Florence Sherr made great crab imperial. Florence lived in Baltimore, and that's where you will find the best crab imperial in the U.S. Many people in Baltimore prefer crab imperial to crabcakes. Crabcakes contain bread crumbs or cracker crumbs, but crab imperial does not.
Mark Tarses


Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Dice the bell pepper and the onion and saute them in the tablespoon of butter.
Mix all the ingredients above together except for the crab meat.
Mix in the crab meat. Try not to break up the lumps of crab meat as you work the mixture together with your hands.
Put the crab imperial mixture in ovenproof custard cups or ramekins sprayed with Pam.
Mix 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise with a little milk. Pour or brush on top of the imperial.
Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.

Mark's Notes:

  • I add a dash of cayenne pepper, 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard, and 2 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce to this recipe because I like spicy seafood.
  • Refrigerated lump crab meat from southeast Asia works just fine in this dish. Most of the time, that's all you can find in stores anyway.
  • Don't add salt. Salt is the main ingredient in Old Bay seasoning, so this dish has plenty of salt in it.
  • When I was a kid, people in Baltimore used to cook and serve serve crab imperial in clear pyrex baking dishes shaped like a crab shell. They no longer make clear pyrex crab imperial dishes, but you can often find them on E Bay.

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