Maryland style Crab cakes — an absolutely delicious classic seafood appetizer

Maryland style Crab cakes — an absolutely delicious classic seafood appetizer

If you’re a Gen Z mom, you would surely know of “Krabby Patties”…he oh-so-famous patty with a secret ingredient at Krusty Crab’s in Bikini Bottoms. They’re fried good by SpongeBob Squarepants, using his *Spat* spatula. All money collected from the sold Krabby Patty hamburgers goes to the ever-so-greedy Mr. Krabs, the founder of Krusty Crab. Big-J tells me, “Mumma, and you know Mr. Krab would cry for an entire year if he loses one penny!”

I personally think the secret ingredient of the Krabby patties are delicous crab cakes. What else would you think ocean creatures would fry and eat? Certainly not chicken, turkey, lamb, pork or beef! Krabby patty must be crab cakes. And big-J would stare at me with an embarrassingly weird smirk. “C’mon Mumma, no one on earth knows what that is. It’s a heavily guarded secret formula!”, she would say. Well, but honey, I know what I said makes sense and why! 🙂 🙂   

Crab recipes in America proliferated and were made popular 19th century forward. However, minced seafood cakes have been a favorite among Native Americans since ancient times.  Crab cakes or “crabby patties” are delicious and timeless tradition foods from the Chesapeake Bay area in the US, particularly the states of Maryland and Virginia. Eat them with your favorite sauce or sandwich between hamburger buns with a slice of American cheese, lettuce and some sauce! I love the cakes with my Crab dip too (see my last post for it’s recipe). 

If you’ve read my previous post, you’d know why I hardly ever had any crab meat before I moved to the US. To be precise, I only ate crab meat thrice while in India. A fry, a butter-garlic roast and a Konkan crab curry in all. However, the first time I had it in the US was rather glorious.Maryland style Crab cakes -- an absolutely delicious classic seafood appetizer

It was in July, a few years back. We were visiting the Acadia National park in Maine. Barely after S’s parents had landed in New York (from Kolkata), they were bundled at the back of the car (with big-J for company) to sleep and get past the jet lag, while we drove them for 8 straight hours further down east to Bar Harbor, ME. Such a torture, no? I agree, and it was S’s idea. He didn’t want to waste his leaves and the time is showing his parents some wonders of mother nature in this country. I protested first and suggested a rather relaxed trip later that month. But S had a few leaves then, and wanted to utilize them. So trusting that the son’s plans would be in the best of his parent’s interests, I gladly put down my thoughts to RIP. 

Contrary to what I’d initially thought, S’s parents survived the torturous ride well. In fact, after a couple long odd-hourly sleep and intermittent loud snores, they seemed to be tuned to the American bio-clock quickly. By the time we entered Maine, they were chatty, seemed happy and generally doing well. We had reserved two old fashioned cottages almost in the woods for us. Though smaller than many National Parks, Acadia was stunning and beautiful. The scenic drives, the coast-line, large pebbles and rocks, the iconic light house, the warm summer sunshine, the sea shore, it all was so perfect. One of the days, during our lake to river to waterfall to sea-shore hopping, we wanted to stop over for a quick lunch. As always during our travels, we were looking for a local eatery that serves ethnic regional cuisine. I zeroed on the Jordan Pond House.  

The Jordan Pond House, set dramatically right next to the two Bubble Mountains overlooking the Jordan Pond, has traditionally been serving tea and popovers since 1890’s. There was a long long wait time, that was made easy with the short stroll on their picturesque terrace views and a little shopping of knickknacks from their level-2 traveler’s store. Though it was a breezy afternoon, we got the table right in front of the twin mountain and the pond. It was stunning. We ate to our heart’s content…and that was a LOT. There were those feather light, warm, buttery popovers straight out of oven….then coffee, giant burgers, their popular lobster stew (they use a timeless 1920’s recipe and claim their’s is the best in the country. Don’t forget to order it when you’re there!), a couple sandwiches, a salad and CRAB CAKES served with an onion based white sauce. We loved them all, especially the popovers, lobster stew and the crab cakes. Big-J gobbled down 2 or 3 crab cakes in no time. The stunning view around, and the food ecstasy…it was all so surreal…like a sweet (and belly filling!) dream. If ‘m ever asked where I’d eat the last meal of my life, it would definitely have to be here at Jordan Pond’s. It’s like eating royal in a big slice of heaven. Such serenity. Such joy. [In the meantime, I shall continue looking for the pictures we took that day. As soon as I find them, I’ll post one here for you!]

This happy eating day, eventually enkindled my love for crab cakes. They’re easy to make, succulent, and almost melt in mouth seafood delicacy. The signature crab cake recipes from the state of Maryland are legendary. The natural high quality taste of the Maryland crabs also contributes to it amply. I make these delicious juicy cakes often at home now. We love to snack on them. We like them slathered with the spicy Crab meat dip and spread (please see the recipe in my last post, or scroll down to the end step of methods on this page), as well as with out favorite hot sauce. For a more fulfilling brunch, I slide a crab cake/patty into hamburger buns, and top it with a slice of cheese, tomato, onions and some dressing. Make them and dig in!


Yields 13 to 15 crab cakes

  • 500 grams handpicked pasteurized or cooked Blue Crab Meat
  • 0.5 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp Mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 100 grams breadcrumbs
  • 0.5 tbsp Dijon Mustard or English Mustard sauce
  • 4 green onion stalk, trimmed and chopped finely
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper 
  • Salt to taste
  • Light olive oil, sufficient for shallow frying (about 250 ml)


  1. Take all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Fold them together gently. Do not over mix.
  2. Divide and shape into 13 to 15 golf sized balls
  3. Heat oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Shallow fry 2 to 3 crab cakes in a batch, so they don’t stick to each other. Fry the cakes 2 to 3 minutes on each side till uniformly golden brown.
  4. Serve hot with this Crab Dip or your favorite sauce, and some salad on the side.

Notes: Using Kasundi (Bengali mustard sauce) in place of Dijon or English mustard also results in a great flavor. You may add some minced Indian hot green chillies for added heat. I’ve developed this recipe keeping the core New England flavors in mind. However, to pep it up a little more, you may always add some more spices and seasonings, per your preference.