Mill Creek Crab Cakes

By • April 28, 2011 • 55 Comments

193 Save

If you like it, save it!

Save and organize all of the stuff you love in one place.

Got it!

If you like something…

Click the heart, it's called favoriting. Favorite the stuff you like.

Got it!


Author Notes: Like a lot of kids who grew up around the Chesapeake Bay, my siblings and I used to catch crabs in the creek near our house, scooping them up with a net as they fed on barnacle-encrusted pilings. For me, there’s no better treat than blue crabs -- steamed, soft-shell, or in the crab cakes my mom makes. Like her, I’m a minimalist when it comes to these babies (and pretty much everything else..), using as few ingredients as possible to let the crabmeat shine. This is what I cook for friends when I can get my hands on Maryland crab, which sadly isn’t often enough, or just for me and my husband when we’re homesick for the bay. Ideally, you'd serve these with sliced homegrown tomatoes, Silver Queen corn-on-the-cob, and ice-cold Natty Bo. - MidgeMidge

Food52 Review: Midge describes her approach to these crisp beauties as "minimalist." In terms of ingredients, she's absolutely right. Their richness lies in their link to growing up near the spectacular Chesapeake Bay, and summer days spent catching crabs which her mother would turn into these cakes. Being geographically closer to the Left Coast, I used Dungeness Crab. Sweet crab, crisp crust, tart lemon, perfection! I ate a few of them just as is, right out of the pan, with a generous squeeze of lemon, and just for fun, stuffed a few more into a good bun along with some curls of red onion, then slathered on my sister's famous tartar sauce. It was right up there among the best dinners ever. These cakes are as perfect as a sweet, sunny, summer afternoon. - boulangereboulangere

Makes 4-5 crab cakes

  • 1 pound jumbo lump or backfin blue crabmeat, preferably from Maryland (or “Maryland-style,” which I’m guessing is code for North Carolina)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup panko or fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, homemade is best but Hellman’s will do in a pinch
  • 1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning, more or less to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • lemon wedges for serving
  1. Pick through crabmeat and discard any shells, careful not to break up those lovely clumps that you paid so dearly for.
  2. In a large bowl, beat egg. Fold in mayo, parsley, panko, mustard, Old Bay, and salt.
  3. GENTLY fold in crab --I use my hands-- keeping those lumps intact. The mixture will likely be loose, but that’s okay. Shape into four or five patties. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.
  4. Heat butter and oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until the butter stops foaming. Gently add the patties and sauté for about three minutes on each side or until they’re brown. I use two spatulas to flip them, but even if they fall apart, they still taste amazing. Serve with a squeeze of lemon.
Jump to Comments (55)

Tags: American, brunch, can be made ahead, entertaining, lunch, Summer

Comments (55) Questions (0)

Default-small
Default-small
Default-small

5 months ago ReeceAmy

Midge, I've made these twice - once with dungeness and once with blue crab. Holy cats! They are amazing - your minimalism pays off. Can't wait to make them AGAIN. thanks for this recipe.

Summer_2010_1048

3 months ago Midge

Thanks ReeceAmy! Time for me to make them again.

Default-small

over 1 year ago DebraCR

I meant to add that I brush with butter and broil for a few minutes and bake to finish, it's so easy. Being a klutz, I tend to break them in a pan.

Default-small

over 1 year ago DebraCR

Just like my recipe, but a friend taught me to use crushed Ritz crackers instead of bread or Panko and I am happy for the buttery flavor they add.

Summer_2010_1048

over 1 year ago Midge

I'll have to try that! Really crave these when the weather turns warm.

Dscn2212

about 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I remember these vividly!

Default-small

about 2 years ago David Mekeel

Thank you for this recipe. My wife was having cravings for crab cakes and I found this recipe with so many nice comments. We did substitute low fat mayo and I broiled instead of sautéing them. I know that they would have been better sautéed in butter, but they were still delicious. We ate them with a chilled dry rosé and an arugula balsamic salad. Fantastic.

