Deviled Crabmeat Balls

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes about



Appears in

The Glory of Southern Cooking

The Glory of Southern Cooking

By James Villas

Published 2007

  • About

“Oh honey, they’re really nothing but plain old deviled crab turned into fancy balls,” our friend Maggie almost apologized as we sipped tea in the sunroom of her modest summer house on Chesapeake Bay, just south of Annapolis, Maryland. Technically, of course, she was right, but I defy any hostess to put out a plate of these sumptuous balls and not expect to see them disappear in a matter of minutes. The balls should be served as hot as possible. I have discovered, unfortunately, that the crabmeat mixture does not freeze well—it becomes mushy—so plan accordingly.


  • ½ pound fresh lump crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped scallions
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped celery
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons fine, dry breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup white cornmeal
  • Vegetable oil for deep-frying


In a large mixing bowl, combine the crabmeat with all remaining ingredients except the cornmeal and oil and stir till well blended, adding a bit more breadcrumbs if necessary to make a firm mixture. Shape the mixture into balls, using about 1 tablespoon of mixture per ball, then coat each ball lightly and evenly in the cornmeal.

Pour about 3 inches of oil into a heavy saucepan, heat to 375°F, fry the balls in batches till golden, about 2 minutes, and drain on paper towels. Serve hot.