Monday, November 30, 2009

Maryland Crab Cakes – The Good News is They're Almost All Crab, and the Bad News is They're Almost All Crab

This video recipe for Maryland crab cakes is the first official full-length clip posted using the new Canon HD SLR camera. In addition to watching what I hope you find to be a delicious looking crab cake recipe, I would also like to know if you have any suggestions for the video specs.

I saved this in iMovie at a size of 1280 x 720 HD, set at 24 frames per second. It looks good, but a little "jumpy." Would 30 frames per second be better? I also saved it at "High" quality, not "Best," which would have made th
e movie like 800 MB!

Anyway, back to the food! This video will hopefully show you what crab cakes
are supposed to be like. A real crab cake is basically a fried lump of crabmeat, held together with a minimum of filler.

As I explain in the video, this makes shaping them a little challenging, but once they are in the pan and browned on both sides, they are far superior on every level. Your basic restaurant crab cake is probably less than 40% crabmeat, which is why they are generally tough and bready.

These are closer to 75% crab, which is a blessing and a curse. Since the crab content is so high, you really can't make these unless you have a nice pile of super fresh, sweet, high-quality crab. Even using the correct technique, these special occasion appetizers will only be as good as the crabmeat used.

So if you can't get real lump crabmeat consider this video recipe food porn. Watch, enjoy, and just imagine yourself in the scene. However, if you can get your claws on some fresh crab, give these cakes a try. Enjoy!



Ingredients:
1 pound fresh crabmeat, the lumpier the better, well drained
8 saltine crackers
1 egg beaten
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1/2 tsp mustard
1/4 tsp Worcestershire
1/2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
salt to taste
cayenne pepper, optional
butter for frying


View the complete recipe

49 comments:

Anonymous said...

wow! the def! man!

Anonymous said...

If this is for the lucky ones - can we have a recipe for the 'unlucky ones' who dont have the awesome crab that you have?? pleeeeezzzeeee

Sal said...

Chef, The HD looks great! However, there appears to be some interlacing going on. Hardly noticeable, but I'm not sure if it's on your end or youtube. How exactly are you exporting out of iMovie? Try Share -> Export Using QuickTime -> Options -> Size -> Deinterlace Source Video. See if that gives you better results. Again, it's negligible.

Chef John said...

thanks, yes, i unchecked "Deinterlace Source Video"

Chris K. said...

I can almost smell crab cakes in HD!

This recipe will do, in a pinch. I may make them just for the shell of it.

Chef John said...

*rim shot*

Dan said...

Food tastes better in HD! Fabulous. John, you are on the fast track to your own network.

I don't think you'll notice 30 fps being less jumpy than 24, 24 should be fine.

It's more likely something funky during your export from iMovie, or YouTube's own private weirdness.

Anonymous said...

Looks fantastic! Now, how about a nice remoulade sauce? Please.
Thanks,
Jackie

Chef John said...

here you go... http://www.youtube.com/user/foodwishes#p/search/0/1i4rtgP3B1M

rh said...

Recipe looks great. So. Much. Crab.

And the video looks good too. The jankiness is a trade off of using a CMOS sensor, which is better suited for stills than video. You get amazing depth of field and colour, but you will notice the occasional odd stutter. Still, it looks awesome, Chef John!

Richard @ The Bewildered Brit said...

I love visiting Maryland! You almost trip over wonderful crab cakes wherever you go!

: contented sigh :

Birder said...

For some reason the expression "crappy crab" amuses me greatly.

This looks like the ultimate quality crab cake recipe. Awesome.

Perhaps a stupid question, but I don't know much about crab. When you say "fresh crab meat", is that meat already cooked?

Thanks for this, Chef John!

Chef John said...

yes, freshly cooked and picked crab meat.

Anonymous said...

Where can I get such crab meat!? I went to Ralphs and a small 6.5 oz can costs 7 dollars and it does NOT look fresh. Should I go to farmers market? or Whole Foods?

Chef John said...

try whole foods

fluffy said...

You should always export video at either the frame rate it was recorded at, or at a clean fraction of it (for example, 15fps from 30). Going from 30 to 24 leads to quite a few pulldown artifacts, since for every 5 frames of source video you'd have 4 frames of export video, and that would easily explain the "jumpiness" (basically after every 4 frames that it outputs it will skip one).

