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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

My Favorite Crab Cake Recipe

I was searching for the simplest crab cake recipe in the Web with a lot of crab meat and less additives. I found this classic Maryland crab recipe by Susie Middleton published at Fine Cooking Magazine. The only additive is the breadcrumbs. With the abundance of Dungeness Crab this week here in Northern California, I was able to purchase 4 whole 1.5-pounder Dungeness Crabs from Food Max at only $3.99/lb the other day. I believe this will be the cheapest price the crab market will allow based on historical data of the crab season here in California.

This was my first time to prepare crab cakes, but the recipe looks very simple. The hardest part was cleaning the crab. It took me about an hour to harvest about one pound of meat from the two whole crabs bodies and claws. My neck started to strain from the concentration of extracting the meat from the crab shells and claws. If you are lazy, and have no time or patience to extract the meat from the whole crab, you can purchase fresh and pasteurized meat. The disadvantages are that you will miss the butter or fat of the crab and you will pay much higher for your meat. For example a 4 oz of lump meat cost about $21.99 in Safeway.

After tasting the recipe below, I will prepare it again perhaps next year Dungeness Crab season. If the price of Dungeness Crab is still $3.99/lb next week, I plan on cooking another crab omelet, a crab quiche, a crab garden salad Louie and may be another crab cake dish again. Bon Apetit!

1 lb. crabmeat, fresh or pasteurized ( Dungeness, Maryland or Philippines)
1 large egg
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1-1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1-1/2 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce Kosher salt
1-1/4 cups fresh breadcrumbs (from soft white sandwich bread)
1 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 Tbs. olive oil
Lemon wedges for serving

Drain the crabmeat, if necessary, and pick through it for shells. Put the crab in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg, mayonnaise, mustard, Old Bay seasoning, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and 1/4 tsp. salt. Scrape the mixture over the crab and mix gently until well combined. Gently break up the lumps with your fingers but do not overmix.

Sprinkle the breadcrumbs and the parsley over the mixture, and mix them in thoroughly but gently; try not to turn the mixture into a mash—it should still be somewhat loose. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 3 hours.

Shape the crab mixture into 8 cakes about 1 inch thick. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat the butter with the olive oil over medium heat. When the butter is frothy, add the cakes to the pan (8 should fit comfortably). Cook until dark golden brown on the underside, about 4 minutes. Flip the cakes, reduce the heat to medium low, and continue cooking until the other side is well browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges on the side for squeezing over the cakes.

Reference: www.finecooking.com/classicmarylandcrabcake/Photo by Scott Philip

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