Cooking with crabs

Local chefs and restaurants share their mouth-watering recipes.

Crab meat from your favorite seafood counter is the perfect ingredient to provide a touch of elegance and coastal flavor to meals while keeping things simple. The flaky, supple meat adds a delicately sweet richness to everything from soups and salads to dips and sauces. Of course, crab meat is arguably showcased at its best when formed into a classic crab cake. We have included a few different crab cake recipes along with a few other crab dishes to try the next time you find yourself in a crabby mood.


Maryland Crab Cakes

Maryland Crab Cakes - Poseidon Recipe


4 eggs

1 cup mayo

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon Old Bay

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

1 tablespoon chives, chopped

2 pounds jumbo lump crab meat

1 pound lump crab meat

1 pound claw crab meat

1 cup panko bread crumbs

Directions [1] In a large stainless bowl add all ingredients except crab and panko. Whisk until smooth. [2] Add crab meat, gently fold with hands so everything is incorporated and the crab does not break down. [3] Add panko and again fold gently. [4] Leave in bowl and refrigerate at least 1/2 an hour before portioning. [5] Spray 1/2 sheet pan with pan spray. Using your hands or a large scoop, portion the crab mixture into 4 ounce cakes. [6] Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes. The top of the cakes should brown just a bit, that’s the hint when to pull them and serve. Enjoy!

— Recipe by executive chef Christopher Carge

Chatting crabs with Christopher Carge

How do you cook with crabs? We cook with crab various ways everyday from soups, garnishes, crab cocktails, crab cakes, whole blue crabs. The list goes on.    

How do you get your crabs? We have a guy. His name is Charles Russo. He’s opening a retail store in Bluffton very soon. Tell him I sent you!

How do you use it the most? Most of our crab goes into our crab cakes. Next would be our crab stuffing and cioppino.

Crab cake advice: When you mix the crab into the wet ingredients, be gentle. The crab is delicate and you want to see those nice pieces of jumbo lump. We finish ours with a little chive and Old Bay. Who doesn’t like Old Bay?

Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks

Stone crab claw sauce

Hudson's Stone crab claw sauce


2 cups mayonnaise

4 tablespoons heavy cream

2 tablespoons dijon mustard

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon A-1 Steak Sauce

1 tablespoon Hudson’s Cajun Seasoning

1 lemon, juice

Directions Whisk mayonnaise, heavy cream, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, steak sauce, Hudson’s seasoning and lemon juice in a bowl until smooth and chill. Serve as a dipping sauce with stone crab claws.

Savory Café and Provisions

Savory crab cakes

Savory crab cakes - Savory Cafe

(Makes 8 cakes)


2 whole eggs

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 ounces Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons dijon mustard

1 lemon juice and zest

1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning

1 pound crab claw meat

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

Oil and butter for frying

Directions [1] Mix the first six ingredients together, add the crab meat, fold in gently. [2] Sprinkle in the panko and gently fold again. [3] Place in the refrigerator for 2 hours, remove and shape the patty to your preferred size. [4] Pan fry with a mixture of oil and butter, over medium heat. Turn over when brown, cooking the other side in the same manner. [5] Remove and place crab patty on your burger. Serve with the condiments of your choice. Bon Appetit!

— Recipe by executive chef Pascal Vignau

Charlie’s L’Etoile Verte

Classic Southern crab salad


1 pound blue crab meat

1/4 onion, finely diced

1/4 cup celery, finely diced

1/2 cup Dukes Mayonnaise

1/2 lemon

Dash Worcestershire sauce

Dash Tabasco sauce

Salt and pepper

Directions [1] On a small sheet pan, dump out the crab meat, and carefully pick through, discarding any small pieces of shell. [2] Place cleaned crab meat in a small mixing bowl. [3] Gently toss together the crab meat with the onion, celery, mayonnaise, juice and zest of 1/2 lemon and all remaining ingredients. Start by adding a 1/4 cup mayo and add more until you have achieved your desired wetness. Old Bay seasoning can also be added for an extra kick.

