The East Coast is a rich landscape that boasts some of the nation’s most delicious culinary treasures. Utilizing American cooking techniques, this region holds some of the best seafood in the country. Of course, one dish that many Americans love is a flaky, golden crab cake. Though crab cakes seem like a restaurant delicacy, you can make these delicious patties in your own kitchen. To get started, check out these five tips for making this meal at home:
1. Find the right crumbs
Cooking Clarified points out that while regular breadcrumbs are great, there are numerous other ingredients you can use to create a tasty crust. Consider subbing out breadcrumbs for Panko, ground up crackers, cornflakes or other alternatives. Don’t be afraid to get creative, but keep in mind that some crumbs will cook faster and burn more easily than others.
2. Don’t settle for plain mayo
Fresh mayonnaise is an essential ingredient for good crab cakes, but how you season it can make all the difference when developing your flavors. For example, Serious Eats adds chives, tarragon and parsley to mayonnaise in its recipe for crab cakes. Choose your favorite herbs and spices to give your crab cakes a signature flavor, and use the rest of your mayo to make a delicious aioli on the side.
3. Know your crab meat
Working with crab can require a delicate touch, because if you apply too much pressure you’ll crumble the meat into smaller pieces than desired. As you shape your cakes, make sure not to overwork the meat. Also, learn about the different varieties of crab so that you can find the best meat to fit your budget. After all, making crab cakes at home shouldn’t break the bank.
4. Top with fresh veggies
Crab cakes can be rather heavy, but they can easily be balanced out with some crisp, fresh vegetables or a slaw to provide some acidity. Citrus, such as a squeeze of fresh lemon, can also provide some refreshment. Another option is to serve your crab cakes on top of a small, leafy salad.
5. Give your crab cakes time to form
Rather than throw your crab cakes straight in the pan after forming them, set them aside in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. This will help ensure that the cakes hold their form when you’re flipping them in the pan.