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In our attempts to reduce our reliance on animal products my husband and I are often experimenting with new vegan and vegetarian recipes. I recently received a copy of the book Vegan Cooking for Carnivores: Over 125 Recipes So Tasty You Won’t Miss the Meat (review to come in a few weeks!) and this recipe jumped out at us. Having family in Maryland, we have grown to love crab cakes and a vegan version sounded intriguing! I put a few notes in parentheses to let you know where we made any changes. The original recipe also included a Simple Slaw and a crab cake sauce but we decided to skip those due to time constraints. Instead I just topped each one with a small dollop of cocktail sauce.
1 block firm, organic tofu (14 to 16 ounces)
2 TBSP grapeseed oil (we actually needed about 4 to 6 for the whole recipe start to finish)
6 medium celery stalks (minced)
1/2 bunch scallions (minced)
2 tsp garlic powder
2 TBPS toasted Nori (see directions below)
1 TBSP Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs (plus 2 cups for coating) (we used regular breadcrumbs)
1/3 cup vegan mayonnaise
1. First toast the Nori. Heat a large non stick skillet over high heat and toast the sheets of Nori one at a time until they curl up. Remove from heat and set aside as you finish toasting the other sheets. When they are all finished, crumble the sheets into a food processor and process on high until it turns into a powder. Use this powder in your recipe. We had leftover so you don’t have to do this every time.
2. Heat 1 TBSP of the oil in a large non stick skillet over medium high heat. Add the celery and onion and cook until celery is softened (about 5 minutes) Remove from heat and let cool.
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3. While veggies are cooling, prepare the tofu. To remove excess water from the tofu you will want to lay a kitchen towel on the counter and place several layers of paper towels over it. Cut the tofu into 8 equal slices and lay a slice on the paper towel. Fold the towel over the tofu slice and press firmly to help remove excess liquid. Repeat with the other slices, using new paper towels as needed. There are many different methods but here is a tutorial I found online for how to press tofu.
4. After the tofu is pressed, chop it coarsely and pulse in a food processor til finely chopped (not pureed). We had trouble with this and I think it got a bit pureed. Next time I will stick with a sharp knife and cutting board and mince by hand.
4. In a large bowl add the softened celery and onion. the chopped tofu, and the remaining ingredients. Mix well.
5. Form the mixture into small patties. The original recipe suggests a heaping TBSP for each one (I believe to be used as an appetizer) but we made ours slightly larger…about 3 inches across and 1/2 inch thick.
6. Dredge each crab cake in the remaining bread crumbs.
7. Heat 1 to 2 TBSP oil in a non stick frying pan over medium high heat and cook the crab cakes 3 to 4 minutes on each side until golden brown and crunchy.
8. Serve with a vegan tartar sauce or cocktail sauce. My husband even put his on a roll and said it made a tasty sandwich!
This made about 15 patties, each about 3 inches across. It fed my family of 4 (with side dishes) and we even had a few leftovers.
Disclaimer: As per FTC guidelines, I received one copy of this cookbook to facilitate this recipe. I received no monetary compensation. All opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone. This post may contain affiliate links for which I am compensated a small amount.
Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire and has worked in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging and freelance writing to share this knowledge with others. Learn more about her HERE.