by Blake Stilwell
The first thing anyone wanted to know as I told people this would be my next post was: HOW? Actually, the cashier at the grocery store thought I was making sushi, then wouldn’t believe me when I said what I was really making. Why wouldn’t a 30-year-old be out to make the signature dish of one of television’s most beloved characters? I don’t know either because this TV trope secret is a very long time in the making, like the location of Springfield on The Simpsons or why people still watch CBS sitcoms that aren’t How I Met Your Mother.
No, this is solving the mystery of the Krabby Patty*.
This is deciphering a recipe that was either Mr. Krab’s since he was young or a combination of ingredients accidentally mixed together after Plankton and Krabs had a falling out when their original burger recipe failed, minus the one ingredient Plankton managed to take from the original formula.
Many have come up with their own recipes for the Krabby Patty. They range from the very high quality, gourmet style to the ” You didn’t even try” style. The actual secret recipe, is of course hidden where no one, not even Plankton, would ever think to look. So for me, this effort took a lot of intense time and exhaustive research.
The way I see it, the perfect Krabby Patty has two parts: The Bun & The Patty. Other condiments are whatever you like, of course. The customer is always right!
This is where I started my research for the perfect Krabby Patty. In photos, it looks as though it uses a standard sesame seed hamburger bun. But in all incarnations from the show and Nickelodeon, the Krabby Patty has a seaweed bun, such as in this photo floating around the Internet, supposedly downloaded from Nick. com:
I don’t know that a seaweed bun is absolutely necessary. This is for the media purist. I don’t think anyone is going to judge you for not being 100 percent completely authentic when serving Krabby Pattys and buying some sesame seed buns. This recipe does not have the golden brown look the Krabby Patty on the show has, as the seaweed gives it a green tint. So if you or your kids are more concerned with aesthetics, maybe a sesame bun is a better choice.
Making seaweed buns from scratch is not easy. There are no short cuts and prep time is roughly 2-2 1/2 hours. The bonus in making these rolls from scratch is not only the full Krabby Patty experience, but also the feeling of accomplishment that baking from scratch gives you. Professional bakers have life figured out. This is why people leave their jobs to open bakeries. I recommend giving it a try at least once! Now preheat your ovens to 375 degrees fahrenheit!
2 c Bread Flour
1/2 c Rice Flour
2 tbsp. Sugar
1 1/2 tsp. Yeast (Rapid Rise is OK)
Six Sheets of Seaweed
2 tbsp Melted Butter
1 1/2 c Warm Water
Step One: Crumble up the seaweed and add it to the water. Then let is sit until the mixture gets thick and pasty. Mix the flours, yeast and sugar in a large bowl. After the seaweed past is ready, add the wet (not the butter) to the dry and mix with your hand. It’s going to be very thick and difficult to work with, keep working and mixing. It’ll loosen up.
Step Two: Pour the dough onto a floured counter and knead for about 10-15 minutes. It should start to loosen up slightly. The slowly knead the butter in and work it until it becomes elastic. Place the dough in a bowl in a warm area and cover with a towel. Let it rise for 1 hour to 1 1/4 hour, until it’s twice its original size.
Step Three: Pour the dough on the floured surface and deflate. Knead again for a few minutes until the dough is smooth and uniform. Cut into 6 pieces and form into balls. Set the six pieces in the same warm area for another twenty minutes.
Step Four: Reform the balls one last time and put them in the oven. Put sesame seeds on top.
Bake them for 15-20 minutes then take them out. It smells slightly fishy (but in a delicious baked goods kind of way, so its still pleasant), but I promise it doesn’t taste that way. Let them cool, then cut them in half… you know, like a burger bun.
Advanced Patty Control Mechanisms at the ready! The most important and integral part of the Krabby Patty is the Patty itself. Like it says in the Krusty Krab Training Video, you cannot make the Krabby Patty without first understanding “POOP: People Order Our Patties.”
This is also the most complicated part, since no one really knows the entirety of the recipe. For example, we know it contains salt and turmeric. I wonder, is crab an ingredient or is it just named after Mr. Krab? And if they are crab, does Mr. Krab eat them? So many questions lead to other questions here.
One secret recipe for Krabby Pattys really was published on Nick.com, but this appears to be more of a crab cake and less of the burger-looking sandwich seen on the show. It is also questionable because turmeric is not on the list. But it does solve the moral dilemma of Mr. Krab eating a Krabby Patty, as it calls for imitation crab meat, which is usually full of just ground up, reformed fish and some dyes.
The recipe from Nickelodeon went like this:
2 tbsp. finely chopped onion
2 tbsp. finely chopped celery
4-6 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. thyme
1 lb. frozen imitation crabmeat, (defrosted and finely chopped in a food processor)
3/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 tbsp. mayonnaise (plus 1 cup for dipping sauce)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Salt and pepper (to taste)
3 tbsp. ketchup (for dipping sauce)
I also added the requisite turmeric, another egg and about 1/2 cup more bread crumbs to keep the whole thing from squishing together when you take a bite. If using store bought buns, there is no need to do this. The turmeric is definitely a good addition, but if you use too much, it is going to stain your hands yellow! But when the patties are cooked, it will look closer to the brown of the patty seen on TV.
Step 1 – Sauté the onions and celery in 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the thyme, lower the heat, and cook until the onions are translucent.
Step 2 – In a large bowl combine the crabmeat, sautéed onions and celery, bread crumbs, Dijon mustard, mayonnaise, egg, salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine.
Step 3 – Shape into rounds by using a small ice cream scoop, then gently pat flat.
Step 4 – Heat 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large skillet. Working in batches (2 to 3 crab cakes at a time) place the crab cakes in a skillet and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. You may need to add more oil for the second and third batches.
Step 5 – Preheat the oven to 400°F. Transfer the crab cakes to the baking pan and bake for 10 minutes. The crab cakes can be kept in a warm oven for approximately 30 minutes, or they may be reheated at serving time.
This recipe looks like its just a crab cake, admittedly a crab cake with imitation crab meat, but it still doesn’t look quite like the patty we see in the show. Another problem with this recipe is that Spongebob is the Ocean’s Best Fry Cook, good enough to be Fry Cook to King Neptune himself. Spongebob is always seen cooking the patties on a range, so baking them seems out of the question, but with this recipe, its a must to make sure the eggs are fully cooked and hold the whole thing together.
Be sure to assemble the Krabby Patty in the proper order: Bun, Patty, Ketchup, Mustard, Pickles, Onion, Lettuce, Cheese, Tomato, and then Top Bun. And don’t forget the real secret ingredient, which we all actually know: love.
After that, the only thing left to do it taste it.
*Don’t tell Plankton.