Maryland Jumbo Lump Crab Imperial

I wish I could say that I enjoyed the holiday weekend, I wish I could say I Barbecued every day, and spent lots of time outside in the sun enjoying the spectacular weather……sigh, but I’m sorry to say that I spent most of the weekend sleeping. I don’t know if my allergies just went into overdrive, or I caught a bug of some sort, or if my body knows the school year is all most over and started its shut down early…..but anyway you look at it, it was a wasted weekend.

I did go shopping on my way home Friday, since we had an early dismissal with no lunch,  and was home fairly early.  But after putting the groceries away I started my sleepathon.

jumbo lump crabmeat, maryland blue claw crabs

I did score a pound of Maryland Jumbo Lump Crab meat while shopping, and after a two hour nap,  got up to make dinner. I admit I did have some grand plans for the crabmeat, but feeling the way I did, I decided a simpler route was in order. Usually I make a batch of crabcakes, but for some reason my mind went to days gone by and an old favorite,  Crab Imperial.  You don’t see Crab Imperial on the menu very often, and it’s a shame, because it is a classic way to serve up that lovely jumbo lump crabmeat.   So I thought what better way to showcase this delicious crabmeat than with a classic, especially since this classic is so easy to make!

This was Lisa’s first time having Cab Imperial, which made the event even more memorable, we had a tomato salad with hot house Jersey tomatoes , and a love of artisan bread that I had picked up at a local market, that I turned into garlic bread.  A very simple dinner, but definitely the taste of summer….sigh

If you’re looking for an easy meal for a special occasion, or if you just want to treat yourself, do try this classic dish, you’ll be very happy you did!

jumbo lump crabmeat, maryland blue claw crabs

5.0 from 21 reviews
Maryland Jumbo Lump Crab Imperial
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2-3
Ingredients
  • 1 lb jumbo lump crabmeat (or lump)
  • ½ cup Hellman’s Mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp old bay
  • 1 tsp finely chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 large egg lightly beaten
  • squeeze of lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Mix mayonnaise, egg, sugar, old bay, lemon juice and parsley together and blend well, this is your imperial sauce.
  2. Gently fold crabmeat into imperial sauce, being careful not to break up crab meat.
  3. place portions in baking dish using ramekins or small casserole dishes*
  4. Bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes (top will turn golden brown)
  5. Allow to cool just a few minutes before serving, it will set and be more flavorful as it cools slightly.
Notes
Depending upon what you serve as a side dish you can get 3 portions out of this. You really don't want to make it any smaller than ⅓ of a pound per person though. If you want to stretch this, think about making stuffed shrimp with the filling, that could easily serve 4 people.

 

I do hope that everyone enjoyed their weekend and didn’t have to spend it like I did!  I also hope that everyone took a few minutes to remember why we celebrate Memorial Day, and while it does begin the summer season, that’s not why we observe this holiday.  I really don’t want to say celebrate, because we really aren’t celebrating the death of  those that served this country, we’re observing the sacrifice they made.  We may celebrate how they lived, and we may celebrate that this great nation is free because of the sacrifices of the men and women of our armed forces. but Memorial Day is truly a solemn occasion, and lets never forget those that gave all so we could barbecue (or sleep) on this glorious weekend.    Have a good my friends!

Comments

  1. I cleaned house and prepared for a big family dinner last night. I was so pooped today I could hardly keep my eyes opened. Jealous about your nap! I have never heard of Crab Imperial. Looks creamy and sounds perfect with some hearty bread.

  2. I’m sorry to hear you weren’t feeling well this weekend. Hope you feel better soon! I love Maryland crabs, and it’s funny I was thinking about stopping by my favorite crab cake place in Maryland on our way down from NYC this afternoon. Although I make crab cakes, I’ve never made crab imperial, so thank you so much for this wonderful recipe. It looks and sounds delicious!

  3. You’re right… we aren’t celebrating Memorial Day, though I think we all react to such times in our own way. I’m the kind of person who likes to party and BBQ in order to remember our loved ones (including my grandfather who served during WWII). The fact is, though, that we should still be reflecting on what’s happened.

    But going back to food… this dish looks freakin’ amazing! I’d love a bite!

  4. Oh, wow!
    That looks amazing.

  5. I have never had crab before. However, I just made homemade mayo yesterday, so crab meat has been added to the grocery list!
    Sometimes our bodies tell us that we need a break. Extra sleep isn’t a bad thing if it lets your body rest and recharge!

  6. That looks SO delicious… I really love crab but don’t get to eat it too often because no one else in our home enjoys crab (can you believe it!?)… I really wish I could taste this gorgeous dish! Thank you for sharing :)

  7. Hi Chef…Sorry I have not been by in awhile. I had to take a break whch unfortunately I am still on. I saw this post and it reminded me of a time in my childhood that THIS dish was really grand. Crab was a special treat even with growing up in Philly. We use to go to Maryland and did quite a bit of “crabbin’” and “Clammin’”. I have forgotten about this dish and seeing this really brought back memories. I could really go for this now but being in the middle of the desert it is really hard to find good quality crab meat without having to takeout a mortgage…LOL…Hope all is well and sleep on my Friend…CHEERS!

