Seafood stars: 6 award-winning crab cake recipes

What’s a great way to collect some fantastic recipes? Hold a contest and enlist a few judges who love food.

That’s how these six different award-winning crab cake recipes came to be.

Award-winning crab cake recipes

Recipes to celebrate the blue crab

Doris Hicks, seafood technology specialist for Delaware Sea Grant and organizer of the cook-off, said the “Coast Day” annual event event is an opportunity for both professional and amateur cooks to celebrate the blue crab, one of the most valuable seafood resources in DelMarVa (Delaware, Maryland, Virginia).

“Be as creative as you want,” she said when announcing one year’s contest, explaining that previous contestants have used special ingredients ranging from cornmeal to lemon dill sauce. “Dress up a traditional recipe or develop a totally new one. The trick is to come up with a recipe that complements the crabmeat without overpowering it.”

Also part of the rules: All crab cakes must be made from 100 percent blue-crab meat. Judges based their decisions on taste, texture, originality and predominance of crabmeat.

Coast Day, which is organized by University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean and Environment (CEOE) and the Delaware Sea Grant College Program, attracts thousands of visitors each year to celebrate Delaware’s coastal resources and experience marine research.

Award-winning crab cake recipes

1) Bonnie’s Delaware Crab Cakes recipe

First Place winner, 2012 – by Bonnie Robinson, Seaford, Del.

Ingredients for the Crab Cakes
  • 2 pounds lump crab meat
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon white pepper
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons parsley
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup liquid margarine
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 dashes of cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
  • 2 cups Zesta crackers, crushed finely
  • Mixture of 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs and 1/2 cup Zesta crackers for coating crab cakes
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of Puritan oil for frying
Ingredients for the Crab Cake Sauce
  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 2-3 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons white pepper
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons pickle relish
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Mix ingredients together except for crab meat and crackers; add crab meat and crackers and mix well and lightly. Make into crab cakes and roll in mixture of 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs and 1/2  cup Zesta crackers. Fry in Puritan oil.

Mix crab cake sauce and refrigerate until ready for use.



2) Bawlmer Girl Crab Cakes with Old Bay Butter Pad recipe

Second Place winner, 2012 – by Denise Vansant, Rehoboth Beach, Del.

Ingredients for the Crab Cakes
  • 2 pounds lump crab meat
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 tablespoons fresh parsley (chopped, no stems)
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 cups dry breadcrumbs
  • Vegetable oil for frying
Ingredients for the Old Bay Butter Pad for Tops
  • 4 oz. butter (softened)
  • 6 teaspoons fresh parsley (chopped)
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning

Mix together eggs, butter, lemon juice, Worcestershire, parsley and allspice in a bowl. Place crab meat in a separate bowl, pour egg mixture over top. Mix gently. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Form the crab cakes by hand (crab cakes are not supposed to be perfectly formed circles). Do not pack the mixture. Place the crab cakes on a tray. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Pour oil, about 1-1/2 inches, into frying pan. Heat oil. Fry crab cakes about 4 minutes on each side. Serve at once.

Directions for the Old Bay Butter for Tops

Cream softened butter; stir in parsley, lemon juice and Old Bay seasoning. Form into a roll and wrap in wax paper. Refrigerate to harden. Temper Old Bay seasoned butter for 30 minutes, then slice one slice for each crab cake. Place on top of hot crab cakes.

3) Imperial Crab Cakes recipe

Third Place winner, 2012 – by Joyce R Sauter, Bridgeville, Del.

Ingredients
  • 2 pounds lump crab meat
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 2 tablespoons (heaping) mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 3 springs parsley, chopped (stems removed)
  • 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper (ground cayenne)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
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Directions

Place crab meat into a large bowl, checking for shells. For crab cake filling, in a separate bowl mix eggs, butter, half and half and mayonnaise with a whisk. Add breadcrumbs, parsley, Old Bay seasoning and red pepper. Pour bowl of crab cake filling over the bowl of crab meat and fold gently but thoroughly with a spatula. Form into individual cakes of desired size.

Heat electric frying pan to 325 F using approximately 1/4 cup olive oil. Place crab cakes gently into the heated pan, patting to flatten slightly. Fry until golden brown on each side, lowering heat as necessary.

4) Carl’s Stuffed Crab Cake recipe

First Place winner, 2011 – by Carl Zampini, Newark, Del.

Ingredients for the Crab Cakes
  • 2 pounds jumbo lump crabmeat
  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
  • 3 drops Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 drops hot sauce
  • Juice of 2 lemons (no seeds)
  • 1/3 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 cups fresh bread crumbs
Ingredients for the Cocktail Remoulade Sauce
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup horseradish
  • 2 teaspoons capers
  • 2 teaspoons chopped gherkins
  • 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped anchovies
  • Juice of 2 Meyer lemons
Directions for the Crab Cakes

Mix mayo, egg, Old Bay, Worcestershire, hot sauce, lemon juice, and parsley. Add mix to crabmeat, mix lightly. Add 1/2 cup bread crumbs and mix (if too wet, add more bread crumbs). Scoop into the size of cake you want.

Stuff cake with 1 tablespoon of cocktail remoulade sauce. Sauté until brown on both sides. Bake in oven for 8 minutes.

Directions for the Cocktail Remoulade Sauce

Mix together and chill.

5) JB’s Best Crab Cake recipe

Second Place winner, 2011 – by John Barczewski, Wilmington, Del.

Ingredients for the Crab Cakes
  • 2 pounds jumbo lump crabmeat
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 sleeve Saltine crackers, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon Coleman’s dry mustard
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Unsalted butter for sautéing
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Ingredients for the Mustard Crème Fraiche Sauce
  • 1/2 cup crème fraiche
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha hot chili sauce
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped dill
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Directions for the Crab Cakes:

Mix all ingredients, except crabmeat. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Lightly pick crab for shells. Do not break up any lumps. Gently fold crabmeat into wet ingredients. Hand-form into 8 cakes. Sauté in unsalted butter on medium-high heat until each side is golden brown and a nice crust has formed. Approximately 5 minutes on each side.

Directions for the Mustard Crème Fraiche Sauce

Mix all ingredients until smooth. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Serve on the side with crab cakes. Subtle, but tasty.

6) Timmy’s Tailgate Crab Cakes recipe

Third Place winner, 2011 – by Tim Scanlon, New Cumberland, Pa.

Ingredients
  • 2 pounds jumbo lump crabmeat
  • Bread crumbs from 3 pretzel rolls
  • 2 tablespoons Herlocher’s Dipping Mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Crazy Jane’s Mixed Up Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 4 teaspoons melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 eggs – separated
  • Butter for sautéing
Directions

Clean crabmeat. Add bread crumbs, seasoning, mayonnaise, melted butter, lemon juice and egg yolks. Mix gently. Beat egg whites until stiff. Fold in egg whites. Form into cakes and sauté in butter until golden on both sides.

Crab cakes may be prepared the night before and chilled overnight and sautéed at your tailgate. Enjoy with hard pretzels and Herlocher’s Dipping Mustard.





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