This classic presentation of a timeless favorite is so easy to make it almost makes itself. And once you’ve tasted the decadent flavor of my crab imperial, it will become one of your all-time favorite recipes.
You don’t see Crab Imperial on the menu very often anymore, and it’s a shame. Besides being a classic dish, it’s a delicious way to serve up that lovely jumbo lump crabmeat. So I thought what better way to showcase this delicious crabmeat than with this timeless classic, especially since Crab Imperial is so easy to make
What is Crab Imperial?
Crab Imperial is a dish made up of crabmeat mixed with an imperial sauce then baked to golden perfection.
What is an Imperial Sauce?
An Imperial Sauce is a mixture of mayonnaise, whole eggs or egg yolks, and seasonings, usually including Old Bay. It’s really easy to make and can be used with every type of crabmeat including imitation crabmeat.
**Hellman’s Mayonnaise is best for this recipe, it holds up well to heat.
What ingredients do I need to make Crab Imperial?
Let’s start by gathering the ingredients we need to make Crab Imperial. In Chef Speak this is called the Mise en Place which translates into Everything in its Place.
Not only does setting up your ingredients ahead of time speed up the cooking process, but it also helps ensure you have everything you need to make the dish.
What Type of Crabmeat Can I Use?
The source of the crabmeat can be from any part of the world that has crabs and includes varieties such as Blue Swimming, Dungeness, Snow, King and of course my favorite Blue Claw.
- Jumbo Lump
- Imitation Crabmeat
How do I make Old Bay Seasoning?
If you can’t find Old Bay at your markets it’s easy enough to make at home.
- 1 tablespoon celery salt
- 2 teaspoons ground bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- 1 pinch cinnamon
- 1 pinch ginger
If you’d rather not make the seasoning, you can always use the recipe as a guideline and use seasonings that you enjoy eating with seafood.
The first step is making the Imperial sauce for the dish. Place all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.
The next step is mixing the imperial sauce into the crabmeat…. gently! You don’t want to break up the crabmeat, so mix carefully.
**Don’t add all the sauce at one time. Reserve about ¼ of the sauce to add in if needed. The larger the pieces of crabmeat, the less sauce you will need. Smaller pieces will take more sauce. If you oversauce the mixture you can always add a tablespoon of bread crumbs if you can’t drain out the excess sauce. Let the mixture sit for 20-30 minutes and it will absorb some of the sauce, so the mixture isn’t as loose.
Then place the crab imperial mixture into a baking dish and place it on the center rack of your oven for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees F.
What Else Can I use Crab Imperial For?
Crab imperial is perfect for stuffing Lobster, Shrimp, or Mushrooms.
This was Lisa’s first time having Cab Imperial, which made the event even more memorable. We had a tomato salad with hothouse Jersey tomatoes and a loaf of artisan bread that I had picked up at a local market. I used the bread for an oh so aromatic and tasty garlic bread. A very simple dinner, but definitely the taste of summer.
Bake in a 350-degree oven for 20-25 minutes (top will turn golden brown) or until a thermometer gets an internal reading of 165 degrees. This will ensure that the eggs in this recipe are fully cooked and safe to eat.
Using a digital insta-read thermometer will help you cook the perfect Crab Imperial and be a great help in your kitchen.
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!
More Crab Recipes You’ll Love!
- My Famous Crabcakes
- Flounder stuffed with Crab Imperial
- Lobster Stuffed with Crab Imperial
- Shrimp and Mushrooms Stuffed with Crab Imperial
- Salmon Stuffed with Crabmeat and Cream Cheese