In the United States, crab meat is best known in California sushi rolls (cucumber, crab meat, and avocado) or through crab cakes and crab legs — the latter two are especially popular if you live on the east coast. It is so popular, it even has its own national food holiday. That’s right, March 9th is National Crab Meat Day. If you are cutting back on animal products, you might think that this means you can’t participate in the festivities but in reality, there are so many different ways you can use plants to imitate crab meat!
It all comes down to finding the right balance of texture and seasoning. For seasoning, you can use Old Bay seasoning, which is used to season traditional Baltimore crab cakes, kelp, which adds a fishy flavor, and other herbs and spices. As far as texture goes, you can opt for chickpeas, artichoke hearts, hearts of palm, and others. To learn more as well as other ways you can recreate your favorite seafood dishes, read You Don’t Need Fish to Make Delicious Seafood Dishes: Use These Tips Instead.
Then, get ready, because we have 15 plant-based “crab meat” recipes from our Food Monster App for you to try!
Source: Jackfruit “Crab” Cakes
There are many ways to make faux meat and fish but jackfruit is especially well suited to this task, like in Lindsay Clarke‘s Jackfruit “Crab” Cakes. When cooked and shredded, jackfruit takes on a sort of crablike look and feel. When you combine that with the fantastic spice combination and the tangy tartar sauce, you have some dangerously delicious “crab” cakes.
Source: Tempeh “Crab” Cakes
In making a mock “fish” dish, it’s important to get that taste that reminds you of the sea. Seasonings like Old Bay, kelp, dulce, seaweed, lemon, and dill are good for that. In these Tempeh “Crab” Cakes by Rhea Parsons, crumbled tempeh takes on a substantial, flaky texture that is reminiscent of seafood. It’s paired with a spicy, creamy, and herby horseradish-dill mayo.
Molly Patrick‘s “Crab” Cakes With Sweet Balsamic Mayo are easy to whip up and very similar to a traditional crab cake — but these are made from chickpeas! Seasoned with Your house will even smell slightly of fish when you are done cooking them. They are gluten-free, soy-free, and nut-free and soon to be a favorite at your dinner table.
Source: Hearts of Baltimore “Crab” Cakes
Maryland crab cakes are traditionally oversized — which is perfect for any seafood lover. In Ayinde Howell‘s Hearts of Baltimore “Crab” Cakes, the patties are made from hearts of palm and traditional seasoning. They are crispy on the outside, but gluten-free, and perfectly paired with garlicky dill aioli.
5. ‘Crab’ Cake Sandwich
Source: “Crab” Cake Sandwich
Shredded tofu and seaweed are formed into a patty, breaded, and sautéed to create Zsu Dever‘s flavorful “Crab” Cake Sandwich. It’s fresh-tasting, easy-to-make, and tastes delicious with the Sriracha remoulade. A little messy but well worth it!
Source: Thai “Crab” Cakes
Perfectly crispy bread crumb coating with a tender center — these Thai “Crab” Cakes by Rosie Newton and Dillon Sivyour are sure to impress anyone. Infused with Thai flavor, they’re made from artichokes and corn. Serve with your favorite Thai sauce or soy sauce to keep it simple.
Source: Hearts of Palm “Crab” Dip
Hearts of palm provide an unmistakable texture for Ashley Smyczek‘s Hearts of Palm “Crab” Dip while a mixture of homemade sauces recreates the flavors of seafood. Serve with chips or crackers at your next party or gathering and we guarantee that this dip will be a hit!
Danielle Dewar‘s “Crab” Cakes With Green Tartar Sauce are a healthier take on deep-fried, greasy crab cakes with remoulade. In this recipe, the patties are made from a combination of artichoke hearts and chickpeas, seasoned with kelp and dill, and paired with a green tartar sauce made from avocado. Plus, they’re baked, not fried. Yum!
Source: Baked Artichoke “Crab” Cakes
Less fat, more flavor — these tender Baked Artichoke “Crab” Cakes by Dawn Hutchins are chock full of corn, bits of vegetables, and all the seafood flavor you love, nestled under a light, crispy crust. The most difficult parts of this recipe are the pulsing of the artichokes and the chopping of a few veggies. Not tough at all.
Source: “Crab” Cakes
Natasha Condie‘s recipe for crabless “Crab” Cakes is one of the best party finger recipes you will ever make. It mimics crab cakes, but features hearts of palm. They come together pretty fast and are easy to bake, so there’s no frying mess here! Most traditional recipes call for Old Bay seasoning, but this one uses seafood seasoning instead — but if you have Old Bay, feel free to use it!
Source: Chickpea “Crab” Cakes
Molly Patrick‘s Chickpea “Crab” Cakes are crispy on the outside and soft and warm on the inside. In addition to the garlic, parsley, green onions, and cracked black pepper in these patties, what truly gives them that authentic seafood taste are the dulse flakes. Serve these on a bed of greens, on a sprouted bun, or by itself. They can be garnished several ways, although we suggest a good squeeze of lemon or a drizzle of tahini.
In this recipe, hearts of palm are mashed up into a meaty texture and seasoned in a way that perfectly mimics the taste and texture of the Maryland classic. Caroline Ginolfi‘s Battered Hearts of Palm “Crab” Cakes are fried until crispy, then served with a dollop of creamy tangy homemade tartar sauce. These are best served on a bed of lettuce with fresh tomatoes.
Source: Tortang Alimasag
Neither just crab cakes nor just crab omelet, the Filipino crab cake omelet or Tortang Alimasag is the best of both worlds, plus more. By substituting the usual ingredients for ground soybeans or artichoke hearts and by using the right seasoning, you can enjoy this crispy Filipino dish by RG Enriquez. Serve it on a bun like you would a slider with a side of fries and ketchup.
14. Hearts of Palm ‘Crab’ Rangoon
Source: Hearts of Palm ‘Crab’ Rangoon
Melanie Sorrentino‘s Hearts of Palm ‘Crab’ Rangoon are crisp, puffy dumplings made with a vegan crab and cheese mixture — except, it tastes better than the real thing! A salty, fried treat that makes a perfect bite-sized appetizer or addition to a meal.
15. Fried Hearts of Palm ‘Crab’ Cakes
Finally, a crab cake anyone can enjoy! Melanie Sorrentino‘s veggie Fried Hearts of Palm ‘Crab’ Cakes are deliciously simple to make and taste better than the real thing. Perfect on top of a salad, dipped in your favorite sauce, or added to a wrap.
Well? Is your mouth watering yet? Get out there and try one of these recipes today! We also highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 15,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out!
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