Vegan “Crab” Cakes Made with Jackfruit
You know you’ve hit a home run when you have to protect your food from a pack of hungry men and two little dogs. I made the mistake of letting my son taste one of the vegan jackfruit “crab” cakes that I made yesterday, before I photographed them. Big mistake.
You see, I already knew that I had created a winner, because I was having my own issues with willpower. Those little golden brown cakes had a slightly crunchy outer layer and were perfectly moist and meaty on the inside, just like the crab cakes that I remember eating before going vegan. I could have eaten every one of them, but I didn’t, I dug deep and found the strength to share.
You guys, these tasted like the real deal. The medley of Old Bay seasoning, garlic, chives, and cilantro was so simple, and so perfect. Just ask my son and my husband. They were skeptical when I told them what I was making, but the proof was in the pudding—so they say—and after one bite of a vegan jackfruit “crab” cake, I had to ward them off from the platter of crab cakes by threatening them that I’d never make these again if they touched them. It worked, but they lurked, and made my work difficult.
It’s really easy to make vegan crab cakes with jackfruit. All you need to do is open two cans of jackfruit (in water, not brine), drain, rinse, pat dry, and chop until it resembles lump crab meat. You could put it in a food processor if you prefer shredded crab cakes. Once that’s out of the way you’ll want to make two flax eggs, and combine the seasonings in a large bowl. Then add the jackfruit, flax eggs, bread crumbs (use gluten-free if you want), and some minced chives and cilantro. Use your hands to blend everything together. Really squeeze the ingredients together until the mixture becomes sticky and holds together. Once that happens you can start to form the cakes.
If you want to make these for an entrée, make large cakes. If you want them for appetizers, make little cakes.
Now, I know that a lot of people are trying to limit or cut out oil in their diets. If you’re one of those people, I didn’t forget you. I split up my cakes and made half in the oven without oil and half in a skillet with oil. There was a difference, but my son gave both versions a thumbs up. Trust me, he’s picky, so that’s as good of a review as you’re going to get.
If you want to forgo the oil then just put the “crab” cakes on a cookie sheet, drizzle with lemon juice, and bake in a 375° oven for approximately 10 minutes on each side, or until they’re golden brown and firm to the touch. They’re a little drier than the pan fried version, but they’re still quite tasty, and definitely lower in calories.
The pan fried version doesn’t require a lot of oil. I put a thin layer of canola oil on the bottom of an iron skillet (I totally recommend using iron) and cooked them until they were golden brown on each side. These are not deep fried, although you could use more oil if you want. But why would you want to do that?
If you like aioli on crab cakes then go for it, but I live in a household where mayonnaise is considered to be the devil, so we drizzled a little sriracha on top of ours, and it complimented them perfectly. There’s nothing like a little heat, am I right?
Like I said, the wolf pack was circling me while I photographed those delicious vegan jackfruit “crab” cakes, and once I turned my camera off those gorgeous cakes disappeared in a flurry of noshing and gnashing of crazed man teeth. The poor dogs where looking up just waiting for crumbs to hit the floor. It was chaos of the best kind, because I had hit it out of the park, and there’s no better feeling than that.
What is Jackfruit and Why Should You Eat It?
Jackfruit is a tropical fruit (related to the mulberry) found in Southeast Asia. It has a mild, sweet flavor, but when packed in water, it becomes so mild that it can be transformed into “crab” cakes. or vegan pulled BBQ. It’s a great source of fiber, potassium, vitamin B-6 and C, and magnesium. Pretty awesome, don’t you think?
NOTE: Purchase jackfruit in water, NOT brine, or they’ll turn out too salty.
Have you ever had crab cakes?
Have you ever cooked with jackfruit?
Have you ever heard of jackfruit?
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