The Unconventional Crab Cake Toppings Andrew Zimmern Swears By

Sweet and briny or savory and nutty, classic Maryland crab cakes are traditionally served with a wedge of lemon, a creamy and tangy remoulade sauce made of mayonnaise, spicy mustard, and herbs, or a delicious tartar sauce; however, "Bizarre Foods" host Andrew Zimmern has a different take on the toppings he uses for this traditional seafood. Zimmern bucks culinary conventions, opting for Russian dressing and tomato. On his website, he states, "If you haven't eaten a cold crab cake on toast with sliced tomato and Russian dressing, then you're missing out." 

What is it about the tomato and Russian dressing on top of a crab cake that gets Zimmern salivating? Russian dressing has a unique flavor profile that perfectly complements the taste of a crab cake. This dressing, made using ketchup, mayo, pimento peppers, chili sauce, and horseradish, adds both depth and layers of smack your mouth will appreciate. The combo of sweet and spicy ingredients creates a sauce that is creamy and sugary, but also tangy with a little heat. It is popular to serve when making a Reuben sandwich, and as luck would have it, Russian dressing tastes amazing on a crab cake.

But don't underestimate that tomato

Russian dressing isn't even the tip of this tasty topping iceberg. The slice of tomato cannot be overlooked. Tomatoes pair well with many different types of seafood and these fruits are a little paradoxical in that they offer a sweet yet acidic flavor along with a soft, crunchy texture that tastes delicious on top of a warm or cold crab cake. If you are a tomato lover, you will enjoy the many riffs you can accomplish with this single ingredient and your crab cakes.

To take Zimmern's toppings up a notch, you could bread and fry up a green tomato which would add a juicy, but crunchy texture to your crab cake or create a beautiful spicy or mild tomato salsa that blends well with the Russian dressing. Roasting the tomatoes and allowing them to get all jammy and sweet would also be a nice way to work this ingredient into this dish and really make it your own.