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Vegan “Crab” Cakes

in Entrees, Other

vegan crab cakes 7y






My old self had a really difficult time typing the title for this post.  My new self, however, is loving it!  Let me give you a little background on my relationship with seafood:

My relationship with seafood has been pretty nonexistent for most of my life.  As a vegetarian, I do not eat seafood, but even before I adapted this lifestyle, I was far from being a lover of food that came from the sea.  On occasion, I would eat canned tuna with noodles or fish sticks (does that even count?), but other than that, fish was a major no-go for me.  I did not like the taste of it, and the idea of eating a fish actually grossed me out (and still does!).  But just because I don’t like the “real deal” does not mean that I do not like vegan versions of seafood.  In fact, I have grown quite fond of them!  Two years ago, if you would have told me that I would be craving, making, eating, loving, and blogging about vegan “seafood” made with tofu, I would have said you were nuts.  But things have changed…and for the better! 🙂

vegan crab cakes 10y






Vegan “Crab” Cakes

Servings: 2 (makes about 14 small cakes)

Adapted from this recipe, this recipe, and this recipe!


olive oil cooking spray
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 yellow onion, roughly chopped
1/2 bunch green onions, sliced
2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 block extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed
2 sheets roasted seaweed, crumpled (I used Trader Joe’s)
1/2 TB Old Bay Seasoning
1/8 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp cornstarch
fine sea salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup plain unsweetened almond milk
~1 cup panko bread crumbs


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Spray a large baking sheet with olive oil cooking spray.

2. In a small food processor, pulse garlic, onion, green onions, and carrots.  If you do not have a food processor, simply dice the ingredients as small as possible.  Remove the vegetables from the food processor and put them into a medium bowl.

3. Add the tofu and seaweed to the food processor and pulse until crumbled into small pieces.

4. Add the tofu mixture to the vegetables, and stir in seasonings and lemon juice.  Place the “crab” cake mixture into the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to firm up a bit.

5. Pour the milk and bread crumbs into two separate bowls.  Form small patties out of the “crab” cake mixture.  Dip each patty into the milk and then cover all sides with the bread crumbs.  Place each patty onto the baking sheet.

6. Bake the “crab” cakes for approximately 18 minutes, flip, and bake an additional 15 minutes, or until the bread crumbs become golden brown and crispy.

vegan crab cakes 8y






If desired, serve your “crab” cakes with tartar sauce, or your other favorite condiment.  I ate mine by themselves because the seasonings were rich enough that I did not feel like they needed anything extra.

vegan crab cakes 3






Serve your Vegan “Crab” Cakes alongside your favorite side dish.  Like I said, I have never been a huge seafood eater, so I am not really certain as to what sides go best with seafood.  So, I just played it safe and went with my current obsession: roasted kabocha squash!

vegan crab cakes 9y






These babies may be small, but the taste is far from that!  The Old Bay seasoning made the tofu take on the flavors of seafood (I seriously never would have guessed that these were made with tofu if I had not been the one making them), and the crispy and crunchy texture of the bread crumb coating was delicious.  I may not like actual crab cakes, but I sure do LOVE this vegan version!  These are definitely going on my “must make again” list!

Lastly, I just have to tell you that I have finally gotten with it and made myself a Twitter account for the blog!  So…follow me at ClnEatingVegGrl :)!

