These melt-in-your-mouth vegan crab cakes are savory but with subtle sweetness, tender but not mushy, and charged with superfoods benefit from lion’s mane mushrooms, chickpeas, and other simple plant-based ingredients. I oven-fried these to golden perfection and served them with a refreshing vegan tartar sauce that’s made of silken tofu!

The trick to a convincing vegan crab cake is using the perfect crab meat substitute. For this recipe, Lion’s Mane is the star of the show. This magical mushroom is a true wonder of nature, it has a texture that’s light like a cloud, spongy and stringy just like crab meat, easily pulls apart with hands, and soaks up flavors like hot buns.

And for the protein base of these crab cakes, I went with chickpeas intuitively – because if we have accepted that chickpeas make spectacular “tuna” salad, or “chuna”, naturally they should work well in other seafood recreations too. And they did! Their flavor perfectly compliments that of the lion’s mane mushrooms and the sturdiness of chickpeas provides more structure and a meatier bite to the patties.

INGREDIENTS:

Lion’s Mane Crab cake –1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
8 oz lion’s mane mushroom

1 medium carrot, about 1/4 cup chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

1 sweet onion, about 1/2 cup chopped

1 flex egg

3/4 cup ground oats

1/2 teaspoon old bay seasoning

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

2 tablespoon coconut amino

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Olive oil for cooking


Vegan Tartar Sauce –
1/2 cup silken tofu
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

1 tablespoon chopped capper

1 teaspoon dijon mustard

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoon plant milk or water

TO MAKE:

– Preheat the oven to 400°F;

– Make the flax egg by blending 1 tablespoon of flaxseed and mixing with 3 tablespoons of water, let it sit;

– Pull the lion’s mane mushroom apart by hands into shreds, heat a large drizzle of oil in a nonstick pan, pan sear the mushrooms, undisturbed for 3-4 minutes till golden, then flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes;

– Add the old bay seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, and 1 tablespoon coconut amino to the mushrooms, stir to mix well, and cook till the moisture is let out, set aside;

– In the same pan, saute the onions, carrots, and celeries with the other tablespoon coconut amino till soft;

– In a mixing bowl, mash the chickpeas with a potato masher, leaving some texture;

– Add the mushrooms, veggies, flax egg, ground oats, salt and pepper to the bowl and mix together;

– Shape the mixture into patties and arrange on a lined baking sheet, bake for 15 minutes, flip halfway;

– Meanwhile, prepare the tartar sauce, blend together the silken tofu, lemon juice, milk or water, and mustard till very smooth, then mix in the chopped dill and capper, store any extra sauce in the fridge for up to a week;

– Serve the crabcakes with the sauce, enjoy!