Vegan Crab Cakes with Old Bay Seasoning
These vegan crab cakes swap seafood for jack fruit so that you can enjoy a Baltimore classic without eating fish. Get the recipe below.
If you’ve ever been to the state of Maryland in the US you will know that they are obsessed with crab. Why, you ask? Because they believe they’ve got the best tasting crab right on their doorstep! Their native species – the Maryland Blue Crab – is known for the depth of flavour that it gets from “fattening up” over the rather chilly, winter months. A visit to the state, no matter how short, will show just how important crab is to their restaurant scene with crab houses and seafood joints on practically every street. Luckily for veggies and vegans like us, some entrepreneurial restaurateurs have realised that not everyone is as keen on crab picking. The result is that plant based alternatives are starting to pop up on menus. Ever since we got back from our last trip to Baltimore I’ve been obsessed with creating the perfect crab-less crab cake and I’m pleased I’ve finally cracked it. I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!
I’ve swapped the Maryland Blue Crab meat for jack fruit because of its flaky texture. It’s a pretty decent substitute especially as it has a slightly sweet flavour just like crab. But the key to making these Maryland style crab cakes is the seasoning – Old Bay Seasoning to be precise. This seasoned salt is made from herbs and spices such as bay, celery salt, mustard and paprika and adds tonnes of flavour to this dish. Rumour has it that Old Bay Seasoning was created as a way to add salty flavour to the crab so that consumers would get thirsty and order more beer to chug down alongside their meal! Pretty clever right?! Regardless of why it was invented Old Bay Seasoning is now a huge part of Baltimore’s food culture and any trip to the City should involve giving it a try. And if, like me, most of the souvenirs you bring back are edible then this is definitely one to add to your suitcase. If you’re not planning a trip anytime soon, don’t worry, you can buy it here.
Most supermarkets seem to stock tinned jack fruit these days (at least in the UK they do). But if you are struggling to find it you can buy it online. I tend to buy it in packs of 6 so I always have some in the cupboard. The other slightly weird and wonderful you will need is seaweed flakes (sometimes called dulse flakes or wakame). I buy mine in Waitrose but also recommend the Mara seaweed shaker.
I recommend serving these vegan crab cakes with a big wedge of lemon and vegan tartar sauce! (Don’t worry I’ve got a recipe for that too). They are great as a starter served over a bed of lettuce, or as a main course with crushed new potatoes, peas and carrots! Let me know how you serve yours in the comments below.
Vegan Crab Cakes
These vegan crab cakes and made with jack fruit and flavoured with Old Bay Seasoning for that unmistakable Maryland crab flavour!
- 1 large potato
- 400 grams tinned jack fruit (225g drained weight)
- 2 tbsp vegan mayonnaise
- 1 shallot diced
- 3 tsp seaweed flakes
- 3 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
- 1 tsp whole grain mustard
- 1 clove garlic minced
- panko breadcrumbs
Prior to making the crab cakes, peel and quarter the potato. Add to a saucepan and boil until soft enough to mash. Mash the potato and place to one side.
While the mashed potato is cooling, pre-heat your oven to 200C/gas mark 6/392F.
Once the mashed potato has cooled, add it to a mixing bowl along with the rest of the ingredients.
Take a small plate and cover with a thick layer of panko breadcrumbs. Next, brush a baking try lightly with oil. Keep both nearby as the next step is about to get messy!
Using your hands, squeeze together the ingredients making sure to break apart any large pieces of jack fruit and ensuring all of the ingredients are well combined.
Take 1/6th of the mix and form into a patty shape. Place the patty into the breadcrumbs pressing gently to ensure they stick. Flip the patty over and repeat.
Once the patty is completely covered in breadcrumbs place onto the baking tray and repeat with the rest of the mix.
Place the baking tray into the centre of your oven and cook for 15 minutes or until golden (don't forget to flip them over halfway through the cooking time).
Serve straight from the oven with a wedge of lemon and tartar sauce.
This recipe can get a little messy so make sure you've got everything you need to hand before you dive in. Nothing breaks up the jack fruit better than your hands so don't be tempted to try and mash the ingredients together with a fork or similar utensil.