  8. I was a couch potato the weekend…watching dramas on tv and munching away. Nothing much done too…the weather was scorching hot here and staying in with the air con running the whole day was sheer luxury. Your meal looks absolutely delicious…we cant get jumbo crabmeat over here in the supermarket…lucky you :) and I wish here that I live next door :p Thanks for sharing the imperial sauce with us. Perhaps I could use it on other seafood or on mud crabs that are plenty sold in the wet market…mmmm I think I would do that ! Thanks Chef and have a good day!

  9. what a beautiful, simple dish! can you believe i’ve never had this before? it looks like a great way to prepare crab. sorry your memorial day weekend wasn’t great…seems like a bummer for a lot of people this year. mine was pretty drab too. better luck next year!

  10. Hi Chef,

    This is a new one for me. But definitely i’ll try next time when i find some crab meat. Looks fantastic and i’m sure tastes too. Thanks!

  11. Sounds like you got some rest, which was much needed, albeit not the way you hoped to spend the long weekend. We had a quiet weekend too – two of my sons got concussions over the past 4 days so that automatically sidelined our activities. However, my husband and I did attend our town Memorial Parade, which is such a wonderful tribute to our veterans. I am a Maryland girl, so I always love seeing your crab recipes. Still have to give your crab spaghetti recipe a whirl (I have a stash of crab in my fridge waiting to try that recipe).

  12. Sorry it was a crap weekend! I was pretty much out of commission last month for sneezing, itchy, watery eyes, itchy ears and throat. I saw the doc and got that once a day nasal spray and it fixed everything. It’s not cheap but I will never be without it.

    This crab dish is beautiful! really really tempting.

  13. This dish looks amazing. Never made crab imperial before but now I’m wondering why … Looks so easy!

  14. Looks delicious, entire family of four including me, my little princess and my baby and hubby got sick and had really bad cold and fever. Resulting a bad weekend.

  15. Oh man that looks good! I have never had crab imperial, but this def makes me want it. Will have to serve some up for father’s day alongside some steak for some surf & turf. And a weekend in bed is NEVER wasted! Your body is obviously calling for some relief. :)

  16. Sometimes sleeping weekends are the best. Hubby and I dream of the day that we’ll be able to laze around in bed, if anything, at least past 7am. :D

    I’ve never had Crab Imperial and I have no idea why not. It looks absolutely amazing.

  17. Sorry to hear you’ve been ailing but happy it resulted in your posting this recipe – it looks delicious.

  18. This looks fantastic!!! I love anything with crab. Yum!

  19. Sometimes ya gotta have a lazy weekend to catch up on sleep! I’ve never had crab Imperial either! It looks and sounds fantastic!

  20. Lazy weekends are the best…
    I love this dish, Chef! Beautiful and tasty! Congrats on top 9…

  21. I love all sorts of different variations on crab, but I must say – this sounds the tastiest!

  22. This looks amazing! I saved it, can’t wait to try!

  23. Colleen says:

    You need to try it with Smith Island Crab! A bit more expensive, but it is worth it – and is definitely Maryland Crab meat. Looks yummy!

  24. Glad that you shared this recipe with us, Thank you. This helped me come up with an idea for girl’s night.

  25. I live in Baltimore,,,we have crab cakes at least once a week.
    I never made crab imperial as every recipe I ever saw used green pepper.
    That was a turn off,,, took away from the crab taste,,,somehow I never thought to leave it out.
    This is the way Baltimore restaurants prepare it ,,,,,I only ever ordered it once..
    Soooo, happy I stumbled on your site today. I will make this tomorrow.
    We have a 57 year old son with CP fries and crab cakes are his favorite foods,,,This is why we have it at least once a week

    • Thank you so much for stopping by Linda, I’m so glad you found my site today! I hope your son enjoys the crab imperial!

  26. Wow this sounds delish. Love crab.

  27. You had me at crab. ;.)

    Thank you for the nice words on Memorial Day. My husband is a vet and my nephew just got back from overseas.

    • You’re very welcome, both my parents served in the Army, as did my brother and son. My brother was the only to escape combat, and thankfully everyone else got through it and home safely.

      We need to always remember why we can sleep safely at night, it’s doesn’t happen by itself.

      Thanks so much for stopping by today!

