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Bland crabcakes

Janskitchen Feb 11, 2012 05:26 AM

I understand the idea of letting the flavor of crab shine, but am I the only one who finds crabcakes to be sometimes bland and a bit dry? I love the taste of crab but am looking for a little zing in my crabcakes. Any suggestions?

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  1. w
    wyogal Feb 11, 2012 05:45 AM

    How do you usually make them? What is your recipe? More information, please.
    What spices do you use? What crab do you use?

    3 Replies
    1. re: wyogal
      hotoynoodle Feb 11, 2012 07:52 AM

      yes, please.

      they always need acid and more salt than you think. i always use some dijon and some tabasco in mine. chilling before cooking means you can use less filler.

      1. re: hotoynoodle
        wyogal Feb 11, 2012 08:10 AM

        Yep, and depending on the crab, too. Some are less flavorful than others. I love crab cakes. I had some in Virginia last June while on vacation, along with various chowders. Ah-mazing.

        1. re: hotoynoodle
          Niblet Feb 11, 2012 11:30 AM

          Agree about dijon, lemon, salt and tabasco although I use red pepper. I also add some Old Bay.

      2. g
        GH1618 Feb 11, 2012 11:36 AM


        1. e
          escondido123 Feb 11, 2012 11:51 AM

          Lemon or lime zest adds a flavor you can't get with the juice alone--and it's nice to grate a little on top right before serving--Meyer if you've got it.

          1 Reply
          1. re: escondido123
            eclecticsynergy Feb 12, 2012 01:33 AM

            +1 on the lemon zest, and a squeeze of lemon juice at the table.

          2. ipsedixit Feb 11, 2012 12:12 PM


            1. viperlush Feb 11, 2012 12:16 PM

              Old bay and lemon

              1. n
                Nakeddinner Feb 11, 2012 12:37 PM

                A little dry ground mustard adds a little kick. I used a beaten egg or two and if I use any "filler" I use panko crumbs. just make sure to let the mixture sit for a while so th bread crumbs absorb the moisture. Refrigerate for awhile to firm up and they will hold together better when you shape them. Ejoy!

                1. monkeyrotica Feb 11, 2012 12:58 PM

                  Maryland crab has a distinct sweet flavor. Most shelled crab you find in the store is pasteurized Asian crab and has little flavor. I was never a fan of heavily breaded cakes. I prefer them broiled with very little binder (maybe a little mayo) and Old Bay. Deepfried, I like them simply breaded with some pulverized saltines and Old Bay. Serve with a little lemon or Tabasco.

                  1. christinegallary Feb 13, 2012 04:29 PM

                    A touch of chili garlic paste, lime juice, and a small amount of mayonnaise is what I like to add. Crab cakes come out flavorful and moist.

                    1. gingershelley Feb 13, 2012 05:45 PM

                      Dungeness crab is the ONLY crab for cakes in SEA; bound with a bit of mayo, panko, lemon juice and zest (zest is key to a light lemon flavor that carries through the cake), old bay, parsley, s&p, and a dash of tabasco.

                      Easy on the panko; just enough to help mix not be runny or too loose. Refridgerate for an hour before making cakes. Pat just enough light coating of panko on outside to stabilize.

                      Saute in a med-hot pan in butter with a touch of olive oil to keep from burning; about 3 minutes on first side, and just enough on second side to lightly cook and make sure hot throughout. Be gentle, as they shoud be very tender and just holding together.

                      Serve with dipping sauce if desired ( I like a tarter sauce type sauce with a little roasted red pepper puree added and perhaps some smoked paprika for a little smoky depth). Lemon wedges.


                      5 Replies
                      1. re: gingershelley
                        Nakeddinner Feb 14, 2012 08:30 AM

                        Sorry but fresh Maryland blue crab, jumbo lump is the ONLY crab to use.

                        1. re: Nakeddinner
                          gingershelley Feb 14, 2012 09:46 AM

                          Naked dinner, you do your coast, I'll do mine:)

                        2. re: gingershelley
                          Nakeddinner Feb 14, 2012 05:33 PM

                          Fair enough! I didn't appreciate at first that sea meant Seattle. Sounds like we are both doing very similar things with the freshest local crab. I'am afraid tom date I've only had previously frozen dungeness crab which was nice but I' sure a step down from fresh as would would be East coast blue crab in your neck of the woods. Agree with olive oil and butter. I've also tried light basil and capers ( well rinsed) and thought it pretty good although that may just be me. Enjoy! When is dungress crab season?

                          1. re: Nakeddinner
                            chefj Feb 14, 2012 07:18 PM

                            Winter in the S.F. Bay Area , starts in Nov. usually and runs till June.

                            1. re: Nakeddinner
                              gingershelley Feb 15, 2012 08:25 AM

                              No worries Nkdnr, I have a bad habit of using the airport code as shorthand...

                              Yes, we don't even see blue crab out here - occasionally frozen snow crab, and also frozen King Crab from AK, but our usual is the mighty Dungeness. Available up and down the west coast, but taking it's name from a bay (Dungeness Spit, actually) off the WA coast, so we call it our own. Mostly from Nov- April, with a second short season in mid summer.

                          2. c
                            CDouglas Feb 14, 2012 08:21 AM

                            Add a some dry sherry to your mayonnaise mixture before folding the crab into it. I also add Colman's mustard powder, Old Bay, Tabasco and lemon juice.

                            Sherry adds a bright depth to cream of crab soup and works great in crab cakes as well.

                            1. monavano Feb 14, 2012 08:29 AM

                              My flavors come from dijon, Old Bay and Worcesteshire.

                              1. c
                                cgarner Feb 14, 2012 09:54 AM


                                Epicurious has this 'broiled' crab cake recipe, which has basil and lemon and dijon, it is wonderful
                                (I don't broil them though, they get a 'burnt toast' taste to them, I like to lightly pan fry)

                                1. MandalayVA Feb 15, 2012 08:33 AM

                                  Sriracha and Old Bay (perks, remembers I have crab cakes in the freezer).

                                  1. s
                                    Snorkelvik Feb 15, 2012 08:48 AM

                                    I add a dash of Worcestire sauce, lemon juice, cayenne, parsley, egg, pankos, scallions & YES to refrigerating or freezing a bit beforehand. They are so delicious!!!!

                                    1. j
                                      janbrady Feb 15, 2012 09:36 AM

                                      This crab cake recipe is the most flavorful I've ever tried--and I'm from Baltimore! So easy, too. Very tangy and moist with lemon, mayo, Dijon mustard, and Old Bay in it. I also sub in a half tsp of Sriracha for the jalapeno called for.


                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: janbrady
                                        cgarner Feb 16, 2012 09:42 AM

                                        janbrady I like that recipe... I wil definately try it

                                        I don't like bell pepper (red or green) in my crab cake, I think that the flavor is too overpowering for the sublte sweet crab, but I do like the idea of a little bit of jalapeno to give it a kick

                                      2. Motosport Feb 15, 2012 11:16 AM

                                        I buy the best lump or backfin crabmeat I can find. It's not easy but Costco, BJ's or Sam's club usually has some. I don't use claw meat. It just tastes different.
                                        I add Old Bay, raw egg, mayo, lemon juice, Worcetershire, mustard, finely diced red pepper, onion and corn from a can of drained corn. I mix in a little bit of bread crumbs to keep it all from crumbling and sautee tham on low heat until nice and brown. The corn, peppers and onion help keep them moist. They sometimes fall apart but never ever taste like dry bread hockey pucks.

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