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I nibbled on a crabcake made by the guy at Dupont Market yesterday morning. It's gotten me back into crabcakemaking mode. When I make mine, I use a mix of jumbo lump and the shredded stuff. Crushed saltines and mayo round it out along with the spicing. Old Bay is optional. Cook 'em up in some sizzling butter.

How do you make yours?

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I just recently started making crab cakes and my beginner version consisted of following the old bay recipe (online w/out mustard version ... they have two versions). I purchased the can of jumbo lump crab meat from Costco for $14. I found that they stayed together longer when I let them sit in the fridge for 3 - 4 hours after making them into cakes but before cooking.

I have a long ways to go, but for an initial attempt, they weren't too bad. I will start tweaking the recipe going forward and may have to try the sardine idea. I fried mine the first time.

Is it better to fry or bake crabcakes?

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I've made mine very differently over the years. Over time, I've found that the simpler, the better. At home, I use nothing more than lump crab meat, eggs, mayo, saltines a SMALL pinch of Old Bay (just to enhance the flavor of the crabcake - not to add Old Bay flavor) and dry mustard. I've found that this gives the best flavor. Then I broil them. It's good eats!!

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I've made mine very differently over the years. Over time, I've found that the simpler, the better. At home, I use nothing more than lump crab meat, eggs, mayo, saltines a SMALL pinch of Old Bay (just to enhance the flavor of the crabcake - not to add Old Bay flavor) and dry mustard. I've found that this gives the best flavor. Then I broil them. It's good eats!!

That's VERY similar to my recipe.

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We make variations on crabcakes based on mood: "French" crabcakes with a little extra garlic and diced shallot, served, bien sur, in a buerre blanc (a friend who was born and raised in Maryland called them "the best ever"), "Mexican" crabcakes with cumin, chili and cilantro, served with a corn salsa; "Asian" crabcakes with a little sesame oil and Chinese Parlsley, and of course, Maryland crabcakes with Old Bay.

I tend to go for pure lump when I can find/afford it, bind with one egg per pound of meat, and add a little cream for moisture. Udually I throu in something onion-y and often a bit of garlic (wait: "West Virginia" Crabcakes -- ramps) And the most important part: smashed Ritz Crackers coating the outside. I fry in a little wading pool of oil, the better to get the crackers all crunchy.

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Being in Florida where I have found little gourmet dinning, I tried my hand at crabcakes for the first time. Using a receipe given to me by the local crab shack. The recipe included lump crab meat, one small onion and 1/4 orange bell pepper sauted, old bay seasonings, a few drops of worchestire, 1 egg, a bit of mayo, a few drops of tobasco and about a very small amount of bread crumbs. The bread crumbs appeared to disolve in the egg. I put the mix in the freezer before forming and then quickly dredged the formed cakes in the bread crumbs before frying. I was amazed. They were very easy to make and were so moist. I added my okra / tomatoes and onions along with boiled corn for a feast on local produce.

I like the sound of Waitman's varieties and will have to try a few of them when I am back in crab country (Maryland or Fl.)

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I found this on the menu of a restaurant that someone recommended. Please tell me they're not serious:

Fresh Crab Cakes (2) Broiled or Fried, All Jumbo Lump, Delicious Either Way.

Isn't frying crab cakes against the law? Should this restaurant be reported to someone?

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I found this on the menu of a restaurant that someone recommended. Please tell me they're not serious:

Fresh Crab Cakes (2) Broiled or Fried, All Jumbo Lump, Delicious Either Way.

Isn't frying crab cakes against the law? Should this restaurant be reported to someone?

Is it possible they meant pan-fried, like sauteed in oil?
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I found this on the menu of a restaurant that someone recommended. Please tell me they're not serious:

Fresh Crab Cakes (2) Broiled or Fried, All Jumbo Lump, Delicious Either Way.

Isn't frying crab cakes against the law? Should this restaurant be reported to someone?

Dude, I fried up some crab cakes last night and they were damn good.

