Fun Times With Lump Crab Cakes

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Ah December, the time of year when every caterer goes insane. Over the course of the next two weeks we will serve several thousand people in one way or another from a fancy sit-down dinner, to a casual buffet its the time of year when the party business goes bonkers. We have the ability to produce several hundred different hors d’ oeuvres and the business owner has been known to invent them on the fly as he sits with a potential client. Out of the many that are part of our regular menu, the Lump Crab Cakes are among the most popular on our menu.

Lump Crab comes from the Chesapeake Bay. It is famous for the Blue Crab

Borrowed from

Borrowed from

Today I went in to start my day to be greeted with “Ok, welcome to crab cake hell”. Normally when I make up a batch recipe I use 12 cans of Phillips Maryland Lump crab. So we looked at the upcoming menus for the next week and decided that between entree’s and HDO’s we needed 5 times that many. Ouch! That is a lot of chopping. (20 Bell peppers, 20 jalapeno’s, 50 scallions, 5 bunches Cilantro and a half pound of fresh basil plus 5 cases of cans) Long story made short we made over 700 3 ounce lump crab cakes and about 2000 half ounce sized cakes.

Here is the recipe that we use, I think it is really good:
My recipe would yield about 700 very small cakes so you probably wouldn’t want to try that unless you are a caterer and can sell that many in a reasonable amount of time. This is a cut down version.

1 Can lump or claw crab meat.
2 ounces minced Red bell pepper
2 ounces minced Yellow bell pepper
2 Scallions thinly sliced
1 ounce minced Jalapeno pepper
1/2 ounce minced fresh Basil
1/2 bunch fine chopped Cilantro
1 Tb Old Bay Seasoning
1 ounce Sambal Chili
1/2 Lemon (Juice only)
4 ounces Mayonaise
1 Egg
1 Cup fine Bread crumbs

Add your vegetables together with the herbs and toss lightly then add the crumbs. Next add the wet ingredients to moisten and bind the cakes together. The mixture should be relatively dry and a little sticky. You may have to play with the bread crumb/mayonnaise ratio to get the proper stickiness so the cake will hold together when you form a ball. Next take a very small ice cream scoop and make balls out of the mix. Line them up on a cookie sheet or small sheet pan. When you have finished the balls go back and press down lightly to form a small cake about an inch and a half in diameter. From here you can cook these on a griddle or freeze them so they will be hard when you bread them.

If you decide to bread them use flour, egg and seasoned bread crumbs in that order and put a nice coating of breading on each cake. Now you can deep fry the cake for about 3 minutes in 350 degree oil and set the aside for later. A few minutes in the oven to get them warm for serving or put them in a warm chaffing dish for 20 minutes before serving.

These go well with a Cajun style tartar sauce or a spicy remulade.

Questions? Tell me what you think if you try this recipe or need any help. Leave a comment below. Thanks

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