Southern Crab Cakes

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If you’re not a fan of crab cakes, then you’ve probably only tried the restaurant versions. Those are usually bland and heavily breaded to save money. Try this recipe.

It’s not really difficult to make crab cakes. The hardest part is getting your hands on crab. I haunted the local fish market, until Harris Teeter started carrying Phillips pasteurized crab meat in the can. The price is better ($8.99 lb), and it lasts for six months or so canned and in the refrigerator. Just check the bottom of the can for the date. We use it too fast to worry about that, but it’s a good idea to stock up when they run the cans on sale ($5.99 locally).




  1. crabcakesBreak the bread (with crusts off) up in little pieces-fingernail sized. Pour milk over bread and stir around until bread is moist.
  2. Add mayonnaise, beaten eggs, Tabasco, and mustard. Stir gently.
  3. Sprinkle in Old Bay, baking powder, and parsley. Again, lightly stir until mixed fairly evenly.
  4. Add crab. Toss. Make sure crab is covered with the mixture. It's fine to break up clumps of crab, but do not pulverize the crab.
  5. Heat oil about 1/4 inch thick in frying pan. I use a griddle pan, but you can use a large frying pan. Heat to 325 to 350 degrees.
  6. Gently add drops of crab mixture to the oil. I use a small spoon and have silver dollar sized crab cakes. They can be made larger and served on buns like hamburgers.
  7. Cook for 5 minutes or so on one side. You can lift a Carolina crab cake and see how dark it's getting. When they are lightly browned (when you see the sides begin to firm up) flip them over to brown the top side. This is similar to cooking pancakes or potato pancakes.
  8. Use a turner to lift cooked crab cakes out of frying pan and put on a plate with paper towels to soak up any excess cooking oil.
This is my Granny's recipe. She made the best Carolina Crab Cakes ever. She told me how to make them with the typical southern "a splash of this and that." I finally had to go over and watch her to get it figured out and the right amounts of ingredients. I've found that really the only way to really capture true southern recipes.
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