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May 12, 2010 09:58 PM

Crab cake recipe question

I'm planning on making crab cakes soon, and bought some crab legs. My problem is whether i should prepare the crab legs before making the cakes or should i just take the meat out of the legs raw?

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  1. I'll bet those crab legs aren't raw. I don't use crab legs, I use pasteurized lump crab meat from a can. So, I guess in effect they are cooked twice...............

    1. Crab cakes are usually made with crab meat that has been picked from the shells and unless you cook the crab you'd find it difficult to achieve that. "Raw" crab would mean a dead crab that has never seen the boiling pot. Dead crab isn't something you'd want to eat; not unless it's dead from a swim in boiling water. When you buy your fresh crab it'll be cooked enough to use in your crab cakes.

      1. Hi 7,

        I agree with Phurstluv that your crab legs may be cooked already. For disclosure, I have not made my own crab cake before, so take my words with a grain of salt. However, I have made shrimp cake several times. Assuming the idea can be carried over, I would use raw carb meat if possible. When you cook shrimp or carb, the juices have their favor and that favor is captured in the cake when the meat was raw. For example, I think gumbo tastes much better when raw shrimps are cooked in it than throwing in steamed shrimps. My opinion.

        1. If the legs are red, they are already cooked. I often make crab cakes from Maine rock crabs (or for tourists, peekytoes [gag]). They are live. I always steam them first. Crab and lobster, as mentioned above, deteriorate very quickly. I have never heard of or would attempt to use uncooked meat. Canned works in a pinch.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Passadumkeg

            Hmm, I always assumed the crab legs you could pick up at the seafood section in super markets were raw but frozen. Guess i can just take the shells off and put it in the crabcakes, thanks.

            1. re: 7speter

              I work in the Maine tourist industry. We really chuckle when we hear a tourist complaining that they were being cheated when the live lobsters they bought were brown, not red!

              1. re: Passadumkeg

                I think there are real live lobsters that are red. Go tell them that they can have red lobster if they pay you 100X more.


                While at it, I think I may be wrong about using uncooked carb meat, since everyone suggested otherwise. Thanks.

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  I've also seen albino white and blue live lobsters.
                  7, to make the best crab cake, I'd recommend getting plastic containers of fresh crab meat from a fish monger or as Phursty said, good quality canned crab meat. I feel the texture of snow crab type claws is not flaky enough to give the right texture for crab cakes.

          2. I'm not aware of crabs you can buy "by the leg" other than king or snow, and those have always been cooked before you see them. What type of crab did you buy? Traditional crab cakes are made with Maryland blue lump crab meat, but other varieties may be tasty.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Veggo

              I bought snow crabs by the leg

              1. re: 7speter

                Snip the ends of the leg segments with a scissors, and then cut up one side and down the other with the scissors to open the segments and extract the meat. The thickest segments that were nearest to the body have a single tendon that will lift out from the meat easily. The meat is very tasty, just a lot of work. Thaw them just prior to removing the meat, they have been boiled. The cluster section where the legs attach has a little, less flavorful meat that's more difficult to extract.

              2. re: Veggo

                >Traditional crab cakes

                seems a regional assumption. They're made with Dungeness in the NW. if they're good king crab legs, I would just want to eat the crab, maybe with a little butter!