Artichoke “Crab” Cakes (Minus the Crab!)

Crab cakes were one of the last animal foods I gave up. My husband and I LOVED ordering crab cakes from this one local Thai restaurant we use to go to regularly. After we decided to stop eating fish, I will admit, I definitely did miss the thought of those crab cakes. Well, thank goodness I discovered this vegan crab cake recipe because it tastes just as good – or BETTER – than the real thing.

Just so you know I’m not alone with my opinion on these Artichoke Crab Cakes, I have a crew to back me up. My husband requested these for his birthday dinner this year. And when my mom’s birthday rolled around, she asked for this dish as well. My Aunt Eileen who is a die-hard seafood lover couldn’t believe how much these taste just like the real thing. And lastly, my good friend Darlene tried this recipe and loved it so much, she made it again the very next week. Score!

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First off, let me give you the rundown on commercial crabbing, because I was once completely oblivious to these facts and I feel strongly that this information MUST be passed on.

“Humans in the US kill hundreds of millions of crabs every year. Fishers use several methods to catch crabs, including setting traps in shallow water and dragging huge nets along the ocean floor. These methods also capture nontarget animals such as birds, fish, and other marine animals—termed “bycatch” by the fishing industry—who are thrown back into the water when they are often dead or dying.

The crabs are crowded together in holding containers while they await their fate. Scared and confused, they may fight with each other after already sustaining injuries from rough handling. Many crabs have their legs damaged and torn off when fishers quickly rip them from the nets. Countless crabs die each year before they even reach the market.” – Peta.org

With that said, let’s leave the crabs in peace in the ocean where they belong, and instead try this healthy and happy “crab” cake alternative. I PROMISE you, you won’t be disappointed! Sriracha mayo dipping sauce is highly recommended as well.

INGREDIENTS for the Artichoke Crab Cakes: 

1 cup crushed oyster crackers or saltine crackers

2 15oz cans artichoke hearts, rinsed and drained well

3-4 scallion, finely chopped (plus more for garnish)

1/4 cup finely diced red bell pepper

1/4 cup corn kernels (fresh or defrosted)

2 teaspoons old bay seasoning

1/2 teaspoon kelp granules (optional – I did not use)

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon dried parsley

1/4 cup vegan mayo

salt and pepper to taste

canola oil for frying

(My friend Darlene used celery and green bell pepper as oppose to the corn and red pepper. Both options work out well!)

INGREDIENTS for the Sriracha Tartar Mayo: 

1/2 cup vegan mayo

1-2 tablespoons sriracha

1 tablespoon juice from a jar of capers

1 tablespoon lemon juice

INSTRUCTIONS:

1.) In a small bowl, mix together the sriracha sauce mayo ingredients and set aside in fridge until ready to use.

2.) Place oyster crackers in a food processor and process into the consistency of coarse flour with small chunks. Set aside in a bowl.

3.) Place the artichoke hearts in a food processor and pulse 6-7 times, until broken up but still chunky. Transfer to a larger bowl. Add scallions, red bell pepper, corn, old bay, kelp (if using), garlic powder, parsley, mayo and salt and pepper. Stir in the oyster cracker “flour”.

4.) Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to scoop out the artichoke mixture. Using your hands, shape patties and place on a plate.

5.) Set a large frying pan, preferably cast iron, over medium heat. Pour in enough oil to coat the bottom and heat for 2-3 minutes. In the meantime, line a plate with paper towels.

6.) Place 3 – 4 patties in the pan and cook for 3 – 4 minutes on each side, until crisp and browned all over. Place on the plate with paper towels to absorb excess oil. Repeat with remaining patties adding more oil as needed. Serve topped with sriracha tartar sauce and remaining scallions.

This recipe was found in the cookbook “But I Could Never Go Vegan.” 

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