You will never be able to just eat one!
Many people are surprised to hear that I was a picky eater growing up. I loved pasta and noodles, but not much else. One of the foods that I actively avoided was seafood. Unfortunately for me, growing up as a Marylander meant that crab was going to be around at some point or another.
Steamed crabs, crab cakes, crab balls, crab imperial, crab pretzels, and cream of crab soup are just a few of the ways locals enjoy their Blue Crab. If you ask any Marylander the sign of a good crab cake or ball they’ll all say it has to have no filler. For all my out-of-state readers this DOES NOT mean lip fillers! Fillers are the bread, crushed crackers, or flour that are used to bind the cakes together.
Surprisingly, the first time I had a crab ball, and remember liking it, was when we were living in Colorado - I see the irony of enjoying crab in a landlocked state. We had guests over and they brought these delicious mini crab balls. I tested one, and then another, and then another. They were absolutely delicious and made even better when accompanied by tartar sauce.
I have now grown to love all seafood, but crab balls hold a particularly special place in my heart. I know crab meat can be hard to come by these days, but if you are fortunate enough to buy some, this recipe will not disappoint. This makes the perfect appetizer for any event.
10 Min Prep
35 Min Cook
30-35 Crab Balls
4 scallions finely chopped (1/3 cup roughly)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley (or 1 tablespoon dried)
1/2 teaspoon old bay
1/8 teaspoon pepper (5 cracks)
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1 cup mayonnaise
Pinch of salt
1 lb lump crab meat
2/3 cup panko
2 tablespoons melted butter
1. Preheat an oven to 375° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, scallions, parsely, old bay, pepper, paprika, yellow mustard, mayonnaise, and salt.
3. Gently fold your crab meat into the mixture. Be as careful as possible to not aggressively break apart the lumps of crab meat.
4. Once the crab meat is combined with the other ingredients, add your breadcrumbs and mix.
5. Using a mini ice cream scoop or large spoon, scoop out ping pong sized crab balls on to your lined baking sheet. Each crab ball should be a little under 2 tablespoons. Depending on what tool you are using you might need to shape the crab balls into spheres once scooped.
6. Brush each crab ball with the melted butter and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.
7. Let cool for 2-3 minutes and then transfer to a serving plate. Serve the crab balls with tartar sauce, sliced lemons, and a dash of old bay. Enjoy!
1 heaping cup mayonnaise
¼ teaspoon pepper (10 cracks)
⅛ teaspoon salt
⅓ cup chopped dill pickles or gherkins
1 ½ tablespoons chopped fresh dill
The zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons lemon juice, dill pickle juice, or apple cider vinegar
Splash of hot sauce or a dash of cayenne
Combine all the ingredients together and let sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Prep and Freezing: You can make these crab balls and leave them on a baking sheet in the fridge for up to 2 days or freeze them for up to 6 months. To freeze them, place them on a lined baking sheet in the freezer and cover with plastic wrap until fully frozen. Once frozen you can place them in a ziplock bag for easy storage. Just pull them out of the fridge the night before you want to bake them and arrange them on a baking sheet to dethaw.