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Best Baltimore Crab Cakes with Creamy Chipotle Chile Sauce

Crab cake

I've tried crab cakes in most parts of the country, but none taste as good as the ones found in Maryland. They’re known for the large lumps of crab and very little breading, which makes for a spectacular crab cake. Old Bay is a spice staple and key to an authentic recipe. I like to serve them with a spicy chipotle cream sauce, but you can use the more traditional tartar sauce as well.

1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat  

4 scallions, white and green parts, minced (about 1/2 cup)

1 tablespoon fresh parsley leaves or cilantro, dill, or basil, chopped

1 1/2   teaspoons Old Bay seasoning

2-4 tablespoons fresh bread crumbs, (pulse 2 slices quality white bread in food processor)

¼ cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

½ teaspoon grated lemon zest

½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 large egg


¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour

¼ cup vegetable oil

1. Carefully mix crabmeat, scallions, herb, Old Bay, bread crumbs, mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, zest, and Worcestershire sauce in medium bowl, being careful not to break up crab lumps. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Carefully fold in egg with rubber spatula until mixture just clings together. Add a few more bread crumbs if needed to help hold mixture together. 

2.    Divide crab mixture into four rounds, about 3 inches across and 1 1/2-inches high. Arrange on baking sheet lined with waxed paper; cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 30 minutes. (Can refrigerate up to 24 hours.) 

3.    Put flour on plate or in pie tin. Handling crab cakes with care, lightly dredge crab cakes in flour. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Gently lay chilled crab cakes in skillet; pan-fry until outsides are crisp and browned, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Serve hot, with sauce. 

Creamy Chipotle Chile Sauce:

¼ cup mayonnaise

¼ cup sour cream

1 tablespoon canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce (minced)

½ tsp. chili powder

1 small clove garlic , minced or pressed through a garlic press

1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro leaves

1 -2 teaspoons lime juice from 1 lime


For the sauce: Mix all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until the flavors blend, about 30 minutes. (The sauce can be refrigerated for several days.)

Crab cakes side 1

Crab cakes saute

Crab cakes frying



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dining table

I love crab cakes! It is my childhood favorite. They really taste good in those big buns.

crab cakes

Definitely going to have to try this Chipotle chile sauce. Sounds delicious!

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