Default-small

about 2 years ago David Mekeel

Thank you for this recipe. My wife was having cravings for crab cakes and I found this recipe with so many nice comments. We did substitute low fat mayo and I broiled instead of sautéing them. I know that they would have been better sautéed in butter, but they were still delicious. We ate them with a chilled dry rosé and an arugula balsamic salad. Fantastic.

Summer_2010_1048

about 2 years ago Midge

So glad you liked them! My mom broils them occasionally too, it's a great healthier option. Love your accompaniments.

Default-small

about 2 years ago David Mekeel

Thank you for this recipe. My wife was having cravings for crab cakes and I found this recipe with so many nice comments. We did substitute low fat mayo and I broiled instead of sautéing them. I know that they would have been better sautéed in butter, but they were still delicious. We ate them with a chilled dry rosé and an arugula balsamic salad. Fantastic.

Default-small

about 2 years ago David Mekeel

Thank you for this recipe. My wife was having cravings for crab cakes and I found this recipe with so many nice comments. We did substitute low fat mayo and I broiled instead of sautéing them. I know that they would have been better sautéed in butter, but they were still delicious. We ate them with a chilled dry rosé and an arugula balsamic salad. Fantastic.

Default-small

about 2 years ago David Mekeel

Thank you for this recipe. My wife was having cravings for crab cakes and I found this recipe with so many nice comments. We did substitute low fat mayo and I broiled instead of sautéing them. I know that they would have been better sautéed in butter, but they were still delicious. We ate them with a chilled dry rosé and an arugula balsamic salad. Fantastic.

Default-small

over 2 years ago brender

Finally a real "Maryland" crabcake recipe. I have some in the freezer and will definitely use your recipe. My neighbor used to bring fresh crabs up from the Chester River and we'd pig out!

Image

about 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Midge, I made these tonight and they were wonderful. I only had about 1/2 hour to chill them, so I made the cakes and put them on a tray in the freezer for about 1/2 hour before frying them. They were excellent, and only one fell apart. Thank you so much for a great recipe.

Summer_2010_1048

about 3 years ago Midge

I'm so thrilled you liked them drbabs! Thanks so much for trying the recipe.

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Congratulations on your EP! Richly deserved.

Summer_2010_1048

over 3 years ago Midge

Thanks again for trying them and for your awesome review boulangere!

Me

over 3 years ago wssmom

The Spouse insisted on making these last night and we LOVED them!

Summer_2010_1048

over 3 years ago Midge

Wow, I'm so pleased! Thanks so much for letting me know.

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Midge, I swear you could make these with crab-flavored cat food and the result would be divine. I had them last night, and used Dungeness since I'm closer to the Left Coast. The first few I ate straight out of the skillet, generously spritzed with fresh lemon. They were pretty heavenly. The last few I stuffed into a good sandwich roll along with some curls of red onion and slathered them with my sister's famous tartar sauce, which I just happened to have on hand. Now that was heaven. No wonder you chose this as that for which you most want to be remembered. I will certainly remember you for these. Thank you so much.

Summer_2010_1048

over 3 years ago Midge

Wow boulangere, you've no idea how thrilled I am that you liked them. Thanks so much for testing them and for your kind remarks!

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

You misunderstand; I LOVE them.

Summer_2010_1048

over 3 years ago Midge

:)

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I'm the luckiest person alive today because I get to test these!

Summer_2010_1048

over 3 years ago Midge

You're sweet boulangere, I'm honored that you chose them. Wish I had time to test a recipe this weekend. Your lovely cake is on my list!

Summer_2010_1048

over 3 years ago Midge

Hope its works with dungeness if you go that route. My west coast brother has even made them with the crab that come in those tins (from the Philippines?) out of desperation and has reported decent results.

Cimg0737

over 3 years ago cookinginvictoria

I love, love crab cakes, and these sound wonderful. I guess I'd have to use dungeness crab, too, since I now live on the west coast. Thanks for the definition of Natty Bo -- was wondering about that, too!

