Though it sounds like a horrible disease, I feel I was lucky enough to be born under the best zodiac sign—Cancer. I think I just love being a child of the summer… and that I have an excuse to be moody. The sign is represented by a crab, which is pretty great, too. I mean, isn’t it just another reason to be vegan? Like, eating crab would somehow be cannibalistic? Maybe I’m reading too much into it. Either way, I think crabs are really awesome. Hence, the crab-shaped necklace my father got me for Valentine’s Day yesterday. And hence this vegan crab cake recipe.
Late last year I spent about 36 hours in beautiful downtown Baltimore, Maryland. It is the land of John Waters films, a Florida-themed bar (yeah, I was surprised, too) and of course, Old Bay. Their gift shops would lead me to believe they put it on everything and I really can’t say I blame them. It’s really quite fantastic and plays an instrumental role in making seafood taste like, well, seafood. If you have Old Bay already, by all means go for it. I just didn’t have it and couldn’t justify a trip to the store when I was in a time crunch. So I used what I had from this list and it worked out great. Instead of the lettuce, this recipe that I used as inspiration suggests nori which will help give it that fishy taste.
1 large carrot
2 yellow crookneck squash
1 yellow onion
¼ cup crumbled extra-firm tofu
Handful of shredded lettuce
½ to ¾ cup cornflake crumbs
1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning (or something like it)
Salt to taste
Place carrot, squash and zucchini in a food processor and set to “shred.” Mix all your shredded veggies together in a large bowl. If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a small grater. It’ll take a while, but your forearms will get a nice workout, I suppose. The veggies have a lot of water, so you want to remove as much moisture as possible. You can wring it out with paper towels or give it a few whirls in a salad spinner.
After that, dice up the onion and sauté in a VERY lightly greased pan over medium heat. As the onions start to get soft, add the rest of your vegetables and cook until heated. Lightly salt. Remove from heat and drain out excess liquid. Press moisture out of the tofu with a paper towel, and then crumble into small pieces. Add it and the lettuce to the bowl of sautéed veggies and combine well with a wooden spoon. Pour in spices and cornflake crumbs until the mixture can be easily formed into 3-inch patties, adding more or less crumbs as needed. Arrange on a baking sheet and place in the freezer for several minutes.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Remove baking sheet from the freezer and transfer to the oven. Cook for about 15 minutes, then flip the patties over and cook for 15 minutes more. Check for doneness by the golden color of the cornflake crumbs and that the centers are thoroughly heated. Serve on a mini bagel with Vegenaise, mustard, vegan tartar sauce or horseradish. Impress your friends.