What do the singer, the activist, and I have in common?
We love The Land of Kush, a Baltimore vegan soul food restaurant that serves the World’s Best Crab Cake.
As a native Baltimorean, crabs are in my DNA, the only food I missed (for 32 years!) as a vegetarian. Imagine my happiness when Veg News published The Land of Kush’s crab cake recipe. I ripped it out of the magazine, filed it in my Recipes folder … and never made it. The ingredient list was daunting.
My solution: I scheduled a trip to Baltimore to visit my mother, arrived a night early (don’t tell her), and booked a hotel near The Land of Kush.
Sinking my teeth into that crab cake — crisp-perfection on the outside, moist, flaky chunks of meat seasoned with Old Bay on the inside — I closed my eyes and hummed. I wanted to marry that crab cake.
But I did not want to make that recipe.
Thus began my search for a crab-less, easy-to-make crab cake. And because I like you, I’m going to share what I learned.
The key to a perfect crab cake is Texture, Old Bay Seasoning, and Something Fishy
TEXTURE: Moist and flaky, like crab
- Jackfruit, known as “the poor man’s fruit” in India, has zoomed in popularity in the U.S. It’s readily available, in a can (like artichokes), or in the refrigerated section near the tofu. It’s heart-healthy and low-calorie. Here’s how to make into into a crab cake.
- Heart of Palm tastes a bit like artichokes or white asparagus, and is loaded with minerals like magnesium and zinc. Dump it out of the can, and turn it into a crab cake. This recipe uses kelp or nori for a tinge of fishy flavor – you can find them in the Japanese section of the supermarket.
- Artichoke hearts. You know what they are. But you may not have known they make a bitchin’ crab cake.
FLAVOR: Old Bay Seasoning
Old Bay is a non-negotiable ingredient. Buy it. Once you do, you’ll want to sprinkle it on everything.
TARTAR SAUCE: Extra Credit
Topping any crab cake with a creamy, tangy sauce takes it to the next level. You can make it without (opinionated) capers or with (in 5 minutes).
YAY! I had one of these at Plate in Stowe (a restaurant Marla recommended) and have been dreaming about it ever since. They used hearts of palm so I’ll probably try that recipe. Do you have a favorite of the three above?
Restaurants are definitely getting onto the vegan crab cake bandwagon. They can be incredibly complicated (like The Land of Kush, and I suspect, Plate), or quick and simple for the home cook – and equally delicious. Enjoy!
Sharing is fabulous, Marla! Thanks so much. Love, Judy
Thanks, Judy. I’ll make these for you one day. You choose jackfruit, artichoke or heart of palm.
This post takes me back to my roots. I haven’t had a good crab cake in years. Bring on the Old Bay! Thanks for deconstructing one of my favorite foods and for offering your cooking advice, hon.
Let’s have a crab feast, hon.
Love the Baltimorese! xx