Back in Maryland, crab cakes are serious business. They can’t be too mealy, too full of filler, too saucy, too spicy, etc. There’s a mystical combination of all the factors that can come together to make a deliciously crispy, lemony, chock full of crab, crab cake.
Once a week, my parent’s country club does “half price crab cakes” and the place is packed. They make the best crab cakes we’ve ever had. One time, my mom thought to ask for the secret recipe, and surprisingly, the chef whips out a napkin and writes it down for her. She followed the recipe at home and they turned out perfect – exactly like the club makes them.
Because California’s crab season is the opposite of Maryland’s (winter instead of summer) Valentine’s weekend was a great time to try out this Maryland recipe with California dungeness crab. Instead of going with the pound of canned crab, we grabbed 1/2 pound of fresh lump dungeness crab meat and halved this recipe. The result was traditional Maryland crab cake taste with California fresh dungeness flavor.
Country Club Crab Cakes
Makes: Approximately 6 crab cakes
1/2 Cup PANKO Japanese Bread Crumbs
1 lb Jumbo Lump Crab Meat
For sauce (Note, this will make more sauce than you need. Follow instructions for how much to use.):
1 cup mayo (we used veganaise)
2 oz dijon mustard
1 T Worcestershire sauce (we used Annie’s vegan)
1 1/2 T Old Bay Seasoning
1 tsp. chopped fresh garlic
1 oz fresh lemon juice
1 oz fresh lime juice
1 tsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp cracked black pepper
Arugula (washed thoroughly)
Cracked pepper, salt
Mix all sauce ingredients well. You will use 6 oz of the sauce per 1 lb of crabmeat. If you’re wondering how much an oz. looks like, a shot glass is 2 oz.
GENTLY fold the sauce and 1/2 C of breadcrumbs into the crab meat; do not break up the lumps.
Let mixture sit for 10 min for breadcrumbs to absorb. Meanwhile, butter a baking sheet. Shape the mixture into crab cakes with your hands and place on the baking sheet. At this point, you can chill in the fridge until you’re ready to eat.
Preheat oven to 425. Bake for 20 min or until golden brown and slightly crisped on top.
To serve, place your crab cake on a bed of arugula seasoned with lemon juice and cracked salt and pepper. Top with cocktail sauce. Open a bottle of fantastic wine (champagne would make a good choice too).
Toast to a happy Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year!