The Baltimore crab cake is iconic, but there are other insanely delicious dishes you can make with crab—aside from the obvious, steamed crabs. Here, some of our favorite non-cake crab dishes.
The Baltimore crab cake (like this one from Andrew Zimmern) is iconic, but there are other insanely delicious dishes you can make with crab—aside from the obvious, steamed crabs. And Baltimore chefs, blessed with direct access to some of the best crabs in the country, know all about the crazy good things one can do with them. At down-home restaurants like Costa’s Inn, Ocean Pride and The Crackpot Seafood Restaurant, they serve everything from crab fluffs to crab soup to the mythical crab pretzel. Here, some of our favorite non-cake crab dishes.
Crab Fluffs (also called Crab Puffs): Why leave crab cakes at just that? Crab fluffs are crab cakes that get dipped in batter (if you’re lucky, beer batter) and deep-fried.
Crab Pretzel: A personal favorite, this dish is a giant baked soft pretzel, topped with hot crab dip and cheese, then broiled. Not to be believed. (It’s seriously worth a trip to Baltimore just for this.)
Crab “Toast” (or pizza or pie): Pizza crust topped with fresh crab, shredded cheese and imperial sauce (typically a mix of mayo, egg, Old Bay, worcestershire, lemon, mustard—though this recipe varies) and baked.
Crab Dip: Kind of the same as the topping for the pizza and/or the pretzel, just in a bowl. Sometimes a bread bowl! Served hot. Here is F&W’s luscious version.
Crab Soup: There are two crab soups. One is Maryland crab soup, which is made with tomatoes, beef stock, vegetables and lots of crab. The other is cream of crab soup, which is as it sounds: thick and rich and super indulgent. If you can’t decide, some places offer Split Level Crab, which is a mix of both soups. Here is F&W’s lofty riff on Maryland crab soup.
Here’s where in Baltimore you can find these great dishes:
Costa’s Inn, 4100 North Point Boulevard, Dundalk, 410-477-1975
Ocean Pride Restaurant, 1534 York Road, Lutherville, 410-321-7744
The Crackpot Seafood Restaurant, 8102 Loch Raven Boulevard, Towson, 410-828-1095