A very famous story in my family is the tale of Matthew and the crabs. You ever have those kind of embarrassing family stories that keep getting told over and over again, repeatedly causing you to turn bright red as everyone laughs at your younger self?
Stacy’s story involves blow drying her hair in a flooded bathroom and mine involves eating crabs. You see, I was four and adorable (as you do when you’re four) and my parents and grandparents took me to a seafood restaurant. Everyone was really excited because they were going to eat crabs. I got excited too and made up a song about it (as you do when you’re four) that went, “Gonna eat cra-abs! Gonna eat cra-abs!” This continued up until the crabs arrived.
When I saw them (I imagine in my mind a big reveal involving silver domes lifted from plates) I screamed so loudly that everyone’s dinner stopped, “NO! NO! DON’T EAT IT! IT’S YUCKY!”
I’m still right, of course. They are, for all intents and purposes, sea bugs.
Anyway, back to the topic at hand! I’ve matured, but I’m still not the biggest crab fan. Stacy, on the other hand, grew up boating up the Chesapeake with her family and loves crabs! So, when we found wild caught crab on sale at the local market, Stacy decided crab balls were in order and brought me along for the ride. Yes, another Stacy recipe!
Just so you’re aware, there are four different types of crab meat: lump, backfin, special and claw. The first three are, for your purposes, essentially size distinctions. And price distinctions! Lump is much bigger and much more expensive. But you’re making crab balls here! You don’t need lump! We used backfin mixed with claw, but you can use special or all claw if you’d like. Just know claw is very… crabby tasting.
8 oz. backfin crab meat, rinsed and drained
8 oz. claw crab meat, rinsed and drained
1/2 C blanched almond flour
3 Tbsp mayonnaise (make it yourself, our recipe is in ELaD!)
2 eggs, lightly
2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp lemon pepper (or pepper plus lemon zest)
1/2 tsp salt (we recommend Sea Veg Salt)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees
- ♥ In a medium mixing bowl, combine crab, flour, mayo and eggs by hand
- ♥ Add spices and mix again
- ♥ Roll meat into 1 inch diameter balls, using a rounded tablespoon for consistency
- Bake for 25 minutes until browned on the outside (oil tray if not using cast iron or enamel)
As always, any step marked with a ♥ is perfect for little hands to help with! Makes 25 crab balls – serves 4-6.
While I’m not about to bathe in a golden tub of she-crab soup (and by the way, it’s a for-real thing here on the cusp of the Chesapeake Bay!), I absolutely loved these! I was so surprised – considering my strong opposition to the idea.
Served with some fermented krauts and over fresh greens with a citrus vinaigrette, it was SUPER easy, quick and perfectly refreshing after a super hot long day. Perfectly brown on the outside and soft on the inside. Or, try them with some fresh horseradish mayo (or as Finian insists, guacamole goes with everything) and enjoy!