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I found this on the menu of a restaurant that someone recommended. Please tell me they're not serious:

Fresh Crab Cakes (2) Broiled or Fried, All Jumbo Lump, Delicious Either Way.

Isn't frying crab cakes against the law? Should this restaurant be reported to someone?

Frying is the default preparation of crab cakes at Faidley's in Baltimore (considered by most to have the best crab cakes in the city). They're damn good that way if fried well.

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Frying is the default preparation of crab cakes at Faidley's in Baltimore (considered by most to have the best crab cakes in the city). They're damn good that way if fried well.
I'm willing to try anything once...guess I'll have to give up my broiled (gently) crab cakes and try some (gulp!) fried.
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My Baltimore-native mother-in-law was known for her crabcakes, pan fried in bacon drippings. That is how she taught me to make them.

I think the ones I've gotten from the Fishermen's Exchange in Baltimore were deep-fried, about the size of baseballs and full of lump crabmeat.

Now, the way I hear it, this could be illegal in certain jurisdictions. Wasn't Chicago enacting some sort of regulation on frying in restaurants?

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I don't know what this "lightly" fried stuff is. Fried is fried: fried chicken, chicken fried steak, Friday night fish fries and freedom fries. Gotta get some crunch into that cracker crust, so it stands up to the cole slaw and the sliced tomatoes!

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Crabcakes are one of my favorites, but when I make them at home, they tend to fall apart (not enough binder or not chilled enough?) One of my newest cookbooks is Tom Douglas's 'I Love Crabcakes', which is great-I hope I make even half these recipes!

The family & I headed downtown yesterday (actually, we wanted to go to Ceiba, but didn't realize it wasn't open Sundays), we perambulated the White House, pausing while some helicopters landed, then headed to Old Ebbitt Grill, where I had the crabcake sandwich. It was yummy, w/ vinegary cucumber salad, but that crabcake I had about a week ago at the Santa Fe Grill in Deep Creek, MD was the best-I still can't believe it!

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Crabcakes tonight! What's a good side? I'm already doing an Asian slaw and maybe a sauce. We've been doing a lot of roasted corn lately.

I made crabcakes on Tuesday night, and served them with new potatoes (and green beans) and a remoulade made with a roasted garlic aioli that I also used to bind the crabmeat. I like the sauce with the potatoes, as well as the crabcakes.

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Does anyone know of a good place in the District that makes broiled/baked crabcakes without filler? Or, at least, without mayo? I'm allergic to soybean oil- big ingredient in commercial mayo- and not a huge fan of fat/lard in general.

Not a restaurant, but Rachel Ray has a recipe just for you. In lieu of breading and mayo/egg, she uses potatoes and olive oil to hold things together (no mayo, lard, cream etc) and tops it with a roasted red pepper dressing. I had them recently and they really weren't bad. I think the recipe is online at food network. (Fill in your jokes about Rachel Ray and about my losing any credibility I might have had here).

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Reviving this thread for new inspiration.

Splurged at Buster's yesterday, though I went for backfin instead of lump to have enough money leftover for asparagus.

Having read this thread I've decided to go somewhat purist and ummm medimarrean with a leetle green garlic and shallot perhaps. I did pick up some fresh tarragon, but don't want to overwhelm.

Do I need to use bread or cracker substance to bind? Don't want to coat the dears since I really like Chris's crabcakes and he sells naked ones.

Any other tips?

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Any other tips?

Last time I made crabcakes I used just enough homemade mayo and panko to hold them together. I cooked them in butter in a cast iron skillet for a few minutes, then put the skillet under the broiler to finish the tops. They came out nice and crispy brown on the outsides, soft and moist on the insides, which is exactly how I like them.

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Having read this thread I've decided to go somewhat purist and ummm medimarrean with a leetle green garlic and shallot perhaps. I did pick up some fresh tarragon, but don't want to overwhelm.

Do I need to use bread or cracker substance to bind?

