April 23, 2018

Vegan Crispy Crabless Cakes

Recipe: Lauren Toyota

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Lauren Toyota, the host of YouTube’s Hot For Food channel, shares her recipe for Crispy Crabless Cakes from her cookbook, Vegan Comfort Classics.

There are a lot of vegan crab cake recipes made from artichokes or hearts of palm floating around the Internet, and while they’re all pretty delicious, ours has been tried and tested by many former seafood addicts who claim they’d rather eat this than the real thing any day!


The Horseradish-Dill Aioli

  • 2⁄3 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp vegan horseradish
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill
  • 1⁄4 tsp ground pepper

Crabless Cakes

  • 2 cups drained marinated artichoke hearts, finely chopped, plus 2 tbsp liquid
  • 1⁄4 cup finely chopped shallot (about 1 small shallot)
  • 1⁄2 cup finely chopped celery (about 1 stalk)
  • 1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1⁄2 cup chickpea flour
  • 2 tsp coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 1⁄4 tsp sea salt
  • 1⁄4 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 to 2 cups vegetable oil, for frying
  • The Horseradish-Dill Aioli


  • 1⁄4 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 1⁄4 cups multigrain bread crumbs
  • 1⁄2 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk


Yield: Makes 10 cakes

The Horseradish-Dill Aioli (makes about 2/3 cup)

  1. Stir all the ingredients together in a bowl until well combined.

Crabless Cakes & Breading

  1. To make the crabless cakes, place all the ingredients except the oil and aioli in a large bowl. Combine well with a fork. It’s important that the artichokes, shallots, and celery are very small and uniformly chopped so that the cakes will stick together while frying.
  2. You should have a 1⁄2 inch of vegetable oil in a large cast-iron skillet or other heavy-bottomed pan for frying. Heat it to a temperature of 350°F to 360°F on a deep-frying thermometer.
  3. To make the breading, place the chickpea flour in a wide, shallow dish. Use another shallow dish for the bread crumbs and a bowl for the milk.
  4. Take 1⁄4 cup of the crabless cake mixture and press and form it into a thick patty with your hands. Gently place the cake in the chickpea flour and coat all sides evenly. Quickly submerge it in milk and make sure all the flour looks wet. Remove it from the milk and place in the bread crumbs. Using your hands, coat all sides of the cake well in the bread crumbs, then lightly shake off any excess. Set the coated cakes on a plate or baking sheet. Once they’re all assembled, immediately deep-fry in batches.
  5. Delicately place 2 or 3 cakes in the hot oil. Fry for about 4 minutes until golden brown, flipping halfway through. Gently remove the cakes with a slotted frying spoon and place on paper towels to absorb any excess oil.
  6. Serve immediately with the aioli. Leftovers can be heated over medium heat in a pan lightly coated with vegetable oil.

Excerpted from Hot for Food Vegan Comfort Classics by Lauren Toyota. Copyright © 2018 Lauren Toyota. Published by Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.