Crabs. Crabs have a bad reputation because they look like spiders of the ocean, they pinch and they’re an STD. Well, those are different crabs, but still….
Personally, I have always loved crabs….the kind from the ocean, ha-cha-cha-cha-cha! In my meat-eating days, crab was easily one of my favorite meats. I loved all different species of crab, from soft shell to Alaskan King crab and everything in between. I used to enjoy crab straight out of the shell, in the form of crab cakes, real crab salad etc.
Years ago on a trip to Maryland I ate so much crab that I got sick and swelled up from an allergic reaction. My body was like….srsly….enough with the crab already. Anyhow, that was when I started to eat much less crab. I decided a few years after that event to give them up entirely. My family used to go out to Red Lobster fairly often and I was always disturbed by seeing the crab and lobster tanks. Claws rubber banded….tiny tank….just sitting there waiting to be boiled alive….No thanks Red Lobster, no thanks. I always had a hankering to break into Red Lobster someday and steal them all to set them free in the ocean. Now y’all know who to point the finger at when you hear about it on the news
Okay, moving on.
So, now I am vegan and don’t eat le crabs anymore. But, occasionally I still do miss being able to enjoy the taste of crab. Enter Match brand Crab Without The Meat.
Match Faux Lump Crab Meat
Recently I picked up a package of this wonderful faux crab at Figueroa Produce Market in Highland Park. For those of you in LA, Figgy Produce Market is a FANTASTIC and magical place worthy of your dollar. I don’t say that often, but it’s a very well run business, with nice and accommodating staff/owners and they commonly stock hard to find items like tamarind paste, frozen yuca, and canned jackfruit. They are the only location in Southern California that sells Match products. They carry them in the freezer section and they also sell by weight in the deli.
I decided to give the faux crab a try. The guys at Figgy Produce encouraged me to try it, as they were fans and said it was delicious. I decided that I would do a Northwest Lavender Crab Cake w/ a Creamy Honey Sauce.** This recipe is easy and makes for a satisfying and yummy meal. I served this meal to a few friends and they all seemed to enjoy the flavors, so I thought I would share it with you.
Northwest Lavender “Crab” Cakes w/ Creamy Honey Sauce
1/4 c minced celery, feel free to do this with your food processor’s shredding attachment or by hand
1/4 c minced green onion, feel free to do this with your food processor’s shredding attachment or by hand
1/4 c Vegan Mayo–I love/use Follow Your Heart’s Vegenaise
1 tsp Ener-G brand egg replacer or equal amount of potato starch or other egg replacer
1 tsp dry mustard
2 tsp dried lavender–lavender buds create a little flavor explosion in your mouth. If you’d like the flavor a little less like an explosion, grind the lavender in a spice grinder
1/4 tsp unbleached sea salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 c panko bread crumbs–I like Ian’s brand because they make a whole wheat version
1 package Match Crab Without The Meat, defrosted if frozen–or alternatively, you can make a veggie based crab cake from parsnips, carrots, celery, seaweed etc. There is a good veggie based crab cake recipe in “Skinny Bitch in the Kitch”.
2-4 tbsp Earth Balance
Creamy Honey Lavender Sauce–Recipe will follow
In a medium to large mixing bowl, mix the celery, green onion, Vegenaise, egg replacer, mustard powder, lavender, sea salt and cayenne. Then stir in your faux crab. Mix 1 c of the panko bread crumbs into the mixture. You should now have a mix that you can mold or press together with your hands. If for some reason your mixture is too wet, add more egg replacer and a bit more bread crumbs. Place your remaining bread crumbs in a shallow bowl or on a plate.
Shape the crab mixture into patties. You can decide if you want them bigger or smaller, depending on how many people are going to eat them or whether or not they will be served as an appetizer or a main course. I made about 11 cakes. Press the cakes down into the panko bread crumbs, making sure to get both sides. After you’ve made all of your cakes, store them in the fridge while you make the sauce, set the table or prep your other dishes like salad etc.
When you are ready to make the cakes, heat the Earthy B in a skillet or saute pan over medium heat. Once the Earthy B is melted and your pan is hot, add 4-5 cakes and cook them for a few minutes on each side. The smaller your cakes are, the faster they will cook–the larger the cakes, you’ll need to add a little more time. Use a spatula to give them a peak. If they look golden, flip ‘em! If not, give them another minute. Place the cooked cakes on a plate lined with a paper towel. Wipe out your pan and then do the next batch, using the same routine as mentioned above.
Place a dollop of sauce on top of each cake. If you want to be really fancy, cut up some lemon wedges and parsley for garnish.
Creamy Honey Lavender Sauce
3/4 c Vegenaise
1/4 c vegan sour cream–I use Follow Your Heart’s Vegan Gourmet Sour Cream
1/4 c lavender honey, or plain honey. If you are a very strict vegan and you do not eat honey, sub agave or brown rice syrup
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp dried lavender
unbleached sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Optional: 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
In a small bowl, whisk everything together. Then add your salt and pepper to taste and the cilantro if you’re using it.
Northwest Lavender "Crab" Cakes w/ Creamy Honey Sauce
I served my cakes w/ a simple side salad of mixed mesclun greens, and homemade croutons.
**I do eat honey! And…da da daaaaa, I still consider myself a vegan. I try to avoid honey when I don’t know or can’t find out what the source of the honey is. I will have to do a separate blog post on this subject, but bees are very important to me, all humans and Earth’s ecosystem and I try my very hardest to support and protect our little pollinators whenever possible. For me, this includes buying humane, unheated, locally sourced honey from bee keepers who deeply care about what they do and act as guardians to these little wonders that literally make our Earth beautiful and fruitful. Buzz Buzz!