You need something to hold it together. The "absolutely no filler" option would mean having hot falling-apart crabmeat. Trust me, if the crabmeat has some flavor, it won't disappear because of a small amount of panko or cracker meal and an egg or some mayo to turn it into a cake that will hold together while it is being cooked and transferred to a plate. I usually coat the outside with panko crumbs to have an extra crispy finished product. What I usually do, is make fresh mayo in the blender and use some of it to make the crabcake mixture, and some to make a remoulade sauce to accompany them. And usually have some left over to use for great sandwiches and/or tuna or egg salad for the next few days.

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No, no, I was planning on the mayo bit--homemade. Just know that I've had plenty of good crabcakes that weren't coated w bread/cracker stuff and wondered if you have to go the way of meatballs (w bread and egg) or if mayo was enough to bind.

In Maine, where you can find good crabmeat for less than down here, a friend just mixes the stuff w Hellman's (only some Yanks have a different name for the same brand thanks to the days when "PC" only stood for Parti Communiste and you didn't want anything to sound too "ethnic") and opens a big bag of potato chips to scoop it up out on the screened-in porch.

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No, no, I was planning on the mayo bit--homemade. Just know that I've had plenty of good crabcakes that weren't coated w bread/cracker stuff and wondered if you have to go the way of meatballs (w bread and egg) or if mayo was enough to bind.

In Maine, where you can find good crabmeat for less than down here, a friend just mixes the stuff w Hellman's (only some Yanks have a different name for the same brand thanks to the days when "PC" only stood for Parti Communiste and you didn't want anything to sound too "ethnic") and opens a big bag of potato chips to scoop it up out on the screened-in porch.

I wish I were in Maine right now...

On the Left Coast, Hellman's is called Best Foods.

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I know that, this being my fourth post, I've got little inherent credibility, but here's my recipe (It obviously goes a bit beyond minimilist seasoning, so YMMV, or change it to suit). The egg, mayo and bread is just enough to bind together a pound of crabmeat.

1 egg

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon crab seasoning, such as Old Bay or Phillips’

1 heaping tablespoon mayonnaise

1/4 teaspoon dry mustard

1 pound lump crabmeat

2 slices potato or white bread, crumbled

1/3 cup Vegetable oil and ½ stick of butter, for fying

Combine eggs, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice crab seasoning, mayonnaise and mustard.

Place the crabmeat in a large bowl. Gently stir in the egg mixture and then gently fold in the breadcrumbs (so as not to break up the lumps). Shape into 6 slightly flattened balls and chill for at least 1 hour.

Pour approximately oil and place butter in small skillet and heat on medium-high until butter melts. Cook approximately 4 minutes each side, turning down heat if it looks like it’s cooking too fast (i.e., going to burn).

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But Maine crab is NOT blue crab - completely different species.
Point well taken. Didn't mean to disparage what is in short supply in the Chesapeake Bay watershed region and for which I am most grateful. And like Zora said, Maine is worth waxing nostalgic about on a day like today. 52 F right now. Folks'll need a wool blanket tonight w the chill bound to join the stars in the sky. (HOWIE: "Yep. Ten below by my barn.")

As for all the suggestions, thanks! First attempt very basic.

ETA: I ended up buying some Panko (Ritz only came in large boxes and a little Michael Pollan was sitting on my shoulder as I read the list of ingredients) since I do like having the stuff around. I used just a little bit to bind and after flipping one, ended up coating the bottom lightly w Panko. It made a difference. Besides the chartreuse green mayo (ended up using some canola; can't remember the last time I whisked my own by hand), the only other thing added besides S&P was minced shallot. Flavorings some other time, though I think it would be nice to relegate them to lemony-caper sauces and the like.

Will go a little heavier w binding ingredients next time, but wow! Homemade mayonnaise does make a difference. Fried in cast iron skillet w combo canola and butter. The latter started to brown, but for some things, that ain't bad.

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Like the difference between solid white and chunk tuna. The last time I had backfin crabcakes was the last time I will, close to cat food.  I suspect backfin will be good in soup, maybe tacos where it can be hidden.

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