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{ 72 comments… add one }
  • Alex (Veggin' Out in the Kitchen) June 23, 2013, 8:16 am
    I've never had a really crabcake (even though I do eat some seafood), because they just never appealed to me! I think it's just the thought of it... Your veggie version however sounds very appealing! I still need to try Old Bay seasoning - I've heard so many good things about it!
  • Lucie@FitSwissChick June 23, 2013, 8:54 am
    They look delicious!! I love these kind of cakes. I love seafood, but Tofu is perfect either!
    • cleaneatingveggiegirl June 23, 2013, 5:48 pm
      Tofu made for the perfect substitute. I was surprised by how much it tasted like fish (or what I can remember fish tasting like).
  • kellamaphone June 23, 2013, 9:11 am
    I used to loooooove crab cakes. These sound really good! I've made the recipe from Happy Herbivore before and they just weren't quite there yet. I'll definitely be making these this summer. And welcome to the world of Twitter! Get ready to see pictures of everyones food and my cats :)
  • kimathungryhealthygirl June 23, 2013, 9:35 am
    I love using old bay seasoning, it has such a great flavor. I've actually never had tofu....it's one of those foods that really intimidates me. I had some in my pantry to try, but left it there sitting until it expired. ;)
    • cleaneatingveggiegirl June 23, 2013, 5:49 pm
      Well...I think that you should definitely give it a try! I have tons of tofu recipes on my blog :).
  • blonde hair blue eyed runner June 23, 2013, 9:45 am
    Those look totally legit and tasty! I was never a huge seafood fan either, but about 3 years ago I started trying more of it and now I love a good salmon or clam chowder. Crab cakes are delicious in salad too. Great job on finding some great vegan kind!
    • cleaneatingveggiegirl June 23, 2013, 5:50 pm
      Great idea! I will definitely have to try adding these to a salad the next time that I make them.
  • Christine June 23, 2013, 9:52 am
    I love Old Bay seasoning! It always gives so much flavor to anything you add it to ;). These crab cakes look relish!
  • Michelle @ Eat Move Balance June 23, 2013, 10:24 am
    I'm a big fan of crab cakes . . . what a great idea for a vegan version! And I'm still on my kabocha kick as well. Can't get enough!
  • Katherine June 23, 2013, 10:41 am
    The last time I had crabcakes they were so oily and greasy that I thought I would never try them again! I recently was at a vegan restaurant in Austin, TX, and they had them and they were wonderful! Making them homemade would be amazing! Thanks for the recipe! I just bookmarked! I'm super lazy with my blog twitter, but I'll try my best to follow you within the week! :)
  • Becky @ Olives n Wine June 23, 2013, 11:29 am
    This is such an interesting concept for a recipe!! I don't think I'd ever be able to give up seafood but this seems like a good option for those that don't eat or don't care for fish!
    • cleaneatingveggiegirl June 23, 2013, 5:57 pm
      These were REALLY tasty. It has been so long since I have tasted seafood that I do not know how much they tasted like the real thing, but I was loving them!
  • Miss Messy June 23, 2013, 2:25 pm
    What a fantastic idea! Looks delicious!
  • Running In Heels June 23, 2013, 5:54 pm
    Stop it! You are the best :)
  • Nicole @ FruitnFitness June 23, 2013, 6:11 pm
    I love crab cakes! My mom and I love to order them and share them with salad. I would never have thought you could do a vegan crab cake.
  • Rach @ This Italian Family June 23, 2013, 8:31 pm
    You are so creative with your vegan versions of food! Also, I'm following you on Twitter now! :)
  • Kelly @ Vegan Iowan June 23, 2013, 8:37 pm
    Old Bay is amazing! I could put it on anything. I do miss crab cakes from time to time - especially on the appetizer menu at nicer restaurants - so it's nice to know there is a vegan version I can make at home!
    • cleaneatingveggiegirl June 23, 2013, 9:23 pm
      I was definitely loving the flavors from the Old Bay. I cannot wait to cook with it more often.
  • jessielovestorun June 23, 2013, 10:29 pm
    Girl, where do you come up with all these awesome recipes? Come be my own personal chef pleaseee!!
  • Erin June 24, 2013, 7:14 am
    Crab cakes are one of my fav foods!! I used to love ALL seafood (and still do most of it) but one of my pregnancy food aversions was fish and I rarely eat it anymore. Pretty much ahi tuna and swordfish is it when it comes to fish now!
  • Alyssa @ Road to RD June 24, 2013, 7:24 am
