Monday, August 15, 2011

I'm Not Crabby Cakes with Roasted Corn-Lime-Jalapeno Salad

I've been doing a bit of freezer/pantry cleanout recently, and in my freezer I discovered a package of Match "Crab" meat that I had forgotten about. Actually, I discovered two packages of it, so I used one and am still deciding what to do with the other one...

Anyhoo, back in my seafood eatin' days, before I faced the facts that crabs are a lot like us, taking care of their young, defending their neighbors, and capable of feeling pain, crab meat was one of my favorite kinds of seafood. For a few years when I was young, we lived in Maryland, where I remember my family getting large buckets of crabs, spreading out a bunch of newspaper, and going to town on them. Even then, although I loved a good crabcake, I was totally grossed out by the ritual of breaking into the crab body and watching people dig past all the guts and gunk to get to the meat. Now that I think about it, there was a lot of foreshadowing of my future vegetarianism, even when I was small.

That's all leading up to say that my discovery of the Match crab meat in my freezer coincided with finding this recipe for Baltimore Crab Cakes in the August issue of Bon Appetit. It was like the vegan gods were giving me a sign. Also in the same issue of BA, I found this recipe for a Roasted Corn salad that I also wanted to veganize. The flavor profiles of the two recipes were quite similar, and they made a great summer dinner combination. I just put a generous squeeze of lemon juice on the crabcakes when we ate them, but you should feel free to serve with a vegan remoulade or any other sauce of your liking. They were absolutely delicious and kept both me and the crabs from being crabby. Both recipes are below.

Vegan Baltimore Crab Cakes (adapted from this recipe)
makes about 8 lg. cakes

1/4 cup Vegenaise or other vegan mayo
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 "flax egg" (1 Tbsp. ground flax seed mixed with 2 Tbsp. water)
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice plus wedges for garnish
1 1/2 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 jalapeño, seeded, finely chopped
1 package (16 oz.) Match vegan crabmeat
1 1/4 cups panko* or breadcrumbs, divided
1 Tbsp. thinly sliced chives
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
*Be careful when buying panko and make sure to read the ingredients. I have seen some brands that contain whey or other dairy products.

1. Whisk first 7 ingredients togther in a medium bowl. Add Match crab; fold to blend. Stir in 3/4 cup panko or breadcrumbs, chives, salt, and pepper. Divide into 8 equal portions. Form each into 1"-thick patties and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes.

2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place remaining 1/2 cup panko/breadcrumbs on a plate. Coat cakes with panko. Fry until golden brown and crisp, 3-4 minutes per side. Serve with lemon wedges.

Roasted Corn Salad with Lime & Jalapeno (adapted from this recipe)
serves 8

6 ears of sweet yellow corn, unhusked
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. (1/4 stick) Earth Balance or other vegan butter
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 jalapeño, seeded, finely diced
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 lime, cut into 4 wedges
1/3 cup vegan Parmesan
1/4 cup thinly sliced chives
2 tsp. finely grated lime zest

1. Preheat oven to 450°. Roast unhusked corn on a baking sheet, turning occasionally, until heated through and crisp-tender, about 15 minutes. Let cool. Shuck corn and cut kernels from cobs. Discard cobs.

2. Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add corn kernels and sauté until heated through and light-golden in spots, 3-5 minutes. Add vegan butter; stir until melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Transfer corn to a large wide bowl or deep platter; sprinkle jalapeño and crushed red pepper flakes over. Squeeze lime wedges over; sprinkle with vegan parmesan, chives, and lime zest.

Serve your not-so-crabby cakes atop the roasted corn salad with some extra lemon wedges to squeeze over them. Best of all, if you have some leftover crab cakes, you can always put them in a bun and make an incredible sandwich with some vegan remoulade (Vegenaise + sweet pickle relish), lettuce, and tomato. Delicious!


  1. These look great! I'm never tried mock seafood, but after looking at your pictures and the recipe - I must try it!

  2. Match crab meat is the BEST! I have not had it in a year because no one sells it around here. :( Those look so delicious!