Summer_2010_1048

over 3 years ago Midge

Thank you civ!

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thanks for sharing this lovely recipe and memory with us, Midge. I loooooove crab cakes, and these sound so good!

Summer_2010_1048

over 3 years ago Midge

thank you fiveandspice!

Img_1958

over 3 years ago gingerroot

These sound wonderful, Midge! Thanks for a lovely memory and recipe.

Summer_2010_1048

over 3 years ago Midge

thanks gingerroot!!

Dsc_0048b

over 3 years ago healthierkitchen

I'm not a Marylander but I live in MD now and there is nothing like a good crab cake like this one! Better than Cantler's by far!

Summer_2010_1048

over 3 years ago Midge

Thanks healthierkitchen! Funny, I just had a Cantler's crab cake last time I was down there!

Steve_dunn02

over 3 years ago Oui, Chef

I've no idea what a Natty Bo is, but never mind, I'd eat these babies with ANYTHING! - S

Summer_2010_1048

over 3 years ago Midge

Ha! Thanks Oui, Chef. Sorry, that's National Bohemian, sort of the Baltimore PBR.

Lorigoldsby

over 3 years ago lorigoldsby

I was also wondering what Natty Bo was, and so glad someone asked so I didn't have to wonder for more than a few seconds. Don't know about Cantler's...but I know this is how we like our crabcakes, "minimalist" becomes "MAXIMUS" flavor! how long before summer tomatoes and corn are ready? I think this one will be worth the wait--those side dishes will elevate this to a feast.

Summer_2010_1048

over 3 years ago Midge

Oops, meant to change that Natty Bo reference to plain old beer. And yes, tomatoes and corn are key!

Mrs._larkin_370

over 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Great memory, Midge! These sound fantastic!

Summer_2010_1048

over 3 years ago Midge

thanks mrsl! So excited to make your choc stout cake this weekend.

Mrs._larkin_370

over 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Woohoo! I'm excited too! Hope you like it as much as we do.

Meg_b_f52

over 3 years ago meganvt01

This looks like a great Maryland crab cake recipe, Mill Creek on Eastern Bay? Those Eastern Bay crabs are unbeatable!!

Summer_2010_1048

over 3 years ago Midge

thanks meganvt01! My Mill Creek is the one near Annapolis..

Me

over 3 years ago wssmom

My first exposure to crab cakes came on my first visit to Baltimore, and I was hooked. I simply ADORE crab cakes and these sound wonderful! I've always used cracker crumbs in my crab cakes but I'm going to try panko. Thanks for posting this!

Summer_2010_1048

over 3 years ago Midge

I agree, having a crab cake is usually the first order of business when I go home!

Gator_cake

over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Perfect recipe choice, Midge! We have dungeness crab out here, so I'd probably have to sub!

Summer_2010_1048

over 3 years ago Midge

thanks so much hla! I look forward to trying dungeness someday.

Gator_cake

over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Head on over to the West Coast!

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I'm closer to the dungeness end of the crab spectrum, too. There is nothing like a great crab cake that actually tastes like crab. I am very much looking forward to trying these next week. Thank you so much, Midge!

Summer_2010_1048

over 3 years ago Midge

thanks boulangere! Would love to know how they work with dungeness.

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

It's a promise!

Massimo's_deck_reflection_10_27_13

over 3 years ago lapadia

Yum, and I am with the dungeness crowd, being from the PacNW, but didn't you tell me you lived this way for a while..I believe in my old hometown - Pt. Townsend?

Summer_2010_1048

over 3 years ago Midge

thanks lapadia. Yes, I lived in PT for a year, but was too busy eating all that tasty salmon and halibut to try dungeness ;)

Jc_profilepic

over 3 years ago Sadassa_Ulna

Mmmmmmm I love crab cakes, these sounds great and I like your photo!

Summer_2010_1048

over 3 years ago Midge

thank you Sadassa_Ulna! They are truly my favorite and now I'm craving them big-time!