Absolute Deviled Crabs Recipe

Deviled crabs in the Low country are often called simply deb’l. Crab recipes in the South invariably call for commercially prepared “crab boils. Although I’ve included a formula for a homemade crab boil (see book for recipe), in fact I usually improvise, depending on the serendipity of the moment, the projected use of the crab meat, and the bounty of both my herb garden and my spice rack.


  1. 1 3/4 pounds crab meat
  2. 1/8 teaspoon salt
  3. 3/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  4. 3/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  5. 1 cup dry bread crumbs
  6. 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  7. 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  8. 1 tablespoon butter
  9. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  10. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  11. 2 cups clam juice
  12. 1/2 cup white wine
  13. 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  14. 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  15. 1/2 cup heavy cream
  16. 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  17. 1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
  18. 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced


  1. In a mixing bowl, place the crab meat, salt, Worcestershire sauce, and hot pepper sauce. Mix thoroughly.
  2. Shape the crab mixture into cakes and roll in bread crumbs.
  3. In a medium skillet, heat 4 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Saute the cakes about 5 minutes. Turn, then cook for another 5 minutes or until golden brown.
  4. For the sauce: In a 1.5 quart saucepan, heat the 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 tablespoon of butter. slowly add the flour to the oil, stirring constantly. Cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Slowly add the clam juice, whisking constantly and vigorously. Pour in white wine, black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer. Then add cream, parsley, and basil. Simmer, but do not boil. Mixture is done when thick enough to evenly coat the back of a spoon.
  6. Serve the sauce over the crab cakes.