When it comes to a crab cake, nothing beats the authentic flavor of the Maryland crab cake. It’s so simple yet fancy; you can even make one at home yourself. However, not everyone can make this particular crab cake recipe even better. For that reason, read on and follow these 5 tips every time you cook one.
First off, your crab cake recipe should use the right crabmeat
Maryland is considered as the birthplace of crab cake, thanks to its huge crabbing industry surrounding the Chesapeake Bay. Naturally, the locals know how to cook the best crab cake and choose the perfect ingredients for it. For the crabmeat itself, they tend to choose the commonly found Chesapeake blue crab. This particular large crab has a big lump of bright meat with the perfect texture and sweetness for a crab cake.
Does that mean you should use the same crabmeat? Of course, but you don’t have to force yourself if it’s not available in your market. Instead, use other crabmeats that have similar big chunks and flavor such as Dungeness crab or any other large crab around. That way, not only will it help enhance the crab cake recipe, but also gives you the taste of a genuine Maryland crab cake.
Then, choose the right bread crumb for more crispiness
Crab cake has a very distinct texture. Crispy on the outside, but soft and slightly chewy on the inside. Therefore, aside from choosing the right crabmeat, you’ll also need to choose the right bread crumb as well. Of all the breadcrumbs available on the market, panko breadcrumbs work the best for the crab cake recipe. If you didn’t find it, other breadcrumbs would do just fine too.
But aside from choosing the bread crumb, you’ll also have to balance the amount of bread crumb and crabmeat. That way, you can get the great balance between the crispiness and softness in every bite. The rule of thumb for the classic Maryland crab cake is to have a pound of crab meat and a ¾ cup of bread crumb. Mix well, don’t let the crabmeat get shredded to small pieces.
After that, bind them together with mayonnaise
Now that you have the crabmeat and bread crumb, it’s time to mix them. A large, beaten egg is always the way to go, but you can add another binder that sits perfectly well too: Mayonnaise. Don’t worry, its creamy texture and sour flavor will not ruin the flavor of the crabmeat. If anything, the mayo will bind the crabmeat together and elevate both the flavor and texture of the crab cake.
Therefore, mayonnaise is very much mandatory for your crab cake recipe. But some people who are on mayo diet and don’t like mayo might disagree. In that case, you can substitute it with plain, Greek yoghurt. The flavor and texture might not be comparable, but at least there’s an alternative for that kind of situation.
Don’t forget to spice things up with a particular mixture of condiments
While it’s true that the mixture of crabmeat and mayo will create a wonderful flavor, the overall flavor will still be far from perfection. To help elevate the flavor even further, an ideal combination of spicy sauces and condiments can help. So, how do you get the perfect mixture of flavor?
Traditional Maryland crab cake uses a variety of condiments like tartar sauce, cocktail sauce, mustard, remoulade, Worcestershire sauce, or ketchup. Does that mean you’ll have to use them all together for your crab cake recipe? Of course not, because some of these condiments have a contrasting flavor, which may potentially ruin the flavor instead. As an alternative, mix the right condiments to create a perfect storm.
In this case, you’ll want an extra bit of heat from Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce. Mix them up, then add a bit of kosher salt and black pepper for an even more flavor. After that, add the crabmeat, mayo, and bread crumb, then mix well. Believe it, the result will be wonderful, and every bite will be divine and exciting.
Finally, finish the crab cake recipe with the right cooking method
Now that you’ve bound the whole ingredients together, it’s time to cook them. Some people love to bake the crab cake, others broil it, deep-fry it, or pan-sear it. Now, they tend to say that you can cook your crab cake the way you like it, but that’s not entirely correct. Some of the cooking methods can’t bring the dish up to eleven, so you’ll need to cook it the right way.
It’s highly recommended that you pan-sear the crab cake with peanut or canola oil in a hot, non-stick pan or skillet. That way, you’ll retain the flavor and get even crispiness and softness. If you broil or bake the crab, the bread crumb won’t be crispy enough. On the other hand, deep-frying it can overcook the crabmeat, and the sogginess might leave something to be desired.
Now, to sum it up….
Maryland crab cake is always the basic and amazing way to cook a crab cake. And once you cook the cake, serve it with an open sandwich, chips, and/or salad for a wholesome experience. For an even more flavor, add some dipping sauces such as tartar sauce, seafood cocktail sauce, or ketchup. Some people also add a drizzle of lemon juice for a fresh, sour flavor, which is also fine.
But regardless of how you eat it, the ingredients and cooking method used for the crab cake can make all the difference in the world. If you follow the crab cake recipe with these 5 tips, you’re guaranteed to produce some of the best crab cakes you’ll ever taste.