal, true blue Maryland crab cakes delivered right to your door! That’s exciting stuff! All of our jumbo lump crab cakes are handmade every morning, contain a whopping 75% crab meat to binder ratio (that’s a lot of crab!), and made with authentic Maryland crab meat.
Show us your crab cake love! We’re always looking for fellow fans of the cake (maybe we should start a club!). We can be found @cameronsseafoodonline on Instagram or @CameronsSeafood on Facebook.
About the author
Patterson Watkins is a professional chef with over 17 years of experience. With a robust career in restaurants, contract dining and catering (including 4 Summer Olympic posts preparing food for the athletes!) Patterson joined the Cameron’s Seafood team at the end of 2018 to concoct some delicious recipes with our premium seafood items as the centerpiece.