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Old 08-15-2007, 11:54 AM   #1
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Can I make crab cakes without fresh crabmeat?

My grocery store does not carry fresh crab. Would it be better to use canned crabmeat or imitation crabmeat that is in the refridgerated section of the seafood department?

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Old 08-15-2007, 12:04 PM   #2
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It's hard to get fresh crab in some parts of the country.

Canned lump crab is kept in the refrigerated section and will make fine cakes. The stuff in the aisle next to the canned tuna - not so good.

If your market does not carry the canned refrigerated crab, check another market, Costco or BJ's.
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Old 08-15-2007, 12:06 PM   #3
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actually I`ve never made crab cakes with fresh crab, I`ve always used the tinned, You`ll be just fine :)
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Old 08-15-2007, 12:17 PM   #4
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Check out this thread. http://www.discusscooking.com/forums...eat-29886.html

The Hearty Boys' recipe was EXCELLENT!

Lee
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Old 08-15-2007, 02:11 PM   #5
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I cook with all different kinds of crabmeat, & here's my take on what's available here.

1) Pasteurized lump crabmeat & pasteurized claw crabmeat: these both come from Blue-Claw crabs & are sold in plastic tubs/containers either refrigerated or on ice in or near the seafood counter of your supermarket. Make terrific crabcakes & anything/everything else you want to do with crabmeat. Pricey, but worth it.

2) Canned crabmeat. While this also comes from Blue-claws, it's quality is lower than the refrigerated stuff as it comes from what's leftover after the lump & claw meat has been removed by the pickers. Very soft, fine-textured, & sometimes a bit salty. I often use this when making a crab dip or spread, or for stuffing shrimp or flounder etc.

3) Imitation crabmeat - aka surimi. I use this in salads & stirfries mostly. While there's nothing stopping you from using it to make a "crabcake", you're really making a "fish cake". Again - absolutely nothing wrong with that; it just won't be the same as a real crabcake.
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Old 08-15-2007, 02:24 PM   #6
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Hi, Breezy. I was wondering if there is a difference between blue-claw crabs and blue crabs - looks like they're the same thing: Blue Crab Facts

Does the name blue-claw refer to the males? They have blue claws, while the females have pink claws.
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Old 08-15-2007, 02:38 PM   #7
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Crabcakes from canned crabmeat can be really good or really bad. You need to get good crabmeat. The best canned meat will be “jumbo lump meat “or just “lump meat”. Avoid “white crabmeat” and never get “pink crab meat”. The jumbo lump and lump from starkist and geisha are both really good. Geisha also has snow crab meat but the jumbo lump or lump meat will make the better crabcakes.
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Old 08-15-2007, 04:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GotGarlic
Hi, Breezy. I was wondering if there is a difference between blue-claw crabs and blue crabs - looks like they're the same thing: Blue Crab Facts

Does the name blue-claw refer to the males? They have blue claws, while the females have pink claws.
Both the male and female are simply known as “Blue Crabs”. Their legs, eyestalks, claws, and sometime bellies are tinted blue in spots while the carapace is typically a brownish green color.......until you boil ‘em that is.

The females have a reddish or pinkish tint to the tips of their claws as if they have painted their nails (easy way to determine the sex of the crab).
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Old 08-15-2007, 04:58 PM   #9
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Now live in VA, not all that far from Breezy, and she is right about what is available in this area.

The preparation of crab cakes almost reaches to the level of religion here, there are as many recipes for them as there are stars in the sky.

Have lived all over this country and what is available in the middle of the US is often quite different that what we get in crab country.

I am excluding the West coast here, they have their own great crabs.

What crankin calls canned crab meat, heck, I don't know what it is. But have found some fairly lousy canned crabmeat in places far removed from the sea.

Would suggest you buy a can and try it. Make some mini crab cakes. Serve on a Friday night with some wine. If yo like it, well, then you have your answer.

If you don't, well have another glass of wine.

As for the surimi, have always thought about what a cake with it might be made with it.

Gotta try it one of these days.

Think you could make a pretty tasty product with it.

But to me there will never be a better crab cake than one prepared with true crab, lump meat.

But we are lucky enough to live in that part of the country.

Of course, we do not get all the wonderful bounty of other areas of the country.

Ya gotta live with what is available.

So it goes.
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Old 08-15-2007, 05:04 PM   #10
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"Blue Crab" & "Blue-Claw Crab" are the same thing. It's just a matter of semantics depending on where you grew up. For me, that was Long Island, NY, where we spent nearly every summer weekend crabbing (with both box traps & lines with chicken backs) on the south shore. My relatives always called them "Blue-Claws", but other folks call them "Blue Crabs", & overseas they're also known as "Blue Swimmers".
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Old 08-15-2007, 07:13 PM   #11
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Growing up in Mobile on the Gulf Coast with our land sitting on beach front property with a pier and dingy, I ran 4 or more crab traps (Uncle Bob probably knows what these are) constantly…..not to mention trot lines, net baskets, trolling, and trawl nets. We also went floundering and netted many a soft shelled crab during molting season.

