This Maryland Crab Cake Sandwich is so easy to make at home from fresh lump crab meat, simple seasonings, and just enough binder to hold it together but let the crab shine.
If you’re a seafood enthusiast, you’re in for a treat with Maryland’s culinary masterpiece – the Crab Cake Sandwich. Dive into the history, ingredients, and tips for savoring this iconic dish.
What is the History Behind Crab Cakes?
Maryland’s love affair with crab cakes dates back centuries. Initially, crab cakes were a thrifty way for locals to make the most of the abundant blue crab population in the Chesapeake Bay. Over time, the recipe evolved into a culinary gem that showcases the delicate flavors of crab.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links, at no extra cost to you.
What is a Crab Cake Made Of?
A classic crab cake is primarily made from lump crab meat, breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, mustard, and various seasonings. The goal is to highlight the sweet and tender taste of crab without overwhelming it with heavy fillers.
What Are the Two Types of Crab Cakes?
There are two main types of crab cakes: Maryland-style and Chesapeake Bay-style. Maryland-style crab cakes typically feature minimal filler, allowing the crab to shine. Chesapeake Bay-style may have more fillers like breadcrumbs or crackers, providing a different texture.
What Do Crab Cakes Taste Like?
Crab cakes boast a delicate, sweet flavor with a hint of brininess. The succulent crab meat, combined with the perfect blend of seasonings, creates a symphony of tastes that seafood lovers find irresistible.
What is the Best Way to Eat Crab Cakes?
The best way to enjoy a Crab Cake Sandwich is nestled between two slices of toasted bread or in a soft bun. Top it with fresh lettuce, tomato, and a dollop of crab cake sauce for a burst of complementary flavors.
Is It Better to Fry or Bake Crab Cakes?
Both frying and baking are acceptable cooking methods for crab cakes. Frying yields a crispy exterior, while baking offers a healthier alternative with a slightly softer texture. Choose based on your preference and dietary considerations.
What Do People Eat on Crab Cakes?
Crab cakes pair well with a variety of sides. Common choices include coleslaw, french fries, or a light salad. The goal is to complement the crab cake without overshadowing its exquisite taste.
Why Are Crab Cakes Expensive?
The cost of crab cakes can be attributed to the high-quality crab meat used. Blue crab, known for its sweet and tender flesh, is a prized ingredient. Additionally, the meticulous process of picking the crab meat contributes to the overall expense.
Are Crab Cakes Healthy?
Crab cakes can be a healthy option when prepared with minimal fillers and baked instead of fried. The key is to focus on the nutritional benefits of crab meat, which is a good source of protein and low in fat.
What Makes Crab Cakes Fall Apart?
Overmixing the crab cake mixture or using too many binders can lead to a less stable consistency, causing the crab cakes to fall apart during cooking. Gently fold the ingredients together to maintain the integrity of the crab meat.
Crafting Your Crab Cake Experience
Now equipped with the history, ingredients, and answers to common questions, embark on your culinary journey to create the perfect Crab Cake Sandwich. Whether enjoyed at a seaside restaurant or made at home, savor the unique flavors that make Maryland’s crab cakes a timeless delicacy.
Maryland’s Crab Cake Sandwich
- 2 tbsp Duke's mayo
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ cup Panko
- 1 lb lump crab meat
- vegetable oil
- 1 cup Duke's mayo
- 1½ tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp Dill pickles chopped
- ½ tsp sugar
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 – 2 tbsp lemon juice to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
- 6 brioche buns
- 2 tbsp butter
- bib lettuce, pickles, tomato optional condiments
For the Tartar Sauce
- In a small bowl, whisk together the mayo, pickles, sugar, Dijon, seasonings, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Taste to adjust seasoning. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
For the Crab Cakes
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, mayo, Dijon, Worcestershire, Old Bay, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Add the crab meat and panko and gently fold together.
- Scoop out roughly ½ cup of mixture and using your hands, form into 6 even patties. Place on a baking sheet lines with foil or parchment paper. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in fridge for an hour. (This will help them stay together when cooking).
- Heat a medium-sized cast iron skillet over medium heat and coat with oil. When hot, place cakes in pan (cook in batches so as to not overcrowd). Cook until golden brown, about 3 – 5 minutes per side. Serve warm with tartar sauce.
- Slather the inside of the buns with butter. In your skillet over medium heat, toast until golden brown, about 2 – 3 minutes.
- To assemble, place a crab cake on the bottom bun. Top with a generous dollop of the tartar sauce followed by lettuce and other toppings if desired. Place top bun on top and enjoy.