Crab cakes are one of my favorite seafood dishes. Especially when paired with a perfectly spicy remoulade sauce. Yum! But have you ever tried crabless cakes?
Ok, hear me out. Though amazing, the thing about crab cakes is that they aren’t very cheap to make… For example, 1 pound of crab would run you about $20.
And the alternative?
Well, that would either be lower quality crab (which is still going to cost you about $10/lb) or imitation crab.
Imitation crab is fairly cheap (about $6/lb), since it’s a highly processed food made by combining minced fish with starch, egg whites, sugar, salt and additives to mimic the flavor, color and texture of real crab meat.
Now, that’s definitely an option. But, I wanted to go in a different direction. In short, I wanted to make crabless crab cakes, or crabless cakes if you will.
What else can I use?
I created a recipe using a key ingredient that’s cheaper than good quality crab, low quality crab, and even imitation crab. Drum roll please… Heart of palm.
Heart of palm costs about $2/lb and they’re the perfect plant-based alternative for crab because of their meaty texture.
What is heart of palm?
Heart of palm is a vegetable harvested from the inner core and growing bud of certain palm trees like the coconut, juçara, açaí palm, and peach palm.
But, the best part about heart of palms is how nutritious they are. For instance, they are cholesterol-free and contain nutrients like iron, Vitamin C, magnesium and folate.
However, heart of palm doesn’t play the crab role alone in this recipe.
What else plays the crab?
Artichoke hearts! The combination of the two work impressively well as crab.
Now, heart of palm and artichoke hearts are going to be the star of the show, keep that in mind when dicing them. For example, if you like a chunkier crab cake then dice large chunks. Meanwhile, if you want a smoother crab cake then dice small chunks and then mash a few with fork.
Is this a healthier alternative?
Yes, it certainly is. The nutritional benefits come with a warning though. Since heart of palm and artichoke hearts are canned vegetables, they are extremely high in sodium.
It’s important to rinse them thoroughly once you remove them from the brine to reduce the sodium. Especially since you’ll probably be adding even more sodium of some kind when preparing the crab cakes.
What else goes into the crab cakes?
Chickpea flour and crushed crackers work as the binding agents in this recipe. If you don’t have crackers, bread crumbs or panko work great too.
Meanwhile, mayonnaise, mustard, worcestershire sauce, salt, old bay, and parsley are all the ingredients necessary for flavoring the crab cakes.
And the spicy remoudlade sauce?
The spicy remoulade sauce is made with mayonnaise, dijon mustard, lemon juice, lemon zest, hot sauce, capers, and garlic.
If you don’t want your sauce to be spicy then just omit the hot sauce!
These plant based crab cakes are made with simple ingredients, and they’re so simple to make. Above all, each bite delivers a crispy, flaky break thru of flavor.
In conclusion, for more tips on making the perfect crabless cakes click here.
Crabless Cakes With Spicy Remoulade Sauce
- 3 bowls
- Aluminum foil
- Baking pan
- Frying pan
- Paper towel
- 1 cup artichoke hearts diced
- 1 can heart of palm diced
- 1 egg or flax egg
- ½ cup chickpea flour
- ½ cup crushed crackers or breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp mayonnaise
- ½ tbsp old bay seasoning
- ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
- ½ tsp mustard
- 1 handful parsley chopped
- to taste salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp frying oil
- 1 tbsp butter
Spicy Remoulade Sauce
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp lemon zest
- ¼ tsp hot sauce
- 1 tbsp capers finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic minced
- Combine artichoke hearts, heart of palm, chickpea flour, crushed crackers, mayonnaise, old bay, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, parsley, and salt in a bowl and mix until well combined.
- Using your hands, shape the crab cakes into desired shape and size and place onto an aluminum lined pan.
- Cover pan and place in freezer for 30 minutes. This way the crab cakes will hold their shape better when frying.
- Fill a bowl with all-purpose flour.
- Remove pan from freezer and dip each crab cake into flour.
- Heat a frying pan to low to medium heat and add frying oil and butter.
- Cook until the crab cakes become golden brown on each side, using tongs to flip.
- Remove from pan and place onto a paper towel lined plate to soak up any excess oil.
- Allow to cool and serve with remoulade sauce.
Spicy Remoulade Sauce
- Combine all ingredients and mix until well combined.
- Cover and chill.
- Serve with crabless cakes.
- For extra crispness, broil the crab cakes after frying for about 5 minutes.
- If you want to keep this recipe strictly plant based, substitute the egg for a flax egg and use vegan mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, and butter.
- For the best flavor, fry with butter and oil.
- If you have access to one, use a food processor to blend together your remoulade sauce.
- For an authentic Maryland crabless cake, use crackers. If you can’t get your hands on crackers then breadcrumbs or panko work well too.
Thank you for reading my recipe. If you decide to try making crabless cakes at home be sure to tag me on instagram @breakthrukitchen so I can see! Be sure to subscribe down below to get notified when I post more recipes like this!