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updated 9/16/2005 10:47:48 AM ET 2005-09-16T14:47:48

In Maryland, the state bird is the oriole, the state flower is the black-eyed susan, and if there were a state food it would be the crab cake. Chuck Keck is the executive chef of the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club, and word on the bay is that he makes the meanest crab cakes around. Keck was invited to share his secrets for great crab cakes on “Today.” Here’s his recipe:

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The Beach Club Crab Cake
Yields 5 (4-ounce) cakes

1 pound Maryland jumbo lump crab meat (gently picked to remove any shell)
1 egg beaten
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 dash hot sauce
Juice from 1/4 of a fresh lemon

Blend all ingredients together and add to crabmeat.
Add 1/4 cup plain extra-fine bread crumbs to mixture, and refrigerate for 15 minutes to set up.
Form into cakes and bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned.

A few other tidbits:

  • Blue crabs make the best crab meat for crab cakes
  • Generally, 6 crabs yield 1 pound of crab meat
  • When tossing ingredients for crab cakes, toss gently. Otherwise, jumbo lump crab meat becomes gross and squishy. Lumps are better!

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