Crab With a 'K' Cakes

Crab With a 'K' Cakes

By Shea Scott

Inflation, shrinkflation, mortgage rates going up, so many apartments going up, does Capitalism with a 'C' got you down? Take a look at a classic engineered ingredient from the 1970's, it's Krab! Or, if you want to use a more literal translation, Crab Fish Sausage!

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All jokes aside, I was in Sam's Club and saw that two pounds of imitation crab was only $8. I knew it was made out of mostly fish, so I was like how bad could it be?

My first experiment was a simple seafood salad similar to the one at ThunderCloud Subs in Austin, where I worked right after high school in the mid-90's. I probably never would have tried it if I hadn't worked there. It wasn't a favorite, but I would occasionally eat one out of boredom in the back room, probably while a co-worker exhaled weed smoke through a paper towel roll stuffed with dryer sheets into the icebox (No one ever smelled anything, BTW).

Crab sticks are made to resemble whole king crab legs, so to make the texture more like lump crab meat, you have to break it up quite a bit. I used my hands, but you do you. After this, I added mayonnaise. I wanted to see what it tasted like without anything else, and it's not terrible. The texture is a bit spongy and it's a pretty one note flavor, so I knew it needed something, but what? Well, it turns out that the OG crab spice also works as the NG krab spice, that's right, we're talking Old Bay baby! I sprinkled some of the Maryland fairy dust in there and added a bit of lemon juice for brightness and it wasn't bad at all. A promising start, I thought.

Knowing that krab would best be disguised with some other ingredients, it occurred to me that crab cakes would be the perfect treatment.

I found a recipe that used a healthy amount of Old Bay, made a couple of modifications, and they turned out to be what I would consider a pretty decent weeknight meal. Of course, they don't taste as good as the real thing, but they're definitely better than the dense pucks of canned salmon and breadcrumbs that we would eat growing up, and I used to like those pretty well when I was a kid, granted I would eat almost anything except pickled beets.

Krab Kakes


  • 1 pound imitation crab aka. crab fish sausage
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 Tbsp Old Bay Seasoning™
  • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbsp neutral cooking oil, like canola


  1. Put the imitation crab into a large mixing bowl and break apart with your hands, a potato masher, tongs, etc. until it's the consistency of real lump crabmeat (pieces about 1/2 to 1 inch)
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and fold with a spatula, just until everything is evenly distributed.
  3. Form into 6 uniform patties.
  4. Place the patties in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  5. When you're ready to cook, put the oil into a cast iron or preferably other heavy bottomed pan on medium heat. Wait until the oil starts to shimmer so you know it's hot enough.
  6. Cook the patties for about 4 minutes on each side, or until they get a nice golden brown crust.
  7. Serve with remoulade, tartar sauce, or whatever you think would taste good. These would make a great sandwich, and they're so inexpensive that you don't feel guilty treating them that way.