— Recipe by chef Palmer Golson

“Our recipe is super simple classic style of crab salad. We serve ours with sliced avocado and homemade remoulade sauce. This makes a great appetizer with crackers for a group, or you could turn it in to a lunch entree over greens with the addition of some tomato and avocado. I also like to wrap mine up in romaine leaves with avocado and a little remoulade.” — Margaret Golson Pearman

Sprout Momma

Vegan crab cakes


3 cups cooked chickpeas

1 1/2 cup gluten free crackers, ground up

2 green onions, finely chopped

1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced

3 tablespoon red onion, diced

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

1 tablespoon wasabi mustard

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup ground flax seed

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon dulse flakes or powder (use 4 tablespoons rough chopped capers if you can’t find dulse flakes)

1 teaspoon salt

10 turns freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup grapeseed oil

Directions [1] Place the crackers in the food processor and process until they are ground up, resembling flour. Measure out 1/3 of a cup and set aside. [2] Place the chickpeas in the food processor and pulse several times until the beans are processed but not smooth like paste. Even if you have a few whole beans, that is OK. [3] In a large bowl, place the chickpeas processed crackers, green onions, red bell pepper, red onion, parsley, mustard, lemon juice, ground flax seed, garlic powder, dulse or capers, salt and pepper. [4] Stir ingredients together. The mixture will be on the dry side- this is a good sign. It’s easier to  mix everything together with you hands. [5] Form the mixture into 6 equal patties. Make them fat and round. [6] Heat the oil in a larger pan to hold all 6.  When the oil is hot, add a drop of water. When it sizzles, your oil is hot enough. [7] Place the crab cakes in oil and allow to cook until the underside gets brown, about 5 minutes. Flip and cook until crab cake is brown on the other side. Serve with a chipotle mayo on Sprout Momma bread!

Red Fish

Blue crab dip

1 pound blue crab claw meat

1 cup heavy cream

1 pound cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup white onion, chopped

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoon prepared horseradish

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions In a sauce pot, heat butter and sweat onions until translucent. Add Worchestershire, horseradish and heavy cream and reduce by 1/4. Take off heat and mix in cream cheese. Fold in crab meat and season with salt and pepper. Serve with tortilla chips and pressed Cuban bread.

Healthy Habit

Spicy kimchi crab cakes with Asian-style slaw

Ingredients (crab cake)

8 ounces lump crab meat

3 ounces prepared kimchi,minced (store bought works)

1/2 ounce gochujang (Korean chili paste)

1 egg

2 ounces panko bread crumbs

1 ounce scallion, chopped

4 ounces mayonnaise

Ingredients (Asian-style slaw)

2 cups coleslaw mix

2  ounces rice wine vinegar

1 ounce soy sauce

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

Directions [1] Combine all ingredients for Asian-style slaw in a mixing bowl and toss well. Set aside and let the vinegar break down the cabbage as this will make the slaw taste better. [2] In a separate mixing bowl combine kimchi, gochujang, mayonnaise, egg, scallion and panko. Mix well. [3] Carefully fold in crab meat so that the crab is not breaking apart. [4] Form four five-ounce cakes and place on a baking sheet. Place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to let cakes set. This will help the cakes keep shape and not break apart. [5] Preheat oven at 375 degrees. When cakes have set, place baking sheet in oven for 20 to 30 minutes. Occasionally check for color on the crab cakes. When crab cakes are golden brown, remove from oven. Serve with slaw and enjoy!

— Recipe by Kevin Yeung

ELA’S On the Water

ELA’s crab cakes


1/4 cup diced red pepper

1/2 cup finely chopped parsley

2 cups bread crumbs

1 cup mayonnaise

1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1 ounce lemon juice

1 ounce Worcestershire sauce

1 ounce Dijon mustard

4 eggs

2 pounds backfin crabmeat

Directions [1] In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except for the crab and mix well. [2] Fold in the crab meat, being careful not to break up the lump. [3] Using a mold, tightly press out 3 ounce crab cake portions. Again, being careful not to break apart the lumps. [4] Sear one side of the crab cake in a saute pan until golden brown. Turn the crab cake onto a sizzle platter and finish in the oven, seared side up, until done.

Salty Dog Cafe

Maryland crab cakes

(Yields 10)

Ingredients (crab cakes)

2 pounds jumbo lump crab

1 pound special crab meat

1 cup mayonnaise

1 egg

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

1 tablespoon dijon mustard

2 teaspoons hot sauce

1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning

Directions Combine mayonnaise, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, egg, Old Bay seasoning and chopped parsley in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Mix crab meat and crab cake mix. Add panko. Allow to rest for 5 minutes, then pat into cakes and sauté in butter or bake until golden brown.

Ingredients (gazpacho sauce)

1/4 cup red onion, small diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cups tomatoes, diced

2 cups Bloody Mary mix

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions Heat olive oil in a sauté pan. Add red onion and garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes, then add the remaining ingredients. Chill sauce until ready to use or use hot.

— Recipe by executive chef Herb Britton (hails from Annapolis, Maryland)

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