Crab cake is a savory cake made with crab meat.It can be served as semi appetizer or starter or even be served with the main meal as a side dish. Crab cakes are made with lump crab meat, breadcrumbs and eggs. Often the crab cake recipe uses green or red peppers and pink radish at the point where the crab cake is to be sautéed, grilled or baked. They can be seasoned and garnished with sauces and herbs of choice. Most recipes use Worcestershire sauce, pepper and dry mustard along with salt for the seasoning. Mayonnaise is also often used in crab cake recipes. Traditionally, crab cakes have been popularly made in areas surrounding Chesapeake Bay. Crab cakes made around the Maryland and Baltimore regions also tend to have old bay seasoning in them.
The traditional Maryland crab cake is available in two different versions – Restaurant and Boardwalk. While the boardwalk crab cakes are filled with stuffing of different kinds, covered with bread, deep fried and served inside hamburger bun, the restaurant crab cake recipe doesn’t include any fillers and the cake, better called gourmet crab cake, is served as an all lump crab meat on a platter or on an open face sandwich although some chefs prefer presenting the gourmet version broiled or fried.
Crab cakes can be cooked with any crab species although the most favored species is the blue crab, which is considered to have the best taste. These delicious cakes which can vary in size from a small cookie to a large hamburger, are most popular along the Gulf Coast, the Northern California coast, the Mid-Atlantic States and the Pacific Northwest.
History of Crab Cake
The term “crab cake,” is believed to have originated in Fair Cookbook published by New York World in 1930, where "Baltimore Crab cakes" were talked about and their popularity down South. The crab cakes are thought to have been introduced to the United States by the English settlers while some historians believe the dish to have been inspired by older crab delicacies such as crab patties and crab croquettes, which became a popular food in the 19th century.
Crab Cake Recipe: Ingredients Used and Popular Methods of Preparation
The traditional crab cake recipe calls for tiny pieces of crab meat, where the meat is best produced in a flaky form. The basic ingredients used up in the preparation of this seafood entrée include eggs, milk, salt and pepper, breadcrumbs and onions. All these ingredients along with the meat flakes are combined thoroughly to form a thick mixture which are then spooned in batches and deep fried into crunchy patties.
Serving and Eating Crab Cake
Most often, crab cakes are served with sauce, most common of which are mustard sauce, ketchup, tartar sauce and remoulade. As regards to the course, this dish is generally served as an appetizer, although it may sometimes also be served as a side dish. Some accompaniments which are popularly served with crab cakes include French fries, coleslaw, salad, fried okra and breads like hushpuppies, cornbread, rolls, hamburger buns, sandwich and biscuits. As for drinks, pinot grigio wine or light lager beer complement crab cakes very well.
Crab Cake Recipe: Popular Variations
For people who like variation over the old crab cake recipe, they prefer adding green or red bell peppers along with the other ingredients in the dish to enhance the flavor of the crab cakes besides accentuating its appearance. Use of different seasoning mixtures also brings variations in the basic dish. For example, some prefer replacing the tradition white onions in the dish with green onions, which modifies the flavor slightly. Again, the variations in the crab cakes recipe are brought about by the way the dish has been cooked which can be grilling or baking instead of deep frying the crab patties. One striking variation of the crab cakes is the crab rissole, where the crab meat mixture is balled, breaded and deep fried and served over a bed of pasta with a dip. Here are some more variations of crab cake recipe–
- Maryland Style Crab Cakes – Crab meat is blended with mayonnaise, minced parsley, salt, beaten eggs and bread crumbs, shaped into patties, refrigerated, sautéed in butter and served with lemon wedge garnish.
- Hawaiian Crab Cakes – In this recipe, crab meat is mixed with egg yolk, coconut flakes and a sautéed mixture of onions, garlic, tomatoes, salt and pepper and shaped patties. The patties are then butter sautéed and served.
- Eastern Shore Crab Cakes – In this crab cake recipe, crab meat is mixed with beaten egg, Worcestershire sauce melted butter, diced hard boiled eggs, lemon juice, soft bread crumbs, salt and pepper and this mixture is fried golden brown in the form of patties.
- Delmarva Crab Cakes – The patties in this crab cakes recipe are made by mixing the meat with eggs, mayonnaise, bread crumbs, lemon juice, salt, pepper, dry mustard, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, flour and milk. These patties are deep fried and served with a sauce made of butter, flour and milk.
Nutrition Facts of Crab Cake
Crab cakes pack in around 160 calories for every single serving with 10 grams fat, 11 grams protein, 82mg cholesterol and 492mg sodium. Crab cakes also contain considerable amounts of vitamin C, calcium and iron.
Crab Cake: Trivia
Maryland crab cakes happen to be The Preakness Stakes’ official food.