    Tofu for the win! Minus the seaweed, I'm all over this!
  • Marie @ Little Kitchie June 24, 2013, 7:35 am
    I would SO love these! I love Old Bay on anything!
  • Lisa June 24, 2013, 7:53 am
    So creative! These look delicious! And of course served up with my beloved kabocha makes them that much better ;) That squash will always be my number one.
  • jumpeatrun June 24, 2013, 8:38 am
    What a great recipe! I love regular crab cakes normally, but would definitely like to try a vegan version!
  • Reba - Not So Perfect Life June 24, 2013, 9:01 am
    I'm not a huge fan of crab cakes because they are loaded with mayo most of the time, but these look great!
  • megbek June 24, 2013, 10:56 am
    Haha, this is awesome! I love real life crabby cakes so I'm sure I'd love these too. Tofu is so versatile!!! Yay for getting twitter. I'm still trying to figure out how to use it.
    • cleaneatingveggiegirl June 24, 2013, 11:51 am
      Tofu is definitely one of the most versatile foods. I am so glad that I started cooking with it.
  • Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health June 24, 2013, 11:17 am
    this is a very cool take on crab cakes but I am a seafood lover and crab cakes are my favorite. I am very interested to try with old bay seasoning and see how it works :)
    • cleaneatingveggiegirl June 24, 2013, 11:51 am
      You should definitely give these a try and then let me know how they compare to the real thing since I have never eaten an actual crab cake! ;)
  • Tara June 24, 2013, 11:34 am
    Everyone thinks I'm weird but I also hate seafood. Ever since my mom started giving me solids when I was a baby, I would just tongue it back out. It might be a texture, mental or smell thing, but I just can't stomach it!
  • sprint2thetable June 24, 2013, 11:34 am
    I love these! I made vegan crab cakes with tempeh 2-3 years ago for some meat-eating friends and they approved. It's so much fun to re-imagine classic dishes.
  • Angela @ Another Bite Please June 24, 2013, 12:44 pm
    gosh i would so love to try these...i am a lover of seafood but yours with tofu just sounds even better! and you are too funny does canned tuna and fish sticks count...hahahaha
    • cleaneatingveggiegirl June 24, 2013, 12:58 pm
      Haha, what can I say..the only seafood that I am used to eating is a bit "kid-friendly" and that is all ;).
  • makingthymeforhealth June 24, 2013, 1:28 pm
    I'm like you and barely ever eat seafood now. I used to love crab cakes so I bet I would love these! Plus, tartar sauce makes anything taste good. I searched for you on twitter and couldn't find you. Hmm...
    • cleaneatingveggiegirl June 24, 2013, 1:36 pm
      You should definitely give them a try! Hmm..crazy Twitter. I will just have to try to find you I guess!
  • Em @ Love A Latte June 24, 2013, 2:21 pm
    I've never been a seafood lover, but I would give these a try! Love that they are vegan!
  • mvwinter27 June 24, 2013, 3:17 pm
    Interesting recipe! I do not eat seafood at all either, so the concept of this really appeals to me. Thanks for the idea :)
  • Eating 4 Balance June 24, 2013, 4:14 pm
    You are just so gosh darn creative. These look so good!
    • cleaneatingveggiegirl June 24, 2013, 4:15 pm
      Aw shucks, you are making me blush! ;) haha But I definitely do not deserve all of the credit because I was certainly inspired by several other recipes on this one!
  • Jan @ Sprouts n Squats June 24, 2013, 6:19 pm
    These look wonderful! Love the use of tofu in this different way :)
  • jessiebearwhat June 24, 2013, 7:06 pm
    I feel ya, tastebuds change so much. I used to be the pickiest person everrrr but now I eat the weirdest stuff!
  • pbandrunningshoes June 24, 2013, 7:57 pm
    I've recently discovered crab cakes, I'm definitely going to have to try these!
  • Mythreyi June 25, 2013, 7:05 am
    This looks superb and the texture is exactly like Crab cakes, no one will believe this is Vegan.. -Mythreyi Yum! Yum! Yum!
  • karinacocina17 July 28, 2013, 5:58 pm
    So when are you coming out with a cookbook!?!? Haha These were super good!! I doubled the recipe, used toasted bread crumbs instead of panko and didn't add the seaweed and green onions (didn't have any) DELICIOUS :D I can't wait to make these for some self proclaimed tofu haters!
    • cleaneatingveggiegirl July 28, 2013, 6:01 pm
      Wow, thank you for the awesome compliment!! I am SO glad that you liked them! And trust me, writing a cookbook would be a total dream come true! ;)

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