Crab Imperial

  • Serves

    serves 6


This spicy crab casserole is a specialty of Sting-Ray's in Cape Charles, Virginia.

Featured in: Surf and Turf.


  • 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 lb. jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over for shell pieces
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 12 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 14 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 14 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp. sherry
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 12 tsp. worcestershire
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard powder
  • 12 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Toasted, sliced country bread, for serving


Step 1

Heat oven to 400°. Heat 5 tbsp. butter in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour, and cook, stirring, until smooth, about 2 minutes. Whisk in cream, and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in crabmeat, half the bread crumbs, bell pepper, onion, half the parsley, sherry, juice, Worcestershire, half the paprika, mustard, cayenne, and salt and pepper. Divide mixture evenly among 6 shallow 6-oz. ramekins; place ramekins on a baking sheet and set aside.

Step 2

In a small bowl, mix remaining butter, bread crumbs, and paprika until evenly combined; sprinkle seasoned bread crumbs evenly over each ramekin. Bake until lightly browned and bubbling in the center, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining parsley and serve hot with toast on the side.

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