Anonymous said...

Sorry chef, I didn't have trouble with the video , but the sound was not right.I'm not sure if it was your video or youtube . Loved what I saw.

Snir said...

Awesome recipe!! Go Chef John!

Umm, I realize that I'm a bit of an outlier here...BUT...the HD worked really slowly for me. It was kinda annoying to wait cuz I was so eager to see the recipe already. I dunno if this happened to anyone else,,// but it did happen to me. Sorry bout that. Tasty food though, definitely give that a try!

ed said...

yo shef,just a little question from holland...Old bay seasoning...whats in there!
we don't have it overhere.

Chef John said...

Here you go! http://busycooks.about.com/od/homemademixes/r/oldbaymix.htm

Richard @ The Bewildered Brit said...

Not wishing to plug my own blog unduly, but I did a post on the story behind Old Bay a little while ago. You can check it out here:
http://thebewilderedbrit.blogspot.com/2009/11/old-bay-seasoning-magic-in-yellow-can.html

The photos are fun, too!

easy recipes said...

Thanks for the recipe, I never made something like that.

MasterVodo said...

Here's a quick recipe I use for my crab cakes. 3/4 cup mayo, 1/2 cup sour cream, 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon drained capers, 2 teaspoons chopped FRESH baby dill, 1 teaspoon dijon mustard, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Mix and chill.

Anonymous said...

Awe...Canon?! Should have gotten a Nikon, much better products, and images. Anyhow... Love your site and videos, regardless of how they were shot.
Cheers!

Kristin said...

I used to live in Baltimore...so this is KILLIN' me to watch .. although in HD, it is hard to ignore. (excellent quality btw, I had no jumpiness or sound problems whatsoever, and the clarity rocks) ... anyway, these crab cakes will prevent me from sleeping. This seems to be the perfect recipe.. and I have been searching for the perfect one for a long time - all in the attempt to emulate the ones served at my brother's restaurant (unintentional shameless plug: one of the best seafood restaurants on the East Coast... in Annapolis - O'Leary's Seafood).. which has, hands down, the best crab cakes ever. Held together by "sheer will", as they say..

anyway this recipe looks divine. Will definitely make.. but not until I can get my hands on some fresh crab.. flown in daily - from Maryland! Thanks for posting. ...now about this crab cake craving insomnia...

Anonymous said...

hey, master vodo, WHERE'S THE CRAB?

FredShoey said...

Looks beautiful. Since I usually don't watch full-screen, it looks perfectly sharp at "low-def" (whatever that is now with the new camera).

Something about the color depth (or whatever) of the new camera makes the lighting appear less harsh, more natural.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chef John! Love the new video format. It really looks great. Sound is better too!

One little quibble. As a native Marylander, it was drilled into me that crab cakes aren't "Maryland" crab cakes unless they're made with MD blue crab!

Dan

Chef John said...

or unless I call them that... ;-)

tut said...

um believe it or not i just figured out i could watch this in full screen an tried because of the hd lol works great :) um Chef is frozen king crap leg meat ok to use have lots here um can buy live crab but after watching the french laundry woman cut the heads off crabs don't think i could bring myself to kill one.

Chef John said...

that could work, but maybe too crumbly since the meat doesn't shred as much

Jesse said...

Why did you choose to cook the crabcakes in a non-stick as opposed to a stainless steel pan?

Chef John said...

SS pan was probably dirty.

stats said...

Hello Chef,

Please don't call this a Maryland Crab Cake! You are 'CLOSE' but NO PRIZE!!

First, and most importantly you need Maryland Crab & Md. crab meat. (all lump is best) Making it with Left Coast Dungeness crab is an insult to the Chesapeake Bay.

We also don't use French Dijon Style mustards ... we use YELLOW BALL PARK mustard and we don't dip it in any crumbs B4 frying ... you added the cracker crumbs into the slurry, no need for more. The original recipe called for 1 slice of white stale`ish bread soaked in milk (not Cracker crumbs) and 1 T. of fresh chopped parsley from the herb garden.

