Selecting Crab meat for Crab Cakes
Imitation vs. jumbo lump crab meat
Imitation crab meat / Surimi is a combination of different fish. Surimi is pulverized, ground up and processed to look and taste like real crab meat. Imitation crab is a combination of fillers, artificial color and flavoring. These additives and preservatives mean this product is pasteurized. Let me clarify pasteurized gives the imitation crab meat a longer shelf life.
Added color, fillers and preservatives is not an option for me! When making crab cakes, I buy fresh jumbo lump crab meat from the fish market. You can find jumbo lump crab meat in most supermarkets, but it is most likely canned. By the way, I absolutely cannot recommend canned crab for my crab cake recipe! I have already tried it in my test kitchen along with the imitation, so please believe me when I tell you; it will be worth your dollars to enjoy the freshness of this Crab Cake recipe by investing in fresh jumbo lump crab meat.
You can buy several whole crabs and do all the cracking and cleaning, but this is serious work and time-consuming. However, the great thing about this is that you have no worries about additives.
While shopping at Costco, last week I realized they carried “Jumbo Lump crab meat” in the plastic 16-ounce tubs. It has a “chicken of the sea” label and it is a product from Vietnam. Please take a look at the sites I have listed at the end of my blog, and keep in mind, it is wise to ask how long the product has set on the shelf before you buy it. “Caveat Emptor” the Latin phrase for “Let the buyer beware” By origin, this phrase is important in matters of real state. As a habit, I practice this in the marketplace and especially when grocery shopping.
- First rule of thumb; when thinking crab cakes, choose the Jumbo Lump crab meat and not the imitation or the canned crab meat for my recipe! The imitation (pasteurized) crab meat will work, but there is NO comparison in the taste!
- Also put into practice when dining out; ask if you are getting the real deal or imitation. The price can be an indicator, but it’s never a bad idea to ask!
It is important to note that there is much controversy about the purchase of pasteurized vs. fresh from the fish market /ocean harbor. More information provided at the bottom of my blog.
FYI on Crab Cake recipe:
I just wanted to share with you that I put a little spin on my use of breadcrumbs for this recipe. I was short on panko crumbs so I went with crushed frosty flakes. I enjoy the hint of sweetness that the crushed cereal added. It worked so well that I decided to add it into my recipe. Crushed corn flakes will work as well. Those of you that do not want the sugar can use corn flakes or just stick with the panko crumbs. You may refrigerate uncooked crab cakes overnight if you like.
My recipe also gives you the wonderful option to bake, grill or pan sear. All of these methods are tasty and I do hope you will try them.
Using a non-stick skillet for this recipe is fine, but I highly recommend the cast iron skillet, should you want to Pan Sear your crab cakes. Those of you that like the taste of coconut oil will enjoy how it adds a nice flavor to the crab cakes, and those that may not like the taste of coconut oil, can go with the Rice Bran oil for a lighter taste and fewer calories.
As for my “Special Creamy Sauce”, this puts the icing on the crab cake! Give it a go and tell me what you think?
Until next time, use wisdom in all you do.