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Michael Tucker's A Perfect Baltimore Crab Cake

About the Recipe

I’m a Baltimore boy, born and bred, and these crab cakes are the real thing. The only secret to this recipe is not to make any substitutions. Just do what it says. Especially the Wonder Bread, which is essential. I have known people – professional chefs and the like – who felt they had to substitute with great bread – the soft inside of a perfect baguette or a homemade sourdough – and they ruined the crab cakes. Wonder Bread is unique in that it has no taste, no texture, no nothing, really. It disappears into the mixture, yet miraculously holds it all together. Do not substitute.
Makes four crab cakes


  • 1 egg

  • 2 tbsps good prepared mayonnaise (Hellman’s)

  • 3 slices Wonder Bread, crusts removed, cut into ½ inch chunks

  • Dash of Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 heaping tsp deli mustard

  • Old Bay Seasoning

  • 1 pound fresh backfin crabmeat (blue crab)

  • Peanut oil

  • Lard (you can leave this out, but it does add a nice bottom to the whole thing)


  1. Mix together all of the ingredients (except the oil and lard) and pour over the crab meat.  Mix it gently with your hands and then let it stand at room temperature.  

  2. Form four equal-sized balls of the mixture and put them on a plate.

  3. Fry in a large cast-iron skillet, if you can.  Heat equal parts oil and lard on a medium flame; it should be about an inch or so deep. 

    1. Don’t make it too hot.  You’re just browning these cakes.  When you put them into the fat, press down gently with a spatula to flatten the ball a little.  When you see the bottom of the cakes turning golden, use two spatulas to turn them gently.  The color should be dark golden. 

  4. Drain on paper towels and serve.

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