Maryland Muffin-tin Crab Cakes

23 Jun

(serves 5 =10 mini cakes)
My friend Reiko made me some Maryland Crab Cakes a few years back and that’s when I discovered this is one of the best ways to eat crab. I’ve been struggling ever since to come up with a crab cake that tastes better than hers. By jove, I think I have finally done it, by flavouring the crab meat with chinese wine in a pan-fry and mixing in a tad of curry spices. Do try it.    


  1. Crab Meat (450g)
  2. Dill Mayonnaise (1 cup)
  3. Bread (5 slices)
  4. Garlic (1 bulb = 12 cloves)
  5. Shallots (6)
  6. Egg (1)
  7. Vegetable Oil
  8. Basil
  9. Dillweed
  10. Chinese Wine (or Cognac)
  11. Woustershire Sauce
  12. Djoin Mustard
  13. Coriander Seed Powder
  14. Cumin


  1. You will first need to make some mayonnaise according to my Dill Mayonnaise recipe. You can do this just before the crab cakes, it doesn’t take long.
  2. You will also need to cut the crust off 5 slices of bread and leave them uncovered in the fridge for a few hours to dry it out.
  3. While fresh is best, in this case I think you can get away with using canned crab meat. If you plan to use fresh crab meat, you should boil or steam the crabs ahead of time, and then deshell them (450g of crab meat = 1 pound = 2 cups tightly packed = 3 cups loosely packed). Try to use bigger crabs as they have firmer meat and the crab meat will be in larger chunks.           

           Canned Crab Meat                           Bread Crumbs                                   Muffin Tin


  1. Peel and then halve the garlic and shallots. Use a food processor to mince them (together). Spread half of the minced mixture evenly onto the bottom of a large bowl and keep the other half for use later.
  2. Dice the dried bread into crouton sized pieces and then given them a two second pulse in the food proccessor to crumb them. Zoom in on the picture above to see the desired texture. Place the crumbs into the bowl with the garlic and shallots. Add 1T Dill weed, 1T of chopped basil and 1t salt and mix well.
  3. Brown the remaining minced garlic and shallot in a pan on low heat with 3T of vegetable oil. Next, add the crab meat and gently stir fry with the heat turned up. Do your best not to break up the chunks of crab meat.
  4. When the pan is sizzling hot, sprinkle on 1/4 cup of chinese wine (for cognac, see below). Gentrly stir fry again til the liquid has dried up and then turn the heat off. Season with 1t of white pepper.
  5. In a small bowl stir together 1 egg with 3T mayonnaise, 1T woustershire sauce, 1t mustard, 1t cumin and 1t coriander seed powder.
  6. Mix the crab meat into the bowl of bread crumbs. Next, spoon the egg mixture into the bowl, mix well to bind all the constituents. 
  7. Preheat the oven to 175oC (350oF).
  8. Brush the muffin tin with vegetable oil. Spoon in the raw crab cake, filling each hole to the brim before moving on to the next one. Press down firmly with a tea spoon to make sure the crab-bread mixture is compact. Next push the raw crab cake away from the rim of each hole to give the crab cakes a rounded top.
  9. Bake for 13-15 minutes depending on when your crab cakes reach a light golden brown. After you remove the muffin tin from the oven, allow it to cool for a bit so the crab cakes can firm up. The colour should continue to deepen.
  10. Serve with the rest of the mayonnaise and some mixed greens. 


  • What if you don’t have a food processor? You can mince the garlic and shallots manually easily enough. For the bread, toast lightly, dice and then smash in a zip lock with a meat mallet.
  • Cognac has a high alcoholic concentration. If you are using cognac instead of chinese wine, start off with 3T of the brandy in the measuring cup and top this up to the 1/4 cup mark with water.
  • Crab Cakes can also be served for breakfast, they go very well with fried or poached eggs. See =>
  • Instead of 10 mini-cakes, you can also form you crab cakes into 5 mini-hamburger sized patties. Just shape the cakes by hand and use a regular baking tray.
  • Don’t use butter or olive oil as they don’t cook well at high temperature.
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Posted by on June 23, 2012 in Appetizers, Recipe, Seafood


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