Vegan Crab Cakes – Tastiest Vegan Crab Cake Recipe Ever!

| 10/08/2017 | Reply

Vegan Crab Cakes

fishermans wharf san franciscoBorn in the San Francisco Bay Area, I grew up eating Dungeness Crabs, those large reddish colored crabs that can be found off the West Coast from Monterey through Washington state. At San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf, cracked dungeness crabs are a major tourist attraction and provide the livelihood of area fishermen, seafood retailers, and restaurateurs.

Dungeness crab and San Francisco are synonymous; people who come here (from all over the world) flock to Fisherman’s Wharf to try the crab.

Though I’ve completely given up the crab eating habits of my youth, that doesn’t mean I’m willing to part with the many dishes I used to make with crab meat. It was a real problem for a number of years. However, the dilemma was solved when I discovered that jackfruit, artichoke hearts, and hearts of palm can all be seasoned and shaped to resemble a full range of seafood in a variety of recipes.

vegan crab cakes made with hearts of palm

In this recipe for vegan crab cakes, I used hearts of palm, which you can easily find in the grocery aisles of your local supermarket. If not, you can certainly order a few cans online, and have them sent to your house from Amazon (see shopping area below).

The sauce you see on the plate is a blend of Just Mayo vegan mayonnaise, Sriracha catsup, fresh lemon juice, a sprinkle of sea salt, and chopped capers. If you make it, I suggest you do that first then stick it in the fridge while you prepare the vegan crab cakes to give the flavors a chance to blend. It will have a much better flavor that way.

First you want to process the hearts of palm to a “crabmeat” consistency. Remove from food processor into a bowl and set aside. Process 2 stalks of celery, 1/4 of an onion, and 1/4 of a red bell pepper until pieces are small. Chop your two green onions by hand, and sit them aside for later.

vegan crab cake recipe from hearts of palm

You’ll then saute the celery, red pepper and onion in a bit of oil in a nonstick pan. About 3-4 minutes is long enough. Remove from the heat and add your green onions in, just so they soften.

vegan crab cake recipe from hearts of palm

Crumble or tear a sheet of nori seaweed into small pieces.

 then add your sauteed vegetables and the green onions. Mix well again.

While vegetables are sauteing, grab a large mixing bowl. Into that you’ll put the mayo, mustard, fresh ground black pepper, parsley leaves, flax meal, crumbled seaweed, green onions, and lemon juice. Blend all ingredients together well.

vegan crab cake recipe from hearts of palm

Then add in the sauteed vegetables and mix well to blend.

This is when you’ll add the pulsed hearts of palm. I like to do this first before adding the breadcrumbs, as it mixes much more easily.

vegan crab cake recipe from hearts of palm

Finally, throw in your bread crumbs, and add Old Bay seasoning to taste. You may need to add more bread crumbs to get the desired consistency; the crab cake should be moist, but still able to hold it’s shape well. I usually end up adding about a cup.

Put a few tablespoons in your hand and shape the mixture into a small vegan crab cake patty. Roll the crab cake in the Panko bread crumbs.

Your vegan crab cake should look pretty close to this before you put it into the frying pan.

 then add your sauteed vegetables and the green onions. Mix well again.

You don’t need much oil, but you do want enough to develop that crunchy, crispy coating which contrasts so well with the tender, flavorful vegan crab cake inside.

After about 3-4 minutes, carefully turn vegan crab cakes over, and brown the other side. Do not crowd your pan, or you’ll break them apart as you try to turn them. I used a large 12″ skillet and only put five crab cakes in it.

 then add your sauteed vegetables and the green onions. Mix well again.

Remove from pan onto plates and serve immediately with tartar sauce or whatever sauce or aioli you prefer. A blend of mayo, salt, pepper and lemon juice whisked together is simple and quite tasty.

 then add your sauteed vegetables and the green onions. Mix well again.

You should know, I test every recipe I develop on non-vegans before it goes up on this blog. If I don’t receive a rating of 7.0 or higher from at least 10 people, the recipe becomes a do-over project. THIS recipe received a rating which averaged 9.73/10 from 30 non-vegans, so I know it’s a real winner. Many said if I had not told them it wasn’t a real crab cake, they would never have known. Each asked for more as well. Greedy!

When you serve your vegan crab cakes made from this recipe, be prepared to see plates coming back which look like this.

 then add your sauteed vegetables and the green onions. Mix well again.

Give it a shot and let me know how your vegan crab cakes turn out! Oh, and please rate the recipe and upload a picture of your creation as well.

Vegan Crab Cakes
Created by:
Recipe Type: Appetizers/Snacks
Cuisine: Vegan
Number Servings: 10-12 cakes
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:
A ridiculously tasty vegan rendition of a Maryland crab cake, which uses hearts of palm seasoned with Nori seaweed and spices. Non-vegans gave this recipe a rating of 9.73/10, so I know it's a real winner.
What You Need
  • ¼ medium red onion (little more than ½ cup)
  • ¼ large red bell pepper (little more than1/2 cup)
  • 2 green onions, chopped small
  • 2 stalks celery, trimmed
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley (primarily the leaves)
  • 1 sheet Nori seaweed, torn into very small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon style mustard
  • 1 to 1.5 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
  • ½ cup vegan mayonnaise (I prefer Just Mayo)
  • 1 teaspoon ground flax seeds
  • ¾ cup Panko bread crumbs (plus more for coating)
  • 1 can (15 oz) of Hearts of Palm, drained and rinsed
How to Do It
  1. Mix ingredients together as described above, coat with panko bread crumbs and fry in a small amount of oil, or a mixture of vegan butter and oil.
  2. Serve immediately with tartar sauce or sauce you prefer.


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Category: Appetizers & Snacks, Light Meals

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