  28. Thank you for reintroducing this classic!

  29. I am a newbie blogger [still finding my way around the blogging community] and came upon your site through Pinterest a few days ago. I was so pleased to see this classic recipe using our Maryland Blue Crabs. I live on the Eastern Shore where crabbing, as you know, is a major local industry which deserves to be promoted by chefs such as yourself. I have also added a link from my Facebook page [also new, although I have had a personal one for a couple of years] which reads : Used an almost identical recipe in my family pub/restaurant a few years ago, so I know this recipe is all that a Crab Imperial should be…and yes, it is a classic ! No additional frills or concoctions are needed to dress up our famous Maryland Blue Crabs…!! Thank you Chef Dennis for sharing this wonderful recipe.

    • I’m so glad you stopped by Mary, and I’m happy to hear you like my crab imperial, it is quite simple because the crab should always be the star!
      If i can ever be of any help don’t hesitate to ask!

  30. I’ve never had this before but I love crab cakes so I am sure that I will love it! It looks delicious and so easy to make!

  31. Oh my!!! Looks great! I’m obsessed with decapod crustaceans. I can’t wait to try this recipe! Thanks for sharing this amazing recipe. :) Bless your good soul!

  32. I tried the Maryland Jumbo Lump Crab Imperial recipe tonight and I thank you! It was wonderful and simple to make. My family and I loved it.

    • Thanks for letting me know Nancy, I’m happy to hear it was a hit! I love using that same stuffing for stuffed flounder, and stuffed shrimp too! Also if you add some bread crumbs in, it makes a great crabcake!

  33. I worked at a restaurant in Rehoboth Beach DE 3 decades ago and we served as an app crab imperial in a mushroom cap, I have been looking for the recipe for ages so I can recreate a perfect bite! Thank you for posting this, can’t wait to make and use for a party this weekend!!!

    • you’re very welcome Kathleen, I always did a stuffed mushroom app as well, just not with jumbo lump. Claw works well with stuffed mushrooms and a lot less expensive!

  34. Excellent recipe!

  35. This is a great recipe! Had with french bread and a salad. It is so simple and good.

    • Happy to hear that you enjoyed it Sarah! It works great for stuffed shrimp, stuffed flounder and stuffed mushrooms, it was always a favorite in my restaurants.

  36. We are from Maryland, transplanted to Florida and have had this while living there. I made this and we absolutely loved it!!! However, I used about a tablespoon of old bay in 16 oz of lump crab. It’s really not too much at all and gives it the “Maryland” made taste. I will be making it again for my husband, probably Valentine’s Day. It’s a dish we really, really enjoyed. The picture alone made our mouth water!!!!

    • Hi Kathy

      people from the Eastern Shore area can really appreciate Old Bay and I tend to use a little more as well, but for newbies it sometimes comes as a shock..lol so I stated a smaller amount, you can always add more! I’m very happy to hear that you enjoyed it! I don’t know if you saw the post but I did a lobster tail with the crab imperial on top of it, I get the lobster at Sams club fairly inexpensively (for lobster). It also makes nice stuffed shrimp and stuffed mushrooms, add a little bread crumbs and a wonderful crab cake!
      Cheers
      Dennis

  37. Maryland Cook says:

    Living in Maryland I have eaten a lot of crab imperial so I feel I can judge it fairly well. This recipe is simple and very, very good. The beauty lies in not too many ingredients, letting the sweetness of the blue crab shine through. Great recipe and great to serve for dinner guests in individual ramekins. Highly recommend

  38. Do I add the freshly squeezed lemon in with the crab mixture or on top after it’s baked? Can’t wait to try this recipe and thanks for publishing it!

    • hi Brenda

      actually add the lemon into the imperial sauce when mixing everything together. Thanks for pointing that out to me, I adjusted the recipe to show where it goes. You can of course serve it with some fresh lemon for those that enjoy adding it to their seafood, but mostly I use it just as a garnish on this dish, it really doesn’t need anything at all.
      The imperial makes a great stuffing for flounder, mushrooms or on top of shrimp for stuffed shrimp. And by adding a 1/2 a cup of bread crumbs to the mix it makes excellent crabcakes, that you can either bread and saute or leave unbreaded and bake.
      Let me know how it turns out
      Cheers
      Dennis

  39. Sally Smith says:

    My grandfather used to make Crab Imperial and had special little crab shaped ramekins that he put it in. My brother still makes it and uses the same little ramekins plus some more that he found on eBay.

  40. Florida Wendy says:

    I’m so glad I stumbled on to your site! I am originally from Baltimore. I’ve lived lots of places, but there is nothing like good B-More crabs. I was homesick and could not find my moms receipe for imperial and yours looked great. Tried it, ate it and it was delish!! Thanks!

    • Thanks for letting me know Wendy! I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed my imperial. It makes a great crabcake too, I have a recipe for them on my blog too.

