Crab Imperial

Crab Imperial

With the remains of the crabmeat my husband brought home  I made this dish.  In a sense it was an experiment because  I had not made it before, but I had all the ingredients on hand so I gave it a try.

Before I get to the recipe I thought I would share with you some facts about crabmeat.  Fresh crab meat will keep in your refrigerator for about 3 days, but  crabmeat which has been pasteurized will keep for several months in the refrigerator.  One pound of crabmeat equals 3 cups.  Crabmeat is packaged as follows:

  • Backfin, or Lump:  Solid lumps of white meat from the body muscles of the crab—the best!  It contains very little shell or cartilage, and is preferable in special recipes such as Crab Imperial or Crabmeat Salad.
  • Regular:  Small pieces of savory white meat from the body.  Still considered excellent, but takes more picking over for cartilage and shell removal.  Great for crab cakes, casseroles, salad, dips, etc.
  • Special:  A mixture of backfin and regular; also fine for dishes listed above.
  • Claws:  Meat from claws has a brownish tint, and comes in thin pieces.  It’s mostly used where appearance isn’t important.

The crabmeat that I had came from two large crab legs, part of which I had already used for the crab cakes, and what was left weighed about half pound, so I made only half of the following recipe.  The full recipe makes 4-5 servings.




  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Worchestershire sauce
  • 3 dashes Tabasco sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 3 Tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • 1 pound crabmeat, backfin or lump preferred
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 10-15 Ritz crackers, crushed


1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a shallow baking dish or individual shell dishes.

2.  Remove any shell or cartilage  from crab meat.  Mix together all ingredients except crabmeat.  Gently stir in crabmeat.

3.  Put mixture in prepared baking dish(es).  Mix crushed crackers with the melted butter, then sprinkle on top of crab mixture.   Bake for 15-20  minutes.

My Evaluation:

Although we both liked the dish as prepared and presented here, I think if I make it again I would modify it in the following ways:  Add a few bay scallops and shrimp to the mixture for some variety in texture. Because the crab I used came from the legs, the pieces were small, and therefore there wasn’t enough “chew” factor.  The overall color of the dish was rather bland, so I would add some chopped green onion, maybe some roasted red pepper for color. Lastly I think it would be more enticing if it were served in a small pastry shell like phyllo cups.  These are just a few thoughts “in hind-sight” for anyone who decides to make it.  If you make it and have some good ideas to improve upon the recipe I would be interested to hear about it.

Crab Imperial

SOURCE:   Savory Shellfish Recipes of the Shore


One response

  1. Pingback: Crab On a Bun | familyrecipebooks

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