Crab Meat is available in Md. - Jumbo Lump, Backfin, Special, Claw and Cocktail Claw. Fresh & pastuerized, only American Blue Crab Meat from the Chesapeake Bay. Also Soft Crab types - Whales, Jumbos, Primes, Hotels, and Mediums. Available both live & frozen.

http://www.freshmarylandseafood.com/shippinginfo.htm
A BEST FRESH CRAB DEALER IS:

Kool Ice & Seafood Company, Inc.
110 Washington Street
Cambridge, Maryland 21613
410.228.2300
800.437.2417

1900's Governor of Maryland's Original Crab Cake Recipe

Ingredients:
1 pound Maryland LUMP crab meat (no CLAW)
1 slice white bread in crumbs soaked in 2T. milk
1 large egg - beaten
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon salt & black pepper
1/2 to 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning (or to taste)
1 teaspoon ea. Worcestershire sauce & Tabasco hot sauce
1 heap. teaspoon yellow French's Brand Ball Park Mustard (not a French Dijon)
Butter or veg. oil for frying until firm & crisp at the edges.

Wilbur M. Reeling
QUINTESSENTIAL CUISINE©
Chesapeake Bay & Maryland's Eastern Shore Resident

Anonymous said...

i kind of wish he would take a bite out of his food. i know its all great, but for some reason i like when they eat a bit of their food.

Anonymous said...

WOW! These look really great, and I want to make them, but I have no idea where to find old bay seasoning! Can anyone please help?

Anonymous said...

You know... If you put this in hamburger buns, put some tomatoes, lettuces, pickles, some tomato sauce and mustard, you will basically have a Krabby Patty.

msosa said...

What if you want a bigger serving of (these) crab cakes?

Laurel said...

I feel like I'm blaspheming just having made them, but I would be remiss not to share with others who lack the means or ability to purchase good quality crab how I made this recipe...
Chef John's recipe is excellent as is, I've made it with fabulous crab exactly as specified and it was delightful. When my sister came home from the store today she plunked some lobster flavored 'krab' on the counter and asked me to make something with it. Apparently it was on sale. I didn't have much else to work with besides the goldfish crackers (also on sale) that she bought at the same time. Surprisingly the 'krab cakes' weren't terrible, they were actually rather tasty. Not as mouth watering as with real crab, but the goldfish crackers added a bit of cheesy flavor that helped a lot.
Something fun to try if you want a good appetizer and don't have a large budget. Or if you want to make something that looks fancy with your kids.

Chef John said...

sounds good to me!

mdblogger said...

As a Marylander, we always use Old Bay, and dry mustard powder instead of mustard. Also, we broil rather than fry up our crab cakes. Less fuss and maybe a bit healthier? Make sure to spray the broiler pan before lightly setting the crab cakes on top. Broil for 3-5 minutes each side, 'til brown. Excellent on a whole grain roll with a slice of tomato, and tartar sauce. Mmmmmm

Anonymous said...

Once you have eaten blue crab, you will never eat any other. Especially dungeoness. Great recipe though.

Jenna said...

A tip that has always worked well for me... Right after I mix, I form the patties using a scoop with a release. I sprinkle a platter with bread crumbs generously. I form the patties, dredge on crumbs and then place on the sheet and then pop into the fridge. I've found that if you form them while still relatively wet from the "dressing" they hold their shape better for getting into the pan.

Anonymous said...

Hi there chef, these look very good! I want to try them out only the problem is that where I'm from, I can't seem to find the old bay seasoning, with what seasoning can it be replaced?

philogaia said...

Anonymous on April 5: Make your own. It isn't hard and it will be fresh ground. Here is the recipe I use: http://www.food.com/recipe/old-bay-seasoning-11791.

I'm afraid I didn't have the top notch crab, but a fresh jar of Chicken of the Sea crab that I used half of for a recipe and didn't want to waste the rest. It was too much for a crab omelet (my other favorite crab application) so I went for the crab cakes. This was just flaked body meat, no chunks but the recipe came out very nice anyway. Absolutely not as good as if I'd had fresh chunks but a great breakfast with a couple of poached eggs.

Bridgette's Creations said...

Before you fried you put a dry ingredient on both sides. What is the ingredient? Thanks

ross said...

Would this be the same recipe for crabmeat stuffing? Looking for a crabmeat stuffing recipe for flounder.

Chef John said...

Yes! :)

Star said...

any substitute for mayo