This dish is traditionally made from blue crab in the Chesapeake Bay region of Maryland, but crab cakes are also popular along all of America’s coasts. They are sometimes served with a sauce such as this remoulade, or with tartare sauce, mustard or ketchup.
The recipe uses Old Bay Seasoning, a traditional spice blend for crab cakes, "crab boils" and other favourite American shellfish dishes, but if you can’t find it add a large pinch of ground celery seeds, smaller pinches of pepper and ground cardamom, and extra paprika and cayenne pepper.
- 500 g picked crab meat (blue swimmer crab if possible)
- 40 g breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp Old Bay Seasoning
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- pinch of sweet paprika
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 egg, plus 1 egg yolk
- 2 tbsp chopped tarragon
- 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
- plain flour
- vegetable oil
- 2 egg yolks
- 50 g cornichons (or gherkins), finely chopped, plus ½ tbsp liquid from the jar
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 250 ml vegetable oil
- 1½ tsp salted capers, rinsed and chopped
- ¼ bunch chives, finely chopped
- ¼ bunch chervil, finely chopped
- ¼ bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- ¼ bunch tarragon, finely chopped
- pinch of Spanish smoked paprika
- cayenne pepper
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling time 15 minutes
Combine the crab cake ingredients except the flour and oil and mix well. Form into 6 cakes. Refrigerate for 15 minutes to help the cakes bind.
To make the remoulade, beat the egg yolks in a bowl and add the liquid from the cornichons, then the lemon juice. Gradually beat in the vegetable oil; the mixture should thicken like mayonnaise. Stir in the cornichons, capers and herbs and add paprika and cayenne to taste (it is supposed to be spicy). Season with salt.
Dust the crab cakes in flour and fry in generous oil over medium heat until golden. Serve with the remoulade.