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Best thing I've cooked in a while - vegan 'crab cakes'


Sorry for the radio silence of late - working, studying and moving house has taken its toll on my beloved cooking and blogging. Nyargh! And other such noises of frustration!

Well, it's a new year, so let's start again - here's another post (hopefully the last!) on the joys of clearing out cupboards.

One recent sacrifice to the cause of clearing out my kitchen before moving house was hearts of palm. Due to the expense of these white tubular wonders, I quite often buy a can of them and save it for a special recipe. Well, recently I found a really special recipe indeed.

In Kris Carr's Crazy Sexy Kitchen, there's a recipe for crab cakes and remoulade that called out to turn my hearts of palm into something a little bit fancy.

I don't think I've ever eaten crab cakes at any point in my life, or any crab cake substitute, for that matter, so how this compares I don't know. This was a great way to break my 'crab cakes' duck, and even better, they're not too tricky to make: just mash up the palm hearts with onion, pepper and seasonings, and chill them for a bit before shallow frying.

That deliciously pink sauce that goes with them is described in the book as remoulade, but it's more like a marie rose sauce with serious attitude.

Both the crab cakes and the sauce were delicious and you need to eat them right now. The crab cakes are rich, creamy and slightly decadent, a gentle canvas for the tangy fun of the sauce. If you've got a copy of that cookbook and you've not made these yet, you need to find a mirror, take a long hard look at yourself, then go get that unloved can from the back of your pantry.

The Crazy, Sexy Kitchen recipe next to the crab cakes and sauce is a farmers salad of beans, potatoes and watercress. Unlike the crab cakes recipe, which I followed to the letter, I had to tweak the salad to fit with what I had in my fridge. It was still lovely, and you can see it up there.

Between them, they were some of the nicest things I've put in my stomach recently. If I was the sort of person that had dinner parties, I'd serve this up as a starter. As I'm not that kind of person, I'm just going to keep making them for myself, and dammit, I'll stab anyone who tries to take a bite in the back of the hand with my fork.

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12 comments

  1. I'm in the same boat; I've never had a crab cake or anything similar, but these certainly look like a great meal! Congrats on moving house, I hope you get to enjoy a little relaxation soon!

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  2. I tend to be pretty dubious of vegan "crab cakes," simply because I've never had one particularly well executed, and I don't know what a good crab cake should even taste like in the first place! Regardless, one made of hearts of palm sounds like a good place to start.

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  3. I love all variations of vegan crab cakes so much more than I ever enjoyed non-vegan crab cakes. I've made them with zucchini, tempeh, and jackfruit, but never with hearts of palm. You're totally right that it's always in my cupboard, waiting for something special. I don't own Crazy Sexy Kitchen, but I bet they have it at my library! I'll have to check it out. These sound fantastic!

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  4. I did use to love crab cakes pre vegan days but had totally put them out of my mind. I've never used hearts of palm before but now really want to try them.
    The recipe sounds great.

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  5. I've never had crab cakes either, but yours look super! I've always found hearts of palm to be expensive, too....until I found them at Whole Foods! Where everything else is expensive, hearts of palm are not. Do they have Whole Foods over there?

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  6. Well look at you! All fancy! I've had real crab cakes maybe once, and I must say I did like them. Not enough to search out a vegan version, though I don't doubt these were delicious.
    Love watercress too! I bet it was a great, crisp side along the cakes.

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  7. Happy 2014 to you, Joey, and yum those look good!

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  8. I did used to enjoy crab so bet I'd like these. sounds like a great book.

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  9. I've never had an actual crab cake, and I was just recently reading about hearts of palm crab cakes on another blog. I wonder if it was the same recipe you used. They sure look good.

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  10. I've had hearts of palm in salads and such but never as crab cakes. They sure do look good! I'll have to look for that cookbook and stock up on hearts of palm now. :-)

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  11. hope the house move went ok and you are now reloading your pantry :-) I have only had tempeh crab cakes from an isa cookbook (can't remember which - which is bad of me) - but I have never had hearts of palm - they just sound odd to me - am intrigued by your use of them

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  12. Crab cakes was one my favorite childhood snacks before I became a vegan. I’ve tried a few of them, from Sophie’s Kitchen and a vegan fast food place, Veggie Grill. The crab cakes from Veggie Grill was probably the best ones I ever had… and now I’m really curious to make my own - and if they are rich, creamy and decadent….then you’ve got me curious to try them!

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