Ah, crab cakes – the quintessential dish of Baltimore, Maryland. These savory cakes, made with succulent lump crab meat, have been a staple of Chesapeake Bay cuisine for generations.
If you are someone interested in horse racing, you’d probably already know that crab cakes are one of the official foods served at the Preakness Stakes, and there is a good reason for that. They are delicious!
The Preakness is happening already next weekend and you can check the odds of this horse racing event here: twinspires.com/preakness-stakes/odds
But what makes a perfect crab cake, you ask? It’s all about the quality of the crab meat, the right balance of seasonings, and a cooking method that yields a crispy exterior and a moist, flavorful interior.
So, let’s dive into how to prepare the best crab cakes this side of the Chesapeake.
How to Prepare Delicious Crab Cakes
Step 1 – Get Your Hands on Some Good Quality Crab Meat
Naturally, the crab meat is the highlight of every crab cake. And in Baltimore, we are aware that fresh, regional lump crab meat is unrivaled. If you want the huge, meaty chunks that truly make a crab cake shine, use jumbo lump crab meat, which is free of shells, cartilage, and other detritus.
Step 2: Mix Up the Perfect Binding Agents
While the crab meat is the star, it needs a little help staying together in cake form. For that, you’ll need some binding agents, like mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, and breadcrumbs. Don’t skimp on the quality of these ingredients – they’re what hold the crab cake together and add a subtle, tangy flavor.
Step 3: Spice It Up
Old Bay seasoning gives Baltimore-style crab cakes their distinctive taste. Any recipe for crab cakes must call for this mixture of seasonings, which also includes celery salt, paprika, black pepper, and other ingredients.
Use the spice with caution; you want to let the natural sweetness and taste of the crab flesh show through, not overpower it.
Step 4: Shape and Chill Your Crab Cakes
Once your crab cake mixture is well-combined, it’s time to shape those bad boys into patties. Use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to portion out the mixture, and shape each patty into a round, flat cake.
Place the cakes on a baking sheet and chill them in the fridge for at least an hour – this will help them hold their shape during cooking.
Step 5: Cook to Perfection
A crab cake can be prepared in a variety of methods, including deep-frying, broiling, baking, and grilling.
But we suggest pan-frying in butter for that authentic Baltimore flavor and texture. Your crab cakes should be cooked in a large pan over medium-high heat until crisp and golden brown on both sides after adding a liberal amount of butter. Don’t overcook them since you want a crispy outside and a juicy, flaky inside.
Step 6: Serve Up Some Baltimore Love
It’s time to serve your crab cakes with traditional Chesapeake Bay sides like coleslaw, corn on the cob once they’ve been cooked to perfection.
Of course, add some Old Bay seasoning and lemon juice on top as well. Now sit back, relax, and enjoy a taste of Baltimore’s culinary history.
Step 7: Enjoy It!
Now it is time to dig into that crab cakes, and possibly tune in for the Preakness Stakes. The recipe isn’t that difficult and all you need is a good quality crab meat. The next thing you need to pay attention to is the cooking.
Most people make the same mistake of overcooking the crab cakes, which can take away a lot of the taste.
Preparing the perfect Baltimore-style crab cake is an art form, but with these tips and tricks, you’ll be whipping up delicious cakes in no time. So, get cracking, and show the world what Maryland cuisine is all about.