Pride of Baltimore Crab Cakes

Chef David Lentz comes from Maryland, where his family has been making these sublime crab cakes at home for more than 100 years. The Lentz recipe features lots of crabmeat, lightly held together by saltine cracker crumbs, Tabasco sauce and mayonnaise.


Slideshow: More Recipes With Crab


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  • Servings: 6


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Cayenne pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
  • Fine sea salt
  • 1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over
  • 1 cup finely crushed saltine crackers (3 1/2 ounces)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

How to make this recipe

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk the mayonnaise. Gradually whisk in the olive oil and 1/4 cup of the grapeseed oil. Add the lemon juice and season with cayenne. Transfer 1/2 cup of the mayonnaise to a small bowl and reserve. Using the flat side of a chef's knife, mash the garlic to a paste with a generous pinch of salt. Whisk the garlic paste into the medium bowl of mayonnaise, then transfer the aioli to a serving bowl.

  2. In a large bowl, gently mix the crabmeat with the cracker crumbs, egg, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco and the reserved 1/2 cup of mayonnaise. Shape the mixture into six 1-inch-thick crab cakes and transfer to a wax paper-lined plate. Refrigerate until firm, at least 20 minutes.

  3. Preheat the oven to 400°. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil in a large cast-iron skillet. Add the crab cakes and cook over moderate heat until golden on the bottom, about 4 minutes. Carefully flip the crab cakes, then transfer them to the oven and bake until golden and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer the crab cakes to plates and serve with the garlic aioli.


Cocktail Match Margarita made with fresh grapefruit juice.

Suggested Pairing

Rueda, in northwest Spain, is known for its refreshing whites made from the native Verdejo grape. They're just the thing for these flavorful crab cakes.

Contributed By Published January 2006

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