Chesapeake corn, a crab and corn dish, is an excellent addition to a crab feast or any summer meal.
This crab corn recipe is essentially fresh corn ribs or medallions topped with crab meat and a Chesapeake style hollandaise sauce. This just might be the best way to eat crabs and corn together!
Chesapeake corn starts by preparing an emulsified butter sauce that’s essentially hollandaise but with lime juice used in lieu of lemon juice and Old Bay used in lieu of cayenne.
In this recipe, we will use freshly caught Dungeness crab, but you can use any fresh crab meat. If you’re not catching crabs, just visit your local seafood store or check the seafood section of your grocery store for the freshest selection.
Pro tip: Old Bay is an essential spice for making a corn and crab recipe into a “Chesapeake” style.
A lot of corn and crab recipes are soups and chowders, but this corn and crab recipe focuses on the two main ingredients of corn and crab as more of a side dish on their own instead of as an ingredient in a chowder.
Looking for an amazing recipe to use fresh crab meat? Try New York Strip Steak Oscar Style.
Chesapeake Hollandaise Sauce for Corn and Crab
Making a Chesapeake hollandaise sauce for a crab and corn recipe is the part of this recipe that requires the most attention. So make this sauce first so you can do it carefully and get it right, but it’s easy to do.
Start by gathering your key ingredients, so you can have them on hand as you make the hollandaise sauce for the corn and crab.
The Chesapeake style hollandaise ingredients are:
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice
- Pinch of Old Bay
- Pinch of salt
Start by whisking the 3 egg yolks and 1 tablespoon of fresh squeezed lime juice in the top pan of a double boiler.
(If you don’t have a double boiler, you can make one by using a sauce pan and using a metal or glass pan as the top part of the boiler.)
Then add the top part of the double boiler with the whisked eggs and lime juice to the bottom part, where you should have water simmering. Make sure the water is not boiling and that it does not touch the top pan. Continue whisking the mixture, and as soon as it thickens, remove it from the heat.
Off the heat, add half a cup of melted unsalted butter as you continue to whisk briskly. Add the butter slowly while whisking. Finally, add a pinch of Old Bay spice and a pinch of salt.
How to Make Crab for Corn Topping
If you’re using store-bought crab that’s already been picked, you can skip this part of the crab and corn recipe.
But if you’re using freshly caught crabs, the best way to cook crabs is to steam them.
First get a large pot and put 1 to 2 inches of water in. Place a steam basket inside the pot and then place your crabs on top. For this corn and crab recipe, you’ll need about 3 to 4 crabs to yield about 1 1/2 cups of crab meat.
Place a lid on the pot and boil the water to steam the crabs for 15 to 20 minutes until their shells turn a bright red color. Remove the crabs with large tongs and allow them to cool for about 10 minutes.
Then pick the crabs, usually by removing their bottom plate. Use a butter knife to help get the crab meat out of the crevices.
For many recipes, using big clumps of lump meat is ideal, but for a Chesapeake corn and crab recipe, the opposite is true. You want very small bits of crab, so that it sticks better to the corn.
So if you have large lump pieces of crab, break them up into smaller bits.
Try serving Chesapeake corn along with another fresh summer side dish like Watermelon Salad!
How to Make Corn for Chesapeake Corn
Of course, you could use simple corn on the cob for this crab and corn recipe, but using corn medallions or corn riblets makes this dish easier to serve. Here’s how to do both styles of cooking corn.
How to Make Corn Ribs
Corn ribs, or corn riblets, are very popular these days after they became a viral trend on TikTok. And grilled corn ribs are perfect for a crab corn recipe.
To make a corn ribs, cut the corn cob vertically, so that some of the center core remains on the kernels. Essentially, you will be cutting the corn cobs into “ribs.”
Then season your corn ribs with a coating of melted butter and Old Bay. In total, you can use about a quarter cup of melted butter and 1 tablespoon of Old Bay for the corn ribs sauce to coat them before cooking.
Place the sweetcorn ribs on the outskirts of a grill on medium high heat, and allow them to cook for about 15 minutes.
If you don’t want to grill your corn ribs, you can boil them for five minutes or bake them in an oven at 350° for about 15 minutes. Just watch them to make sure your corn ribs do not become too dry.
Top the corn ribs with crab meat and a generous drizzle of hollandaise sauce. Garnish with a pinch of Old Bay and chopped fresh parsley.
Chesapeake hollandaise with crab is the perfect corn ribs sauce! Corn ribs with crab is such a unique and delicious combination.
Looking for tasty corn side dishes? Try Corn Salsa With Basil!
Chesapeake Corn Medallions
You can make Chesapeake corn medallions in a similar way to how you make corn riblets. But instead of cutting the con vertically, you cut it horizontally to make more of a round medallion shape.
Then prepare the corn medallions, just as you prepared the corn ribs with crab and hollandaise sauce.
Essentially coat the corn medallions with melted butter and Old Bay. Then cook them just off the heat on a grill for about 15 minutes. Top with crab meat and Chesapeake style hollandaise sauce. Garnish with a pinch of Old Bay and fresh parsley.
How to Serve Chesapeake Corn with Crab
Both versions of this crab & corn dish are best served immediately and warm. You can serve them on their own for a hearty snack or with a larger meal, such as a crab feast.
Chesapeake Corn With Crab
- Large pot
- steamer basket
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 lime
- pinch Old Bay
- pinch salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- ¼ cup salt
- 2-3 crabs (or 1/2 cup crab meat)
- ¼ butter
- 4 ears of corn
- 1 tablespoon old bay
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Chesapeake Hollandaise Sauce
- Melt ½ cup of butter in a sauce pan. Squeeze one lime to yield at least 1 tablespoon of lime juice. In the lower portion of a double boiler, simmer water in an amount that would not touch the top portion of the boiler.
- In the top portion of a double boiler, whisk the egg yolks and 1 tablespoon of lime juice. Add a pinch of Old Bay and salt and whisk once more.
- Place the top portion of the double boiler onto the lower portion of a double broiler, with the simmering water. Make sure the simmering (not boiling) water does not touch the bottom of the pan with eggs. Continue whisking until the egg and lime juice sauce thickens, then immediately remove the top portion of the broiler from the heat.
- Continue whisking as you add the melted butter. If at any time your hollandaise starts to "break", remove it from the heat and add a teaspoon of cold water. Once all the butter is added, set your Chesapeake hollandaise sauce aside.
Crab (optional: if cooking fresh crab)
- In a large pot, add 1 – 2 inches of water, 1/4 cup of salt, and a steam basket. Add the crabs and a lid. Boil the water to steam the crabs for 15 to 20 minutes until their shells turn red.
- Remove the crabs from the pot with tongs. Allow the crabs to cool for 10 – 15 minutes then pick the crabs to remove the meat.
- When all the meat is picked, breaks up any large lumps into smaller pieces. For Chesapeake corn, you want small bits of crab instead of large chucks so the crab will stick to the corn better.
- Melt ¼ cup of butter. Place 4 ears of corn on a baking pan and pour butter and 1 tablespoon of Old Bay on top. Mix to coat the corn well in butter and Old Bay.
- Cut corn in medallions or corn ribs. Place the corn medallions or corn ribs just off the direct heat of a grill. Grill for 15 to 20 minutes, turning occasionally. (You could boil the corn for 5 minutes or bake it at 350° if you do not want to grill.)
- Place the corn medallions or corn ribs on a serving platter. Top with hollandaise sauce and crab meat. Garnish with a pinch of Old Bay and chopped parsley.