There are three 3 simple tricks to making these authentic Northern Neck Crab Cakes, you’ll want to know. —garlic and zest
lump crabmeat, picked over, shells or cartilage removed
stalk celery, minced
1 1/2 cups
Old Bay seasoning
egg, lightly beaten
a few drops hot sauce, to taste (optional)
fresh lemon juice
panko, for coating
In This Recipe
In a small skillet, heat two teaspoons olive oil over medium heat. Add celery, onion and salt. Cook until the liquid has evaporated and the celery and onions are translucent.
In a medium bowl combine celery mixture with fresh breadcrumbs. Toss to combine. Add Old Bay, worchestershire, parsley, mayonnaise, egg, hot sauce and lemon juice. Toss lightly to combine.
Add crabmeat and very carefully using your hands so as not to break apart the lumps of crab, combine with the breadcrumb mixture. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. (Refrigerating helps the mixture to stick together a little better).
Remove crab mixture from the refrigerator. Divide the mixture into six equal portions and carefully form each into individual cakes, about 3/4" thick. Place crab cakes onto a clean sheet pan (that will fit into the freezer). Transfer the sheet pan to the freezer for 20 minutes -- again to help the crab cakes hold together.
Heat a cast iron skillet or heavy pan over medium heat. Add a small pat of butter and a teaspoon of olive oil for each batch of crab cakes. When the butter starts to foam, swirl the mixture around in the pan so the bottom is well coated. Add 2 crab cakes at a time to the pan and cook for 3-4 per side. Do not fuss with the crab cakes. Once you put it in the pan avoid the temptation to poke, prod or otherwise mess with it.
When crab cakes are fragrant and browned, use a thin, pliable spatula (I use a fish spatula) and place one hand on top of the crab cake, while you swiftly lift the cake with your spatula. Flip the crab cake onto the uncooked side into the pan. Repeat for the other cake. Cook an additional 3-4 minutes. Transfer (carefully) crab cakes to a paper towel lined (2-3 paper towels thick) sheet pan.
I make a big deal about flipping because this is an expensive ingredient and you don't want the cakes to fall apart.