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Vegan Crabcakes

Chesapeake Bay Classic

This tasty dish is crab-friendly and has great texture.


Vegan Seafood Stock:
2 Cups water
2 Tbsp vegan Fish Sauce (sold as "vegetarian" fish sauce in Asian markets)
2 tsp Navitas Naturals Nori Powder
2 tsp fresh Lemon Juice
1 tsp Soy Sauce
1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
½ tsp Sea Salt

2 ½ Cups Textured Vegetable Protein/"TVP" (large "flake" style recommended or whatever seems most crab-like)
2 Celery ribs, chopped
½ Cup coarsely chopped Yellow Onion
1 clove Garlic, peeled
1 Tbsp vegan Butter
Sea salt and freshly grated black pepper
2 Tbsp Soymilk (or other unsweetened nondairy Milk)
1 Tbsp vegan Fish Sauce
2 tsp Dijon Mustard
1 tsp fresh Lemon Juice
½ tsp Hot Sauce (I used Sriracha, but use your favorite)
½ tsp Old Bay Seasoning
¼ tsp Lemon Zest
1 ½ Cups Panko Bread Crumbs, divided

Creamy Vegan Cocktail Sauce:
5 Tbsp vegan Mayonnaise
2 Tbsp Catchup
Approximately 1 tsp fresh Lemon Juice

Garnish: Lemon Wedges


  1. Make stock: In a 2-quart saucepan, combine all vegan seafood stock ingredients, cover loosely, and bring to a simmer over medium high.
  2. Make filling: To the simmering stock, add the TVP and cook for 5 minutes or until tender and moisture is absorbed. Pulse the celery, onion, and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped, scraping down bowl sides of bowl as needed. In a large cast iron skillet over medium high, melt vegan butter, add vegetables, ½ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon pepper, and saute, stirring frequently, until softened and all moisture has evaporated, about 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer vegetables to a large bowl and wipe out processor (if using) and skillet. In food processor or blender, puree 1/2 cup of the cooked TVP with 2 tablespoons soymilk to make a smooth mousseline. Scrape mixture into bowl with vegetables and add remaining cooked TVP. Add fish sauce, mustard, lemon juice, hot sauce, Old Bay Seasoning, and lemon zest. Gently fold together with a rubber spatula until thoroughly combined; avoid over-mixing. Divide mixture into 8 balls and firmly press into 1-inch tall cakes. Line a baking sheet with Silpat or oiled parchment paper, arrange cakes on sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Bake: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place 3/4 cup Panko in a small zip-lock bag and crush finely with a rolling pin. Transfer to wiped out skillet placed over medium-high, add remaining 3/4 cup crumbs, and toast, stirring constantly, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer Panko to a shallow dish. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Holding a cake in one hand, and use the opposite hand to press crumbs into top, bottom and sides. Return to baking sheet and repeat with remaining cakes. Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until toasty brown and set.
  4. Serve: Garnish with Creamy Vegan Cocktail Sauce and lemon wedges. If desired, serve with a side of lightly sauteed baby spinach.

Chef's Notes

Recipe and photo courtesy of Betsy DiJulio, author of The Blooming Platter Cookbook: A Harvest of Seasonal Vegan Recipes (Vegan Heritage Press, 2011).

Yield: 8 Crabcakes

Submitted By

Betsy DiJulio