August 4th, 2009

Those Curious Zucchini Faux-Crab Cakes

About this time last summer, when everyone was inundated with zucchinis (zounds! zillions!) and seeking something new to do with them, I found this curiously appealing recipe on the ‘net. The blogger (Alas, I have no clue whom to credit!) posted a compelling account, attesting to the veritable crabbiness of these faux cakes. I saved the recipe, but did not get around to trying it until New Years Eve. That’s when Bill and I host our Community Lobster Pot Dinner–which is a whole other story.

Anyway–I wanted to serve Bill, our avowed vegetarian, something “seafoody” while the rest of us were tearing into our lobster tails, dousing sweet chunks in cayenne lemon butter. It seemed like the perfect opportunity for the zucchini faux crabcake.

The cakes were simple to make. I augmented the recipe slightly with the addition of green onion, red bell pepper, and hot red pepper flakes and whipped up a little remoulade to accompany.

When it came time to serve that course, an odd thing happened at the dinner table. The guests, with their delectable tails set before them, looked with longing at Bill’s plate of cakes.

“Those look fabulous. Can I have a bite?”
“Wow. These are great.” “I want one.” “Do you mind? Are there extras?”
And so on.

What happened was this: each person had a case of Faux Crab Cake envy.

Now, as cook, I was preoccupied with all the aspects of the meal and did not really sample the zucchini cakes–not enough to confirm their greatness. But, I decided that once the droves of zucchinis descended in August, I would make the faux crabcakes again.

And, here we are.

Verdict: These are very, very good. But, Better than Real Crabcakes? Well, perhaps not—but they were way-superior to many “real crabcakes” that I’ve had the disappointment to dine on in many places, and way more affordable.

Zucchini Faux-Crab Cakes
2 cups coarsely grated Zucchini
1 cup Bread Crumbs (I used a baguette)
1 Egg
2 Green Onions, thinly sliced–use entire scallion
¼ cup small diced Sweet Red Bell Pepper
1 ½ teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1 Tablespoon Mayonnaise (or plain yogurt)
Juice of ½ Lemon
a pinch or 2 Red Pepper flakes

vegetable oil, for frying with a smidge of butter

Place grated zucchini in a colander; sprinkle lightly with salt, allow to stand for 30 minutes,draining. Squeeze to remove additional liquid – zucchini should be fairly dry. Place zucchini, bread crumbs, with all the other ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
Form into 8 patties the size of crab cakes.
Heat a small amount of oil and butter in a skillet, and cook patties on both sides, browning well. Drain on paper towel.

Citrus Remoulade
1 clove Garlic
1 Egg, room temperature
½ t. Dijon Mustard
½ t. Lemon zest
½ t. Orange zest
1 t. Lemon juice
1 t. Orange juice
½ t. Salt
1 cup Olive Oil

Place all the ingredients EXCEPT for the olive oil into a food processor fitted with the swivel blade.
Process for about a minute to break down the garlic into the other ingredients. Then, slowly pour the olive oil into the mix while processing. The mixture will become thick, like mayonnaise (which is what is basically is.)

Posted in Appetizers/Hors D'oeuvres, Recipes, Vegetables

14 Responses to “Those Curious Zucchini Faux-Crab Cakes”
  1. benfrank Says:

    these sound fantastic. next time we get zucchini i’m trying this.

  2. Madeleine Says:

    I made this with squash (yellow and patty pan) instead of zucchini and it was DELICIOUS! In fact, I think I’m going to make more this weekend. Perhaps I’ll use zucchini this time… but more likely it will be squash again because the farmer keeps bringing me ever increasing amounts of it. The squash is overwhelming my veggie drawer, and finding compelling ways to eat it is overwhelming me!

    Thank you for this gem of a recipe. And what pretty pictures to boot!

  3. Lisa Says:

    I am always looking for other ways to cook zucchini. Thanks!

  4. melinda Says:

    My nursery class has been harvesting baseball bat sized zucchini- we made zucchini bread- thanks for another way to use this prolific vegetable!

  5. Teresa Blackburn Food Styling Says:

    This sounds absolutely amazing! I am going to try it with some of my zucchinis. Wonder why this hasn’t caught on…after seeing Food, Inc, which refreshed my memory as to why meat, et al, makes less and less of a presence at my table, this seems to be the perfect non-seafood, seafood recipe. This might be great as a burger. Good going. T

  6. veg head Says:

    Just had to let you know that I made these last night with stunning results—-so tasty. And, like you say, crabby. Weighing the staggering expense of crab vs. the abundant and inexpensive zukes, it’s an easy choice. Thanks!! A Zillion!

  7. Madeleine Says:

    I made these cakes for a second time this weekend and am feeling the love. Would a third time in as many weeks be too much?

  8. Wendy Says:

    Made these tonight and they were just delicious. Jim said they were MUCH better than crab cakes.Browned them in a combo of canola oil ,olive oil, and Smart Balance then served them on a bed of rice– very healthy and wonderful.

  9. Patty Pan Cakes (Faux Crab Cakes) & Arugula Salad with Lemon Yogurt Dressing | I Ate That! Says:

    [...] I may as well mod­ify the rest of the recipe too (espe­cially after see­ing Nancy Vienneau post about some­thing sim­i­lar). The result was amaz­ing and paired per­fectly with the spici­ness of arugula and the hearty [...]

  10. benfrank Says:

    I made a variation on these yesterday. so so good: Patty Pan Cakes (Faux Crab Cakes) & Arugula Salad with Lemon Yogurt Dressing.

  11. Michelle DC Says:

    Oh, this makes me jealous of all the gardners I know as they are currently overrun with zucchini and could make this for breakfast, lunch and dinner – have forwarded to several, though not local, so won’t be able to share :(.

  12. Heather Says:

    These ARE amazing! Our Italian friends loved them…

  13. amanda Says:

    I finally got around to making these…with squash as Madeleine recommended and they were delish! Maybe the even better discovery was using the left over remoulade on a BLT!

  14. Fran K. Says:

    This recipe was originally published in Pittsburgh Post Gazette and on a PBS/WQED, Pittsburgh, PA
    chanel years ago.

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