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.

Enjoy, hon.

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.

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).