We all know my vegetarian heart weeps for the seafood I do not eat. There are a lot of good meat substitutes out there (fake hamburger, bacon, sausage, chicken strips, and hot dogs to name a few) but there just isn’t a seafood stand-in. The best cure for the seafood-sick heart seems to lie in substitutions rather than swaps. For example, instead of a fake tuna sandwich, you replace the tuna with chickpeas.
And instead of fake crab cakes, you replace the crab meat with shredded zucchini and carry on. I know it sounds doubtful, but the combination of traditional seasonings and the texture of zucchini really do create a resulting dish that looks and tastes a lot like crab cakes.
Along with a side salad and some tartar sauce for dipping, you’ve got a light, flavorful supper perfect for summer.
This post was inspired by the whale watch I went on last weekend with my family. Also, please note that I decided to cut off most of my hair. Welcome back, 2001 Aimee.
Zucchini “Mock Crab” Cakes
Adapted from The Washington Post
2 medium zucchini (2 cups when shredded)
1 cup bread crumbs (Panko work best)
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1 1/2 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
- Coarsely grate the zucchini and place in a colander over a bowl. Sprinkle with a few shakes of salt, and allow the zucchini to drain for 30 minutes. Press the zucchini down to remove excess water, and pat dry with paper towels. It should be damp, but not dripping. Discard the water.
- In a medium bowl, mix together zucchini and breadcrumbs. In a small bowl, mix together egg, mayonnaise, Old Bay, mustard, lemon juice, and parsley. Add egg mixture to zucchini mixture and combine.
- Using an ice cream scoop, place portions of the mixture in your hands and form into a ball. Press down lightly on the ball to form a cake. Using the scoop will ensure that all of your cakes are equal size, so they will cook at the same speed. Place the cakes on a piece of parchment paper until ready to cook.
- In a non-stick skillet over medium-low heat, splash some olive oil, then gently transfer the cakes to the skillet using a spatula. Turn the cakes after a few moments, then turn again, until they are golden brown and crispy.
- Serve while hot with tartar sauce, lemon wedges, and a side salad.
Yield: 6-8 cakes.
Note: Any cakes that you don’t cook right away can be stored in the fridge for up to 24 hours. I just wrapped the parchment paper up around the extras and kept them in the fridge until ready to use.