The key to making restaurant-quality crab cakes at home
Courtesy of Casa de Campo Resort
Welcome to Clubhouse Eats, where we celebrate the game’s most delectable food and drink. Hope you brought your appetites.
They say that everything tastes better when someone else makes it. That’s particularly true when a dish seems simple (but isn’t), and when the person making it is a trained professional who’s perfected the dish’s recipe.
An excellent crab cake, for example, seems like something that should be easy to replicate. Inevitably, most amateur cooks’ first attempts will leave a lot to be desired. Chef Rodrigo Menendez, on the other hand, has mastered the art of mouthwatering crab cakes. Menendez serves as the culinary director at Casa de Campo Resort & Villas in the Dominican Republic and believes that any home cook can create a restaurant-quality version of the dish, so long as they don’t cut corners and they have a good recipe in hand. On the latter topic, Chef Menendez has provided a step-by-step guide to making the crab cakes that are served at the resort’s Minitas Beach Club (see below).
“Work with good quality products, follow the recipe,” he says, “and you will achieve unique and satisfying flavors.”
As one might expect, the secret to a really good crab cake isn’t much of a secret. “Really good crab,” says Chef Menendez. “That makes all the difference.”
At Minitas Beach Club, the culinary team uses only king crab legs, which are pre-boiled in a broth comprised of salted water (30 grams of salt per one liter of water), whole garlic cloves, leeks, carrots, whole black peppercorns and dried bay leaves. From there, Chef Menendez says that the most important next step is to carefully crack open the legs and to spend time thoroughly cleaning and expecting the meat to make sure it’s free of any remnants of shell.
Beyond those tips, Menendez assures that success can be found simply by following the recipe. (A food scale will come in handy, since Chef Menendez uses metric measurements.) “There is no secret,” he says of the crab cakes that delight guests at Minitas Beach Club. “Just follow my recipe and enjoy the results.”
Minitas Beach Club’s Crab Cakes
Yields 21 crab cakes
450 grams of crab meat (boiled, shelled, and thoroughly cleaned)
25 grams bread crumbs
50 ml of liquid egg
60 grams of mayonnaise
2 grams of Old Bay Seasoning
5 grams of smooth parsley, finely chopped
2 grams of salt
1.5 grams of Tabasco sauce
2.60 grams of Worcestershire sauce
2.90 grams of lemon juice
2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 liter of olive oil
1/2 liter of soybean oil
Set up a dredging station with three bowls: one filled with the all-purpose flour, one filled with the eggs, and one filled with the Panko breadcrumbs.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all other ingredients, except for the olive oil and soybean oil.
Spoon out 35 grams of the crab cake mixture and form into a ball. Repeat until all mixture has been used.
Dredge each ball first by rolling it in the flour, then dip it in the egg, and finish by coating it in Panko.
Place finished crab cake balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours.
When ready to fry, fill a large Dutch oven with the olive and soybean oils. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until almost smoking, then — working in batches — fry the crab cake balls until golden brown (about 3 minutes). Transfer to a wire rack to briefly cool.
Serve with Minitas Beach Club’s remoulade sauce (recipe below).
100 grams of mayonnaise
30 grams of lemon juice
25 grams of grain mustard
10 grams of Dijon mustard
20 grams of fresh garlic, finely chopped
3.5 grams of Pepperoncino, finely chopped
2.5 grams of Worcestershire sauce
0.5 grams of Paprika
4 grams of smooth parsley, chopped
2 grams of celery leaves, chopped
2 grams of fresh chives, chopped
0.5 grams of ground black pepper
Directions: In a small mixing bowl, whisk together first eight ingredients until smooth. Then fold in remaining four ingredients.