Vegan crab cakes are a delicious take on the traditional crab cakes made with crab meat. These vegan cakes are also known as jackfruit crab cakes or heart of palm crab cakes.
These are not just vegan but are utterly delicious and a perfect treat for every occasion. Whether it’s adults or kids, these cakes will become an instant hit among everyone. These are low in calories, carbs, gluten-free, and finger-licking delicious that go perfectly well with your breakfast, lunch, or dinner. You won’t find a better snack than these!
Jackfruit is an amazing medium for creating recipes. An entire can only have 100 calories, which means you don’t have to worry about how much you use (within reason, of course).
It also means for recipes like Vegan Crab Cakes, which taste best fried (I tried baking and air-frying and it was NOT up to my standards), you can feel a bit better about the extra oil. Also try more jackfruit recipes, like BBQ Jackfruit Wraps, BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches, and Vegan Jackfruit Stew.
What are vegan crab cakes?
You must have heard about the crab cakes. These are circular patties that are made of crab meat. They are quite famous among seafood lovers and have a delicious and subtle flavor.
But, when you are following a vegan diet, you simply can’t try crab cakes, right? Well, I disagree! Being on a vegan diet doesn’t mean you can enjoy the goodness nature has to offer. In fact, it is an adventure where you have to discover new flavors and learn to use them to their fullest.
In other words, being vegan doesn’t mean you can enjoy crab cakes! Of course, you won’t use crab meat in it, but you can still make a vegan version of the traditional crab cakes.
Sound interesting, right? Well, it is! my version of crab cakes is not just delicious but are also 100% seafood-free, i.e., vegan. How cool is that! The secret behind these cakes lies in the right choice of ingredients that perfectly imitate crab meat in terms of both texture and flavor.
Long story short, vegan crab cakes are patties made from vegetables like the heart of palm and jackfruit that give it a texture and flavor which resembles a crab.
I have also used hearts of palm in a few other recipes. They are another versatile vegetable just begging to be added to a multitude of recipes. Hearts of palm are very delicate, whereas jackfruit still has a bit of bite. In my opinion, a mix of the two is perfect for seafood replication. However, you could use one or the other for this vegan crab cake recipe.
Why should you make vegan crab cakes?
There are many reasons that you should make these vegan crab cakes. Here are a few to name:
- These are 100% vegan. It means they are free from any meat or animal-based protein. You get to use vegetables that imitate the flavor and texture of crab without using the meat. So, it’s a win-win situation.
- These cakes are low in calories. Because we use vegetables and very little oil for frying, you don’t have to worry about counting calories.
- My version of vegan crab cakes is gluten-free. I use ingredients that are free from gluten. As a result, it is a perfect recipe for someone who is allergic to gluten!
- This recipe is super easy to make. It literally takes 10 minutes to prepare the recipe. The other 10 minutes go in cooking it. So, even if you come home from a tiring day at work, you can find 10 minutes to cook the patties.
- These cakes are versatile. They go perfectly well with several dishes. Moreover, you can also serve them as appetizers or main course. Its versatility makes it a super convenient dish.
This vegan crab cake recipe is super easy to make. It uses a few simple ingredients. All these ingredients are readily available at grocery stores, so no fuss at all. Here is a detailed understanding of every recipe and its importance in the final product.
Heart of palm: The heart of palm is a vegetable not many of us know about. It is the core of the palm tree. It has a unique texture and flavor. The reason I use the heart of palm in this recipe is that it is flaky and delicate, which resembles crab meat a lot. It gives a perfect imitation of the crab meat.
Furthermore, the heart of the palm is also known because it has low-fat content. It is also rich in several minerals like zinc, iron, potassium, and phosphorus. Also, it is rich in anti-oxidants making it a very healthy vegetable.
Jackfruit: Now, for this recipe, I use canned green jackfruit. You might not know this, but canned jackfruit is also known as vegetable meat. The reason is its milk flavor and meat-like texture. Now you know why I choose this ingredient for my crab cakes. Most people think its flavor resembles pulled pork, but pork or crab, I think it is a perfect meat substitute.
Old Bay seasoning: I love old bay seasoning. It has an umami flavor, which I really enjoy. Most people love to pair it up with seafood. That’s because it has a complex smoky, spicy, mustard flavor that goes perfectly well with seafood.
Creole seasoning: Another seasoning I use to add complexity and depth of flavors is the Creole seasoning. This seasoning uses dried herbs along with several other spices. You get a punch of flavors that bind the rest of the ingredients together.
