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Baltimore Country Club Crab Cakes from Andrew Zimmern

Baltimore Country Club Crab Cakes from Andrew Zimmern
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Andrew Zimmern will eat anything. But what he’s really looking for is a great crab cake.

It’s getting close to Crab Cake season which I would define as soon as the Summer Cocktail Party Circuit gets into gear.  So any mention of a Crab Cake recipe gets my attention.  Most Crab Cakes fall far short of expectations. They are larded with breadcrumbs. This is both to save money and because most people think the cakes will fall apart if they are not about equal parts white bread (cheap) to crab meat (decidedly not cheap).  So when someone waxes poetic and says “This is the best crab cake recipe you will ever find”, I take that to be a challenge.  And in this case, it’s from a man more famous for eating tarantulas, sea worms, beetles and fermented skate. You know, Andrew Zimmern.

Andrew too has been searching for the Holy Grail of Crab Cake recipes. And he found this one.  His search for a recipe was quite specific. He wanted as pure and unadulterated Crab Cake that he could find.  No bits of minced red pepper, no parsley and an abundance of crab.   He actually went off the rails in his crab cake criticism ending up writing “Putting a lot of junk in a crab cake is one of the biggest transgressions I find in American cookery”.  Strong words from a man who eats disgusting things for a living.

No Old Bay but oh what a Crab Cake.

Fortunately he had an encounter with a friend’s wife. She was from Baltimore where crab is king. She produced her mother’s recipe which, of course, was ‘secret’ and for whatever reason called a ‘country club’ recipe for crab cakes.  I would have thought the biggest transgression in this recipe is the complete lack of Baltimore’s own Old Bay Seasoning which has been in every crab cake recipe I’ve ever made.  This one however, does not.  In fact it’s really very basic.  And Zimmern says “If you don’t overmix, and don’t pack your mounds too tightly, you will experience put unadulterated crab cake heaven.”  This recipe Zimmern makes in double batches and refrigerates the leftovers.  He says “If you haven’t eaten a cold crab cake on toast with tomato and Russian dressing, then you are really missing out.” Heaven forbid.  Here’s the recipe:





Baltimore Country Club Crab Cakes

May 31, 2018
: 4 Dinner Sized Crab Cakes 16 or more Hors d'Oeuvre size
: 25 min
: 6 min
: Remember the man's advice and don't overmix or pack your cakes too tightly

A truly virgin crab cake with none of the add-ons.


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 pound jumbo lump crab meat, picked over
  • 20 saltine crackers, finely crushed
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • Lemon wedges, for serving
  • Step 1 In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the egg, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce until smooth.
  • Step 2 In a medium bowl, lightly toss the crabmeat with the cracker crumbs. Gently fold in the mayonnaise mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  • Step 3 Scoop the crab mixture into eight 1/3-cup mounds then lightly pack into 8 patties, about 1 1/2 inches thick
  • Step 4 In a large skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the crab cakes and cook over moderately high heat until deeply golden and heated through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the crab cakes to plates and serve with lemon wedges.

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6 thoughts on “Baltimore Country Club Crab Cakes from Andrew Zimmern”

    • If you’re going to make crab cakes, the least you can do is fill them with crab! XOXO Monte and Andrew

  • I just made these crab cakes tonight, and they are delicious! Best crab cakes I have ever had—thank you for the recipe! I served them with Pancho sauce.

    • Marie, I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to write. How very thoughtful of you! Enjoy the blog and pass it on to any of your food-loving friends. All best, Monte

  • Been making these since 2018… usually about every month or so. Been about a 2+ month hiatus though and had to refresh my memory of the recipe. Ready to come out of the fridge when my sweetie comes home from work and we can enjoy. Bummer that good crab meat prices have gone off the rails is the last year or two. These are SO delicious!!!

    • Dmitri, Thanks so much for taking the time to write. I know how good they are. But honestly, crab meat is incredibly expensive. Even at Costco! Bon Appetit!

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