Delicious Vegan Crab Cakes

2012-05-25
You won't want to stop eating them!
I’ve always loved animals, and for many years I felt guilty for not being proactive in helping them.  I used to be a meat-eater, and I just wasn’t sure I could “sacrifice” taste for a bland diet.  Well, then I met my vegetarian friend Deborah who showed me that giving up meat for a good cause was not at all a sacrifice.   She was making a difference in the plight of abused animals and enjoying the deliciousness of the vegan world.  She made me these crab cakes for lunch one time, and I have to tell you, they gave me that push to stop eating meat.  They absolutely rocked my world.  So I just had to share this recipe she got from the book Vegan Brunch by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.  Doing the prepping takes up the most time, but cooking them in the skillet shouldn’t take you too long.  Here it is!

SERVINGS

10 cakes

INGREDIENTS

For the Cakes:

8 ounces tempeh (use the nori tempeh if you can find it, but plain soy tempeh is fine, too)

1 cup water

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 bay leaf

3 tablespoons Vegenaise

1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard (stone-ground Dijon works, too)

1 tablespoon hot sauce

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1/4 cup very finely chopped red bell pepper

3/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon salt

Fresh black pepper

1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs, plus extra for dredging

1 finely chopped nori sheet or 1 tablespoon kelp granules (optional, if you like a little fishiness, which I don’t)

Oil for panfrying

For the Remoulade:

2 tablespoons Vegenaise

1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard (stone-ground Dijon works, too)

1 tablespoon hot sauce

2 teaspoons capers (try not to get too much brine)

For Serving:

Lemon wedges

DIRECTIONS

Make ahead: Make the entire mixture and the remoulade the night before. In the morning, form into cakes and panfry.

First we’re going to steam the tempeh to get the bitterness out and also to give it some flavor with the soy sauce. Crumble the tempeh into a saucepan in little bits. Add the water, soy sauce, oil, and bay leaf. The tempeh won’t be fully submerged, but that’s fine. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, let boil for 12 to 15 minutes, until most of the water has evaporated. Stir once during boiling.

Transfer contents to a mixing bowl, remove the bay leaf, and mash with a fork. Let cool for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to hasten the cooling process. Make sure the tempeh is barely warm before you proceed, or the cakes may fall apart when you cook them. Add the Vegenaise, mustard, hot sauce, vinegar, bell pepper, ginger, oregano, salt, and pepper and mix well. Add the breadcrumbs and nori, if using, and use your hands to incorporate.

Once you are ready to form the cakes, preheat a thin layer of oil in a heavy-bottomed, nonstick skillet (cast iron is great) over medium heat. Pour a few tablespoons of panko into a bowl. Scoop a little less than 1/4 cup batter into your hands and form into a ball. Flatten between your palms and then roll the sides gently to smooth them. You should have ten 2 1/2- to 3-inch patties. Press them into the panko to lightly coat. They don’t need to be thoroughly covered, just a little bit for some texture.

Fry a batch of five cakes for 4 minutes on one side and flip when dark golden brown. Fry for 2 minutes on the other side and transfer to a paper towel or paper bag to drain. Do your second batch and in the meantime make your remoulade by mixing all the ingredients together in a bowl.

Serve with lemon wedges

This post is also available in: Vietnamese

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