Isa’s Tempeh Crab Cakes

::Edit:: FIXED!  My sidebar is back & the links will be up later today.  Woohoo!  Oh, and I think my issue with the crab cakes is the use of hot sauce–I just don’t want hot sauce in my “crab” cakes, but that’s just me.  :)

Moving on! Remember when Isa posted her recipe for Chesapeake Tempeh Cakes from her forthcoming cookbook Vegan Brunch?  Ever since Vegan Brunch was announced with its crab cake recipe, I was stoked.  I’ve made a version before, and they’re pretty good, but I figured Isa, being the vegan goddess she is, would have a superior recipe.  Needless to say, when she posted the recipe on the PPK Blog, I freaked out (in a good way).

I finally got around to making them this week, and yup, they’re pretty good.  I have a not-so-great relationship with tempeh and this recipe certainly helped me like it a bit more.  The texture is certainly more crabby than my tofu version and I love the addition of nori to add something “fishy,” but there’s still a taste I don’t like.  I’m blaming it on the tempeh, but it could be the remoulade (I’m not a fan of the hot sauce in it).  The poet loves them and thinks I’m nuts for not, and it’s not that I think they’re bad or inedible, but I’m not bowled over.  The search for the perfect vegan crab cake is still on!

Isa’s Tempeh Crab Cakes

from The PPK blog

For the cakes:
8 oz tempeh
1 c water
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
1 bay leaf

3 tbsp Vegenaisse
1 tbsp whole grain mustard
1 tbsp hot sauce
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1/4 c very finely chopped red bell pepper
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
fresh black pepper
1 1/2 c panko/rice breadcrumbs, plus extra for dredging
1 finely chopped nori sheet

Oil for pan frying

For the remoulade:
2 tbsp Vegenaise
1 tbsp whole grain mustard
1 tbsp hot sauce
2 tsp capers (try not to get too much brine)

Crumble the tempeh into a small pan. Add the water, soy sauce, oil and bay leaf. The tempeh won’t be fully submerged, but that’s fine. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, let boil for 12 to 15 minutes, until most of the water has evaporated. Stir once during boiling.

Transfer contents to a mixing bowl, remove bay leaf, and mash with a fork. Let cool for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to hasten the cooling process. Make sure the tempeh is barely warm before you proceed, or the cakes may fall apart when you cook them. Add the mayo, mustard, hot sauce, vinegar, chopped bell pepper, spices salt and pepper, and mix well. Add the bread crumbs and nori and use your hands to incorporate.

Once you are ready to form the cakes, preheat a thin layer of oil in a heavy bottomed non-stick skillet (cast iron is great) over medium heat. Pour a few tablespoons of panko into a bowl. Scoop a little less than 1/4 cup batter into your hands and form into a ball. Flatten between your palms and then roll the sides gently with your hands cupped to smooth them. You should have ten 2 1/2 to 3- inch patties. I do them in batches of five. Press them into the panko to lightly coat (CP note: I didn’t have any extra panko, so I fried them without it.  I also only make up 1-2 at a time and store the rest of the mixture in the fridge). They don’t need to be thoroughly covered, just a little bit for some texture.

Fry a batch of five cakes for 4 minutes on one side and flip when dark golden brown. Fry for 2 minutes on the other side and transfer to a paper towel or paper bag to drain. Do your second batch and in the meantime make your remoulade by mixing all the ingredients together in a bowl.

20 Responses to “Isa’s Tempeh Crab Cakes”
  1. Shelby says:

    Yeah…the sidebar is gone! How strange =/

    Mmm those look delicious!!!

  2. Vic says:

    I think the links are not under your blog…weird. Crab cakes look great!

  3. Virginia says:

    i really want to try those too!

  4. BitterSweet says:

    Nice, another great idea for cooking with tempeh! I’ll have to remember this one next time I have some on hand.

  5. Sophie says:

    wha happen??

    yummo. i definitely need to try this.

  6. Kiersten says:

    I like the idea of the “crab” cakes, but I am still iffy on tempeh. Your picture looks really good though!

    (Your sidebar went to the bottom of the page for me too, weird)

  7. Laura says:

    Those look yummy, and I’m a tempeh hater!! I can’t see your links anywhere, not even at the bottom..

  8. shellyfish says:

    I totally coped this from the PPK – I do want to make them! Yours look great. Hope you get the WP theme you like. I love some of them, but then you lose things…

  9. abracapocus says:

    hmm…seems like maybe there’s a that’s not closed somewhere. check posts around when this first happened and see if you don’t have a stray hanging around. that could do it.

    • Jes says:

      ? What would be open?

      The weird thing is, if you click on “About” the sidebar is there with all the links, but just not on the homepage.

  10. DaviMack says:

    Yep – it’s dropped down to the bottom.

    These sound so good!

  11. Cat says:

    Great to see it’s fixed!

    And even though I don’t like fish, those crab cakes look delicious!

  12. abracapocus says:

    ha! it stripped out my carets! anyway, that’s what i was thinking might be extra. or a div might be open. you’ll have to imagine the carets around div. no matter. all’s well now!

  13. I’m so glad you tried these. I’ve been wanting to ever since I saw these on the PPK.
    I think I know what you mean about the tempeh. There is an underlying taste that just doesn’t completely go away even if you steam it before you cook with it. We’ve been using it more in replacement of tofu so we are getting used to the taste.

  14. jessy says:

    i’ve been wanting to try a recipe for crab cakes, maybe i’ll give Isa’s a try. it totally coulda been the tempeh that made them not super stellar. tempeh is something that took me a while to get kinda used to – there’s a bitterness to it that just seems to linger, but we find if we steam our tempeh then marinate in veggie broth (over night) it takes a lot of the bitterness/tempehness out. the crab cakes do look tasty, and i bet you could take what you liked about ‘em and create your own gloriously good crabby cake some day. mmmmmmmm!

  15. those look goood. i have yet to try tempeh mixed with other foods to make something else. i’ve only had to cubed and sauteed or in sandwiches.

  16. Diann says:

    These look really good! I’m not a huge tempeh fan, but I would make these.

  17. duodishes says:

    These look delicious! We don’t have to be vegan to not appreciate something that seems so tasty.

  18. necesseaties says:

    Do you think they’d still stick together if I baked them?

Leave A Comment