Flour: since there is no binding agent in these cakes, you need flour to sort of keep hold of its shape. I use gluten-free, all-purpose flour plus cornstarch for this purpose. The coat doesn’t let the cakes stick to the pan or burn. Also, it gives a nice golden-brown color and a crisp to the cakes.
Another option is Trader Joe’s Rice Crumbs, which were a wonderful replacement for traditional breadcrumbs. However, this is not accessible to a lot of people, and I haven’t found a similar product in more widespread stores like Walmart, Publix, Whole Foods, etc.
How to make vegan crab cakes?
Making the heart of palm crab cakes is a piece of cake! The best thing about this recipe is that it only takes 20 minutes. And if you have the mixture pre-made in the refrigerator, you only have to spend 10 minutes frying it. Here are a few simple steps you must follow to make these delicious jackfruit crab cakes:
Step 1: Firstly, you have to put all the ingredients except flour and water into the food processor bowl. Process the ingredients until the heart of the palm and jackfruit get a flaky texture.
Step 2: Pour the mixture into a bowl and add flour and water. Mix well until everything is well combined. Shape them into patties using your hands. You can place these patties in the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes so that they firm up a little and are easy to handle.
Step 3: Mix corn starch and flour and dip the patties in this mixture to coat them.
Step 4: Lastly, fry these cakes from both sides for 3 minutes until they are brown.
How to serve vegan crab cakes?
Because of their versatility, you can serve these vegan crab cakes in several different ways. For one, you can serve these as appetizers. Reduce the portion size and serve these alongside your favorite vegan dip.
Moreover, you can also serve them as a main course alongside roasted vegetables like carrots, asparagus, etc. you can serve this alongside vegan coleslaw as well. Also, these jackfruit crab cakes go perfectly well with salad and even rice.
Lastly, you can use these as burger patties as well. I love to use these as a filling for my sandwich. Especially when I’ve leftover cakes, sandwiches are the perfect way to use these.
How to store vegan crab cakes?
Storing these hearts of palm cakes is very easy. You can prepare the mixture and place it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. This way, you can make the patties fresh and fry them.
Moreover, you can also shape the patties and dust them with flour. Place these patties in the freezer for up to 2 months. You can get these out of the freezer and fry them at low-medium heat until they are cooked through.
Lastly, you can store cooked leftover cakes in the refrigerator for up to 2 days and reheat them in the microwave whenever you want.
Tips and tricks for the perfect vegan crab cakes
If you are making these vegan cakes for the first time, you might feel like things are not going your way. But, don’t worry, here are a few tips and trick to help you make perfect cakes and impress everyone with your refined culinary skills:
- When adding water, make sure you pour in water slowly. You will need a consistency that is easy to handle. Adding too much water will make the mixture sticky or runny. In such a case, you won’t be able to handle it very well. If the mixture is runny, you can add more flour but adding too much water or flour will ruin the flavor and balance of the cakes.
- Once you have made the mixture, you can place it in the refrigerator for 20 minutes before shaping the patties. This way, the mixture will be easy to handle.
- If you fear that the patties will fall apart, refrigerate them or freeze them before frying them. This way, they will hold their shape.
- You can fry these cakes in any low-fat oil. Although I use olive oil for the purpose, you can use coconut oil, grapeseed oil, or avocado oil as well.
If you want to enjoy the feel of the ocean with these vegan crab cakes, you can add in nori or any other seaweed. It will not only enhance the flavors but will also remind you of the sea.
Other Vegan Recipes To Prepare
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- Energy: 102 kcal / 426 kJ
- Fat: 4 g
- Protein: 2 g
- Carbs: 15 g
- Preparation: 10 min
- Cooking: 10 min
- Ready in: 20 min
- For: 8 Servings
Crab Cake Ingredients
- 1 20 ounce can green jackfruit, drained
- 1 14 ounce can whole hearts of palm, drained and chopped in big pieces
- 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
- 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
- 2 stalks green onion, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste if necessary
- 1/4 cup all purpose gluten-free flour
- 1/3 cup water
Coating For Frying
- Add all the ingredients for the cakes, except for flour and water, to a food processor. Process until jackfruit and hearts of palm are cut into flaky pieces.
- Dump into a bowl and add flour and water. Mix well.
- At this point, you can put this away in your fridge and fry as needed for up to three days.
- In a shallow bowl, mix flour and cornstarch. Shape crab cake mixture into patty, dip each side into flour mixture. Fry on medium-low heat until each side is brown, about 3 minutes per side.