A crab cake does not initially seem like a good candidate for waffling. After all, a good one is all about honoring the delicate nature of the (expensive) crab meat. If you took the time to purchase a pound of said meat to make your own crab cakes, this is not the cooking method you seek; if you happen to see some pre-made crabby cakes in your seafood department, however, waffling is an excellent path.
You see, a lot of store-made crab cakes contain a whole lot of stuff besides crab—mostly binders—which makes them more “crab-flavored fritters” than true crab cakes with glorious hunks of lump crab meat. They are fine. I will eat them and not complain, but they do not really satisfy a true crab cake craving.
But this is one of those cases where mediocrity can be turned into strength (something I am practiced in). A five-dollar crab cake is not a precious item, and you should feel no qualms about squashing it between the plates of a hot waffle maker, rendering it into a seafood-forward carby platform with the crispiest peaks and valleys. It’s a good appetizer, but can you imagine it as a base for a Benedict? The world may not be ready.
Unlike most of my other waffled sons, this one needs a slightly lower cooking temperature, lest you burn the outside. A lot of prepared crab cakes get a healthy dusting of some sort of breading or crumb, and that can brown rather quickly. Set your iron to a medium heat, smash the cake between the plates, and check on it every couple of minutes until it is browned, and can be removed from the iron in one piece (use chopsticks to lift it out of the grooves). Serve with lemon, some sort of lemony dipping sauce, or build your best brunch on top of it.
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