When it comes to seafood, for us, it doesn’t get any better than some classic Maryland crab cakes. What makes the Maryland variety so special, you ask? It’s highly debated by people, but it’s a combination of the seasoning (Old Bay, which originated in Maryland), the traditional type of crab meat (Maryland blue crab), and the ratio of breadcrumbs, among other things, that bring out all that amazing east coast flavor.
Ultimately, the finished result should be perfectly golden and crispy on the top and bottom, which you can then dunk into your fabulous, homemade tartar sauce! While you could just as easily buy some store-bought tartar sauce, think twice before adding that to your shopping list, since making it yourself is suuuper quick and easy, plus, you probably have all the ingredients on-hand already! Mayonnaise, lemon juice and mustard make up the base of our sauce, but we also like to throw in some red onion and sweet pickle relish to give it a little more texture and punched-up flavor – the result is a sauce that complements and brings out all the flavors in the tender, crispy cakes.
One of our favorite things about this recipe is that it immediately brings back summertime memories of being at the beach with our family and taking advantage of all that amazingly fresh seafood. Trust us, these classic crab cakes don’t disappoint in the slightest; in fact, you’ll be craving them long after you’ve taken the last bite!
Maryland Crab Cakes
45 minutes to prepare serves 4-6
- 1 pound backfin or lump crab meat
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs or seasoned breadcrumbs
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, plus extra for garnish
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
- vegetable oil or unsalted butter, for frying
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- lemon (wedges), garnish, optional
- Tartar Sauce:
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon red onion, minced
- 1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl, stir together beaten eggs, mayonnaise, mustard, parsley and Worcestershire sauce, then mix in Old Bay seasoning, salt and pepper.
- Add in crab meat and panko breadcrumbs, then gently fold into egg mixture, making sure to not shred crab meat.
- Using a tablespoon or ice cream scoop, form mixture into 6 crab cakes and place them on parchment lined baking sheet.
- Cover with plastic wrap, then refrigerate for 1 hour, or until ready to prepare.
- Heat 2-3 tablespoons canola oil or butter in a large (non-stick) skillet over medium-high heat and fry crab cakes, making sure not to crowd them, for 3-5 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through.
- Repeat with second batch of crab cakes, if necessary, then serve immediately with tartar sauce and fresh lemon. Enjoy!
- For Tartar Sauce: mix all ingredients together until thoroughly incorporated, then chill until ready to serve.
Recipe adapted from Once Upon A Chef