In the past, crabs were only enjoyed along the West and East coast because of their availability in those locations. In these areas, cooks and trained chef’s combined the crab with spices and crackers or breadcrumbs. However, it was Crosby Gaige that coined the term “crab cakes” in the 1930’s. In his cookbook titled, “New York’s World Fair Cook Book”, he dubbed his popular recipe as “Baltimore Crab Cakes”.
I enjoy remixing recipes that traditionally contain meat because the journey to finding the perfect formula to replicate the taste and texture is a complex one. Luckily with this dish, I found the perfect formula the second time around and it was beyond delicious. I recommend adding more mayo and ranch, if necessary, to get it to your desired consistency.
Anyway, the first thing you want to do is prep your vegetables for sautéing. I had been complaining about my dull knives and small cutting board (all bought from Dollar Tree lol), so he bought me a really nice three-piece knife set and cutting board. This photo is me unnecessarily showing them off :).
I added olive oil to the pan on medium-high heat, then tossed in the onions and celery. I waited until they were translucent, then added the bell peppers. After they caramelized and left flavorful goodness in the bottom of the pan (or sucs), I added the vegetables to the bowl with the mashed chickpea mixture.
I do not have a large food processor, so I usually employ my fiancee to do the mashing with a fork whenever I need it done; he does a pretty good job. I like the slightly chunky pieces because it is reminiscent of crab meat.
After combining all of the rest of the ingredients, I mixed it in the large bowl and was happy with the texture. The first batch I made was too crumbly after I combined all of the ingrediants. I got really excited when I took this picture because I knew these were not only going to taste great, but were also the right consistency that I needed for them to hold together.
After combining all of the ingredients, I shaped them into nice sized “cakes” and breaded them with Panko bread crumbs. I opted for a more textured breadcrumb for the outside because I wanted it to have a nice crisp layer. In order to accomplish that, I needed a breadcrumb that would absorb the oils. The edges of each “cake” wasn’t breaded because I wanted the contrast in color to show from the side profile when they were photographed after browning in the pan.
I did not clean out the sauté pan that I used for sautéing the vegetables because I wanted to use the sucs to add flavor to the outside of the “cakes”. After placing the remainder of my oil into the pan with the cakes, I cooked them until each side was a crispy brown.
We ate these with vegan mac&cheese, roasted red potatoes and sautéed fresh green beans. I served each “cake” with a lemon slice, dill and a freshly prepared lemon-dill aioli. The aioli is fairly easy to make because all you really need is Old Bay seasoning, the other half of your lemon, mayo and fresh dill.
It took me two separate sittings to eat it all because it was a nice meal portion. The “crab cakes” lasted us for 5 days, which was fantastic. If you try out this recipe, please leave a comment below. If you didn’t try it out, still leave a comment and let me know what you think about it along with your suggestions for our next meal.