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Crab Imperial

Crab Imperial in baking dish

Growing up on the East Coast, we'd go crabbing several times a Summer. Of course, we'd have feasts of boiled blue crabs, but some were always spared for Crab Imperial.

Less trouble than a crab cake (no frying or worrying about binders), this recipe for crab imperial is very elegant. On a recent trip back home to Mom's, she lovingly parted with her set of scallop-shaped ramekins, which make the presentation of this crab imperial recipe even more special.

Submitted by: Jim from North Aurora, IL
Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 pound jumbo lump crab meat
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 ounces whole mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon melted butter
  • Imperial Sauce:
  • 3 ounces whole mayonnaise
  • 1 ounce half&half
  • ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Topping:
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • ½ teaspoon Chesapeake Bay seasoning
  • ¼ cup red bell pepper, minced

Preparation Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  2. Combine all Crab Imperial Ingredients-except for the crab meat-in a medium mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Add crab meat and fold gently until combined, taking care not to break up lump crab meat. Divide mixture equally among 4 ramekins (or natural crab shell). Place on a baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes.

  3. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients for Imperial Sauce and whisk until smooth.

  4. In another small bowl, add remaining melted butter to bread crumbs and stir until combined.

  5. Top each ramekin (or natural crab shell) of crab imperial with imperial sauce, then the bread crumbs and a good sprinkle of paprika. Place in broiler until golden brown.

More About This Recipe

Great by itself but also delicious with butter flavored crackers and a fresh green salad.


Based on 14 reviews

Customer Reviews

Diane Chapman

I have made this recipe many years ago and was at a restaurant in PA and ordered Mahi-mahi w/Crab Imperial only to be served pieces of Crab Meat on my Mahi-Mahi. I knew the owner & asked if he knew what Crab Imperial was & being an Italian Cook he did not!

Jo Ann Fillman

Love this! By far, the best Crab Imperial out there. Creamy, a good spice to it, delicious!


Followed the recipe exactly except I used it as a topping for stuffed shrimp. As another born and raised Marylander, I thought this was fantastic. I see several different uses for it, I’ll be making it again soon.


As soon as I read the phrase “boiled crabs” I dismissed the recipe. Anyone growing up on the east coast knows you steam blue crabs, you never boil them as that turns them soggy.

Robert Thomas

I thought the recipe was absolutely as good as you will find in any top seafood restaurant. However, I’m partial to capers, so I added a couple of teaspoonfuls to the recipe which totally satisfied my palate.


I also thought it was very salty, after reading reviews, I took precaution to not make it salty, but was still salty. The only salt I added was in the old Bay. Maybe the crabmeat was salty? Other then that, it was very good

Elvin R Brandt

Good flavor however a little too salty for our tastes. My guess is salt in seasoning and I used salted butter although recipe did not say unsalted butter. I’m not sure about the modern idea that we salt our food as much as we do. Graying of the population many with high Bp would lead us to control salt. I grow herbs and cook with many different ones instead of using so much salt.

Janet Jones


Amy moore

The second I took a bite of this I was in our house in Baltimore in 1970. Hands down the best recipe I have come across. Thank you!

Oldtime Marylander

Laughed when I read the intro by Jim when he said “boiled blue crabs”. A real Marylander would NEVER BOIL crabs – we always steam them. This is a pretty good recipe though. Read through it twice to make sure you have the steps done correctly and use Old Bay for the seafood seasoning of course!

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