      Dennis

  41. Elizabeth Klotz says:

    Crab Imperial is an all-time classic and growing up in MD, we had it as often as we could afford it! However, skip the sugar in this recipe and substitute about half of a diced red pepper. Saute it in a little butter before mixing it in with the sauce. The butter will turn red and really pick up the red pepper flavor. This adds a natural sweetness to the crab imperial and makes it extra good! I put them in my crab cakes, too. Also, stuffing mushroom caps with this is a great way to share a lb of crab with alot of people. I made 32 of them last time and took it to a cookout in Southern Illinois. Most of these people had never had jumbo lump crab and everyone loved them!

  42. Been living in Maryland all of my life. I don’t usually enjoy crab imperial when I go out to dinner. The added ingredients throw off the taste for me. However, it has been awhile since I have had crab imperial and I stumbled across your recipe this evening and went ahead and gave your recipe a shot. By far, this is the best crab imperial I’ve ever had. It did not throw off the taste of the crab for me. Finally, a crab imperial I enjoy. I felt the least I could do is drop a note to say thanks for sharing your recipe. This one is a keeper!

    • Thank you Mark! I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed my crab imperial. I love using it in many applications asa stuffing for shrimp, mushrooms or flounder. Add about a half a cup of bread crumbs to the mixture and it makes an amazing crabcake!

      thanks again for your feedback!
      Cheers
      Dennis

      • Your crab imperial was the star. I actually was trying a mix of ideas I had. I made a buttered toast point with mozzarella. Topped that with a fried red tomato, a little more mozzarella, then the crab imperial with a scallop in the center. Topped lightly with mozzarella and Old Bay seasoning then drizzled with butter.

        The whole thing turned out better than I expected. The contrasts of texture and flavors worked out well.

        I wanted to use cheddar, but I did not realize I was out until it was too late, so mozzarella it was.

  43. Laura in Maryland says:

    Thank you, Chef for this recipe – I love, love, love crab imperial and have been on a quest for a recipe for one for quite some time. It is perfect stuffed in mushroom caps, and also made stuffed chicken breasts with it – fantastic recipe. It’s gone straight to the top of my favorite recipes list!

    • thanks Laura, I’m glad you like my recipe and crab imperial is a wonderful thing! when I stuff chicken breasts with imperial I take it one step further, I precook them a bit allow them to cool then wrap the stuffed breast in puff pastry dough. If that doesn’t make your guests sit up and take notice nothing will!

  44. This recipe looks amazing. Could pasta be baked in with this? Will I need to up the ingredients?

    • Lacey this really wont mix in quite as well with pasta, the sauce sets up when it bakes and binds the crabmeat together making a light fluffy crab dish. There would not be enough sauce for pasta and its not the right type of sauce. I would suggest just using a marinara, aioli, or alfredo with your crabmeat and either baking it or serving it over pasta

  45. Philip Grey says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you>

  46. Dennis you forgot to show the Lea&Perrins like in your crabcake recipe

    • I usually don’t put it in my imperial when its stand alone Frank, but please feel free to add it in, it certainly won’t hurt! Thanks for thinking of me, though I do miss things from time to time!

  47. I don’t usually keep Hellman’s in my house and don’t really care for it. Can I substitute another mayo or is this brand a must for this recipe?

    • you can use another type of mayo Debbie. I have found that some of the generic brands don’t hold up to the heat as well, and that’s why I always use helmans

      • Thanks, I will go ahead and try Hellmans. I think it has a sweeter taste but hopefully not in this recipe. The reviews seem great so I am going to try it.

        • I used Kraft Lite mayo to make mine and it came out just fine. Also, when I make crab cakes I DO use Worchester sauce, but NOT in the crab imperial .. I think it would detract from the delicate taste, however, I do use more Old Bay than your recipe called for. Being a Marylander, Chesapeake Bay … we tend to use Old Bay in our crab dishes more than non-Marylanders. It’s just a matter of upbringing and tastes.

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  49. Thelostcook says:

    From the New Orleans area where seafood is plentiful and always have crab available we tried this recipe and loved it. Originally from Frederick,Md we are used to more Old Bay, otherwise excellent taste and very easy to make. Haven’t had it for years, glad we found this site on a rainy weekend!

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  1. [...] from Maryland Jumbo Lump Crab Imperial by Chef [...]

  2. [...] What a beautiful, simple dish! Can you believe i’ve never had this before? It looks like a great way to prepare crab. I will sure make this in the future . This is a keeper!   For more details of this recipe you can find on this link : Askchefdennis [...]

  3. [...] You can find the recipe here. [...]

  4. […] be taken to the author’s original post.  Chin Deep Grilled Salmon BLT Ask Chef Dennis Crab Imperial All Day I Dream About Food Greek Shrimp with Feta, Tomatoes & White Wine Noshing with the […]

  5. […] the Crab Imperial: 1/2 lb Blue Crab Back fin (or the crab meat of your choice) 1/4 cup Mayonnaise 1 Teaspoon Old Bay […]

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