Our collection of vegan recipes with jackfruit is growing by the day. And while we used this fruit to replace chicken or beef meat, we hadn't yet tried it in place of fish or seafood. So, after much experimenting, we added a fantastic new recipe to our repertoire: plant-based crab cakes with jackfruit. Yum!
Our recipe is inspired by the classic American crab cakes, particularly popular in Maryland and Virginia. We kept some of the traditional ingredients like Dijon mustard, parsley, celery, and spices. Then, we made a few tweaks so that our recipe is both vegan and gluten-free. How did we do it? Keep reading to learn more!
First, we had to find a good substitute for crab meat. While we used mashed beans in our previous vegan fish cakes, here we wanted to get the same look and feel as crab meat. That means flaky and soft, yet meaty and chewy. And jackfruit is just perfect for this!
Young unripe jackfruit is fleshy and fibrous and can be easily be pulled into strips, looking pretty similar to crab meat. You can find green jackfruit canned in water or brine at your local Asian food store or well-stocked supermarket. Just drain it, rinse it, and start pulling the filaments. Oh, and one trick to remove the bitter aftertaste of the brine is to mix it with acid-neutralising baking soda.
As for the other ingredients, we skipped the classic mayo and replaced Worcestershire sauce with gluten-free soy sauce. Then, we used a mix of rice flour and starch to bind the cake dough and give it structure, as eggs and breadcrumbs would do. And to bring back the flavour of the sea, we tipped in some flaked nori.
You can shape the mixture into large patties or cute bite-sized cakes, perfect as a fancy appetiser. Then, a quick round in the oven and your jackfruit crab cakes are ready. Serve them with lemon wedges on a bed salad for a starter or with chips and coleslaw as a main meal. And why not glazing them with some vegan tartar sauce, mustard, or hot sauce? Simply irresistible!