This species, the Callinectes sapidus, is most often called the “blue crab”. As with regional differences, new names appear, such as calling a carbonated beverage a soda, pop, or “coke”. The most popular name is simply “blue crab”, but calling it a “blue claw” is also a nickname.

However, in the south when dealing with professional fisherman and crabbers, calling for a blue claw meant calling for a male blue crab since the female has a reddish tint to her claw…..especially when you were trying to avoid a sponge crab (pregnant female blue crab).

Interesting how dialect differs across the regions. This seems another case for the South - North thread.
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Old 08-15-2007, 09:21 PM   #12
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No lump crab here in land locked New Mexico which is a total bummer.maybe in Santa Fe or Albuquerque.I love crab meat there is some canned canned stuff that I dont want.The only way to get the real thing is frozen thru the internet.
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Old 08-15-2007, 10:11 PM   #13
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We live in an area where daylight has to be piped in, so getting crabmeat of any variety is nil. I've made crab cakes using the canned variety. I've also used the "pouch" crab that is available in the fresh seafood area of my market.

Granted, the cakes aren't as good as those made with fresh crab, but they fill the bill when Buck and I hunger for crab cakes.

I've also used the "immitation" crab and have had mediocre results. As someone has already mentioned, they are really only "fish" cakes.
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Old 08-16-2007, 10:46 AM   #14
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Yes, the surimi is really only fish disguised as crab, but it's really not all that bad in certain applications.

In fact, one of our local seafood counters (amazingly enough - our local Super WalMart) makes a crab cake with 1/2 & 1/2 surimi & lump crab that is really quite good in a pinch as part of an impromptu "fisherman's platter". I'll buy them along with the market's "Deviled Crab" (real blue-claw meat spiced & stuffed into a Blue-Claw crab shell), "Coquille St. Jacques" (bay scallops - & lots of them - in a wine mushroom sauce in a natural large scallop shell), "Stuffed Clams" - self-explanatory, & "Lobster Cakes" (self-explanatory). Just needs reheating in the oven & along with a green salad makes a nice, if not wholly authentic, seafood platter in a pinch.

I'd never try to pretend that surimi was "real" crab, but for salads, stirfries, some sushi rolls, & seafood mixes, it's really not a bad choice.
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Old 08-16-2007, 11:00 AM   #15
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For what it is worth I just had these to recipes passed along to me.

Mock Crab Cakes
2-1/2 cups grated zucchini
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup minced onion
2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup vegetable oil for frying

In a large bowl, combine zucchini, egg, and butter. Stir in crumbs, onion, and Old Bay; mix well. Shape mixture into patties; dredge in flour. In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium high-heat until hot. Fry patties in oil until golden brown on both sides. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

and

MOCK CRAB CAKES
2 cups coarsely grated zucchini, unpeeled (about 1 medium)
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
1 egg, beaten
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl The texture can be adjusted -- if it's too dry, add another egg; if too wet, add more bread crumbs (we had to add a couple of tablespoons).
Heat some oil in a skillet. Form mixture into patties and fry over medium heat until golden brown on both sides, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Makes 4 big or 6 medium cakes
.
The second recipe is from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette and I take no credit or blame for either one of these.
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Old 08-16-2007, 11:03 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keltin
Growing up in Mobile on the Gulf Coast with our land sitting on beach front property with a pier and dingy, I ran 4 or more crab traps (Uncle Bob probably knows what these are) constantly…..
My dad was stationed in Annapolis, Maryland for a few years and we lived on base right on the Chesapeake Bay. I remember "crabbing" off the piers and then having huge crab boils on the beach area almost every evening in the summer. There were huge brick pits built right on the beach and I can remember these enormous pots the adults boiled the crabs in. There was always music and limbo contests and all sorts of wonderful activities so that's what comes to mind whenever I have crab. I wish I could remember what kind of crabs or even what they looked like but I was really young.
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Old 08-16-2007, 11:20 AM   #17
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I buy the refrigerated canned crab meat by Philips. Not cheap, but makes really great crab cakes.
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Old 08-16-2007, 11:40 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fisher's Mom
My dad was stationed in Annapolis, Maryland for a few years and we lived on base right on the Chesapeake Bay. I remember "crabbing" off the piers and then having huge crab boils on the beach area almost every evening in the summer. There were huge brick pits built right on the beach and I can remember these enormous pots the adults boiled the crabs in. There was always music and limbo contests and all sorts of wonderful activities so that's what comes to mind whenever I have crab. I wish I could remember what kind of crabs or even what they looked like but I was really young.
I bet they were blue crabs - they're really big in MD, too.

My DH used to be a high school science teacher. One day he was teaching a class that had to do with the health of the Chesapeake Bay (not good) and how the blue crab population was declining. One student said, "Why don't people just eat the red ones, like we do?"
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Old 08-16-2007, 11:55 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GotGarlic
I bet they were blue crabs - they're really big in MD, too.

My DH used to be a high school science teacher. One day he was teaching a class that had to do with the health of the Chesapeake Bay (not good) and how the blue crab population was declining. One student said, "Why don't people just eat the red ones, like we do?"
That's sooo funny! It's why I love kids - they'll just say what they're thinking, even if they look like goofs. And actually, it was only recently that I learned the red crabs I eat didn't start out that color!
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