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.
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!