You’ll be surprised how much these vegan crab cakes taste like conventional crab cakes! They are loaded with great ingredients like high-protein chickpeas and artichoke hearts. The addition of spices and nori give these “crab” cakes a fresh ocean flavor. Enjoy the crab cakes as an appetizer, for lunch, or dinner, use them to make crab cake Benedict for a special brunch.
The crab meat substitute:
For the best crab cake texture I prefer to use a mixture of chickpeas and artichokes. The chickpeas add nutrients, bulk, flavor, and help bind the crab cakes. The artichokes add the perfect flaky, crab-like texture. I do not recommend using marinated artichokes in this recipe. The marinade flavor is too prominent and the crab cakes will taste more like marinated artichokes than crab cakes. I use either canned artichoke hearts in water, or frozen artichoke hearts.
The seafood taste
The secret to getting that authentic crab cake flavor is all in the spices. Old Bay is a classic seasoning for crab cakes and seafood. Adding Old Bay to the recipe is important for giving these vegan crab cakes that familiar seafood taste, and making them taste like the conventional version.
The second ingredient that gives this recipe a seafood taste is the nori. I add some type of seaweed to all my seafood recipes for an authentic fishy taste. If you have the time to make the “crab” mixture the day before, the flavors blend together and your crab cakes will taste even more authentic.
Forming the crab cakes
My trick for whenever I want to scoop uniform sizes of anything – whether it’s chocolate chip cookies or crab cakes – is to use an ice cream scoop. I used a large 3 oz scoop to form the crab cakes. Of course you can just scoop them with a spoon if you don’t have an ice cream scoop.
The crab cakes are delicate, and coating them in a bit of flour helps hold them together when cooking.
Serve the crab cakes plain, on some greens, as a sandwich, with some tartar sauce, or vegan Remoulade sauce.
Or you can go all out and make Crab Cakes Benedict.
Crab Cakes Benedict
Crab cakes Benedict are the perfect dish for a special brunch, even a light dinner. Unlike traditional eggs Benedict, everything can be prepared ahead of time and assembled just before serving, so you can relax and enjoy yourself!
- Toast an English muffin
- Top it with some fresh greens
- Place a crab cake on top of the greens
- Drizzle with some vegan Hollandaise Sauce.
Vegan Crab cakes
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas
- 2 cups artichoke hearts frozen or canned in water
- 1 cup onion chopped
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper chopped
- 1 celery stick chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 3 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 nori sheet chopped fine
- 1 tbsp Old Bay
- salt & pepper to taste
- hot sauce to taste
- 1 tbsp dill chopped
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup chickpea flour or all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp olive oil for cooking
- lemon wedges for serving
- Place the cooked chickpeas in the bowl of the food processor and pulse until chickpeas are chopped but still chunky. Don't over-process or you'll end up with hummus.Scoop the chickpeas into a large bowl.
- Add the artichokes in the bowl of the food processor and pulse until chopped – again not too fine – you want a bit of texture.Add the artichokes to the bowl with the chickpeas.
- Add the onion, red pepper, garlic and celery to the food processor and pulse a few times until chopped.Transfer to the bowl with the chickpeas and artichokes.
- Add the mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, finely chopped nori, Old Bay, hot sauce, salt & pepper (to taste), dill and bread crumbs to the bowl. Mix together.
- To form the crab cakes, I used a 3 oz ice cream scoop (roughly a third of a cup) to get evenly sized crab cakes.
- Place the flour in a shallow dish. Carefully coat the crab cakes in the flour.
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large non-stick pan. Cook until the crab cakes are golden brown.
- Serve warm with lemon wedges and remoulade sauce.
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