Mainly Plants

Vegan Crab Cakes

Servings: 4

  • 1 15 oz can garbanzo beans , rinsed. *Save liquid
  • 2 14 oz cans hearts of palm , drained, rinsed and cut in half
  • 4 tablespoons reserved garbanzo bean liquid
  • 1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 2-3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vegan worcestershire sauce (*see note)
  • 2 teaspoons mustard
  • 1/2 cup green onion , diced
  • 2 teaspoons kelp granules (*see note for sub)
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning (or any seafood seasoning)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt , more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup of breadcrumbs (panko or regular) + more for breaded coating
  • 1/4 cup of preferred oil for pan-frying (divided)
  1. In a food processor add the garbanzo beans and hearts of palm together. Pulse just a few times to break it up. Don’t pulse too many times or it will turn to mush. It should have a crab-like consistency. You can also do this manually, just use a fork or your hands to shred everything up. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the reserved liquid (from the beans) well, until it’s slightly foamy. Then add the vegan mayonnaise, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and all the dry seasonings. Whisk to combine well.

  3. Now add the bread crumbs, green onion, and hearts of palm and garbanzo bean mixture. Gently fold to combine. Taste for salt or seasoning, add more if needed. Pop the mixture in the freezer for 20 minutes. This helps the mixture stay together a bit better.
  4. Place enough breadcrumbs onto a shallow plate that will coat patties evenly. Take mixture out of freezer. Place about 1/4 cup of mixture into your hands to form a ball. Then gently flatten to form it into a patty shape. Coat patty in the bread crumbs on each side. Place aside and continue until the mixture is gone.
  5. Heat a large skillet over medium heat (about 2-3 minutes). Add about 2 tablespoons of oil and wait until it gets hot and shimmery before adding the patties. If you place the patty in the pan, and you hear it sizzle, it’s ready.

  6. Place about 4-5 patties on your pan at one time, but make sure you don’t overcrowd the pan because they won’t cook properly. Pan-fry them about 3-4 minutes on each side, or until light golden brown. Try to only flip each patty once. When done, transfer the patties to a paper towel-lined plate to absorb excess oil. Wipe out pan before the uncooked patties are added. Add fresh oil and continue until all patties are complete.

  7. Serve hot with vegan tartar sauce, a lemon wedge and top with chopped green onions. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

* If you can’t find kelp granules, you can use dulse flakes, dulse granules or break up a small piece of nori. If you don’t want the ocean-like flavor, you can omit the seaweed altogether. It will still be delicious!

* If the mixture is too wet for your taste, AFTER it comes out of the freezer, you can add a 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs into it. Combine well.
The prep time doesn’t include the 15-20 minute freezing time.
If you want to make a healthier version of this dish, you can definitely bake these. Just set your oven to 400 degrees F. and bake about 8-10 minutes on each side. Make sure to lightly grease your baking sheet too.
When I purchase hearts of palm, I look for labels that say “sustainably harvested”. This way, I won’t be contributing to knocking down whole trees. Hearts of palm can be cultivated from a base plant… it has many branches & can be cut without killing the tree. This allows other branches to continue growing.

* If you can’t find vegan Worcestershire sauce, you can use low-sodium tamari or soy sauce.