The Best Crab Cake Recipe, Ever

May 8, 2019

The Best Crab Cake Recipe, Ever


We love crab cakes here at Glover Gardens, and I’ve been wanting to learn how to make them. They are often on order when we go to restaurants. Very often.

Crab cakes at the Westport Winery in Washington State – yum! (photo from the restaurant)

Crab cakes are especially on our minds because – woohoo – we just had a great trip to the New Orleans Jazz Fest. And of course we sampled some of those marvelous and delectable little cakes of crabby goodness while we were there.

Crab and Crawfish Cake at the Marigny Brasserie in New Orleans

Giving It a Try

It has been clear for a while that I needed to learn how to make crab cakes, and they needed to be fabulous, to stand up to all these examples.

My first attempt to make crab cakes was pretty good (read about it here); I read lots and lots (and lots) of recipes and then made up my own (as shown on the sticky note at left).  But the texture wasn’t quite right – they weren’t quite fabulous – so I had to keep searching.

Glover Gardens Crab Cakes
My first attempt at crab cakes, with Sriracha mayo; good but not great

In Search of…the Perfect Crab Cake Recipe

I did some more research after my good-but-not-great crab cake effort, and was intrigued when I found a very simple recipe, in part because of the lead-in article, and in part because of its writer: Andrew Zimmern. He knows his food, with four James Beard awards under his belt and an extensive career as a chef, writer, food critic, radio/TV personality, restauranteur…the list goes on. I “know” Andrew Z. primarily from his marvelous articles in Bon Appétit and Food & Wine, both of which have been arriving in my mailbox monthly since the Stone Ages, but he may be familiar to you from his various Bizarre Foods series on the Travel Channel.

But enough about Andrew Z. – back to the crab cakes!

Baltimore-Style Crab Cakes from Food & Wine

“This is the best crab cake recipe you will ever find…watch your family go to it like a swarm of locusts. Guaranteed.”

Andrew Zimmern, Food & Wine, June 2012: Baltimore-Style Crab Cakes

Photo and caption from the article and online recipe: Andrew Zimmern does Baltimore proud with these plump crab cakes that have big lumps of fresh crab and very little filler.

Oh, Yeah!!!

Dear Readers, I made this crab cake recipe with just one addition (adding a tablespoon of Zippy Cajun, my homemade seasoning mix, which can be found here), and Andrew Z. was right! The texture was perfect – moist al dente crab inside without a bunch of gummy filling, with a nice, crunchy crust on the outside. The search is over!

Let’s Cook!

Andrew Z’s crab cakes were very simple to assemble and cook. Join me in the outdoor kitchen to watch the process.

We served the crab cakes with Sriracha Mayo, but another perfect condiment would be remoulade; click here for a great recipe. As you can see from the photo, there was no time for beautiful plating or food styling – we were ready to dig in!

Just as Good – or Better – the Next Day (and pretty, too!)

I had some fun playing with food styling and plating the next day as I was getting out the (few) leftover crab cakes for lunch.

Andrew Zimmern’s Baltimore-Style Crab Cakes were just as good the next day – and maybe even better!

In Conclusion

Food & Wine Magazine named this crab cake recipe as one of their Top 40 of all time in 2018, and it’s the most popular recipe on The “test kitchen” at Glover Gardens proved out these trends, too. And while I would always rather create my own recipe, some are already juuuust right, so I’m going to stop my searching and testing of crab cake recipes and stick with this one. Forever. With the addition of a tablespoon of Zippy Cajun, of course.

Click here for the recipe – and don’t forget to add the Zippy Cajun. 😊

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