Large crab imperial recipe

Crab Imperial

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.

Yield: 4 servings
Collections: Appetizer Brunch Shellfish

Featured Ingredients

Based on the classic seafood seasoning mix of the Chesapeake region, this tangy blend is ideal for Maryland blue crabs and other seafood.... Size Options
$6.49 Glass jar, 1/2 cup (wt. 2.8 oz)
If you're looking for a substitute for Colman's English mustard, this dry mustard powder is the one for you. Size Options
$3.99 Glass jar, 1/2 cup (wt. 1.5 oz)
Sweet Hungarian paprika has a fruity, sweet pepper flavor without heat - it's not just a pretty garnishing color! The rich earthy taste... Size Options
$6.49 Glass jar, 1/2 cup (wt. 2.5 oz)
Based on the classic seafood seasoning mix of the Chesapeake region, this tangy blend is ideal for Maryland blue crabs and other seafood.... Size Options
$6.49 Glass jar, 1/2 cup (wt. 2.8 oz)

Crab Imperial Recipe

  • 1 pound jumbo lump crab meat
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon Chesapeake Bay Seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 ounces whole mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon melted butter
  • Imperial Sauce:
  • 3 ounces whole mayonnaise
  • 1 ounce half&half
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chesapeake Bay seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Topping:
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • A couple of good shakes of paprika
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Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

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.

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

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

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.

Yield: 4 servings
Helpful Hints

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

Recipe Equipment

4 ramekins for baking (or empty natural crab shells), lightly coated with cooking spray


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Kathy H

This is as good as a top restaurant.I have paid a very high price for this crab inperil when I dine out and this taste the same or even a little better. GO FOR IT ......


I have lived in Ocean City Maryland most of my life. I have Eaten at most of the restaurants. This crab imperial is delicious. As good if not better then you would get out. Very easy to make. Thanks for sharing.

Lisa and Steve

Excellent recipe. I followed it to a tee and wouldn't change a thing.

Mary N

Totally Awesome and very easy recipe. Followed recipe to a T and my husband just raved over it. Will be making again soon.


Grew up on eastern shore has some flavor but still can't match some the restaurant quality and taste it definitely is missing something I added parmesan cheese for a little more flavor which helped.

Kevin M

Followed every step as Jim described and this came out perfect! Absolutely delicious. I live in Maryland and this dish is a staple at every seafood restaurant but this recipe trumps them all.



Karen C

Omg, this is awesome.
Living on the east coast I live for crabs and have made them alot of different ways, but this is awesome.
If you are studying the web for better, stop and try this one. It's awesome!
- Karen, Delaware


Perhaps the "what's missing?" aspect of several reviewers' comments is a splash of sherry or madeira, but I think this recipe is superb without it! Thank you, Jim, for sharing it with us!

Anthony C Falcone

This was my first time making crab imperial. I followed the recipe, eliminating red peppers. My wife & I loved it. We order this in the restaurant offten. This was fine dinning quality.

Terri H

I followed the recipe exactly as posted and it was delicious (and so easy to make).