Where to Find the Best Crab Cakes
When I decided to ride my 1973 BMW motorcycle for this entire seafood odyssey, I neglected to factor in something major: Oregon. While Oregon is one of the most beautiful places on earth, the elements of the Pacific Northwest can be far from friendly. I think I averaged about three layers of clothing and a hot chocolate or coffee every 40 miles.
By the time I got to the fishing boat, I had to dig deep to muster the enthusiasm needed to layer on rain gear and head out on high waves. If you caught the episode, you noticed I had some issues with those waves (or was it the sardines?). But, I have to say, after all that, the crab cakes sure were worth it!
As a New Englander, I can easily say I know how to make a pretty good crab cake. Even though I don’t come by it quite as naturally as someone from the Chesapeake, I definitely know my way around crabs. After this experience, I can also say that Oregon’s version has the entire East Coast begging for mercy.
First off, there is little to no “cake” in Oregon’s crab cake. It starts with crab, and it ends with crab. At least that’s how the cakes at Saffron Salmon were done. There’s no barley or breadcrumbs like in the recipe I use. So how does it all stay together? Shrimp, of course! You blend up shrimp, creating a yummy, sticky paste that holds your crab together.
When they say lump crabmeat in Oregon they mean lumps! This has to do with the abundance of crabs as well as the actual size of the crab. Another nice touch is they don’t deep-fry their cakes. They sear the cakes on both sides to give them that golden color and crunch. A few minutes later, they pop them in the oven.
What you have is one of the most beautiful crab cakes I have ever seen or tasted. And apart from the homemade mayo, these things are actually good for you, too!