If you have been following my stories on Instagram, then you know that my recent move to Washington has been exciting! Buying a beach cottage has always been a goal and we were finally able to make the move. We bought a historic waterfront home that is just shy of its 100-year birthday. You know what this means – lots of updates and remodeling to do. More on this later.
My new PNW life!
I’m loving living on Puget Sound and all that my tiny community has to offer. I’ve got really cool neighbors, sea lions and orca meet me for coffee each morning and deer and fawn run wild on the wooded side of our property. Eagle, raccoon, river otter and other creatures visit nearly every day. I’m a 90-minute ferry ride from Victoria Island, Canada and importantly, I can catch fresh fish and shellfish from my front yard.
It goes without saying that the variety and freshness of seafood here in the Pacific Northwest is outstanding. I’m obsessed with Pacific razor clams and was gifted a few pounds by my neighbor Tony a couple of weeks ago. My book Going Coastal features this delicacy features its briny delicious flavor. Dungeness crab is my first love, ‘tho! Dungeness is popular along the West Coast and as a California girl my family use this variety of crab for seafood gumbo, cioppino and crab cakes.
What is Dungeness crab?
The name ‘Dungeness’ comes from the crustacean’s habitat, the Dungeness Spit in northwest Washington. Most of the world’s Dungeness crab comes from Washington, as well as Oregon and California and is known for its sweet and tender flesh. My simple crab cake recipe allows the Dungeness to shine. Unlike most commercial crab cakes, I limit the use of bread crumbs or cracker crumbs. Blue crab from the Atlantic is a popular option for crab cakes. Cakes made from blue crab taste great but take a long time to prepare since they are small and picking them takes a while.
- 1 pound jumbo lump or backfin crab meat, picked through for shells
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley, for garnish
- 10 saltine crackers, crushed
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 large egg
- Vegetable oil for pan frying, as needed
In a large bowl, combine the crab with the parsley, crushed saltine crackers, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce and a few cracks of black pepper. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk one egg, beating thoroughly with a fork. Pour the egg into the crab mixture and gently fold the ingredients together with a rubber spatula. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes—once cooled, the mixture will be easier to form into cakes.
When the mixture is chilled, use a 2-ounce scoop to portion out the crab mixture, then use your hands to form cakes and place them on a clean plate. Repeat until all of the crab mixture has been used. If you don’t have a 2-ounce scoop, you can eyeball the portion sizes; however, I recommend using a scoop, as it will give you uniformly sized crab cakes that will cook evenly.
Next, in a large skillet, add ¼ cup of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the crab cakes to the pan and cook on one side for 2 minutes or until golden brown, then flip over and cook on the other side for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Store in the warming drawer of your oven or keep warm in a 200°F oven until ready to enjoy.