Crab cakes

Crab cakes

Pasteles de cangrejo

Smith & Daughters
Bonnie Savage

We know this looks like a hard recipe with a bunch of ingredients at first glance, but it’s really not. Give it a go! For parties, make smaller golf ball-sized cakes and dress with mango salsa and avocado cream – they’re a really great finger-food option.


Quantity Ingredient
500g potatoes, peeled and diced
1 fresh bay leaf
4 garlic cloves, 2 peeled, 2 crushed
1 teaspoon fine salt
2 tablespoons butter
425g tinned hearts of palm, (see note)
2 celery stalks, finely diced
2 large spring onions, thinly sliced
1/2 jalapeno, seeds removed and finely diced
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon old bay seasoning, (see note)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped dill
1 tablespoon chopped coriander
1 lime, zested
vegetable oil, for shallow-frying
sea salt flakes
Mango salsa, to serve
see method for ingredients, to serve
or Garlic aioli, Aioli, to serve


Quantity Ingredient
500ml soy milk
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
150g plain flour
200g panko breadcrumbs, (use regular breadcrumbs if you can’t find panko)


  1. Place the potato in a medium-sized saucepan and cover with cold water. Add the bay leaf, whole garlic cloves and salt, then bring to the boil over high heat and reduce to a simmer. Cook until you can easily pierce the potato with a knife. Drain, remove the bay leaf, and transfer the potato and garlic to a large bowl along with 1 tablespoon of the butter. Mash, then season to taste and set aside to cool to room temperature.
  2. Drain the hearts of palm and rinse under cold water. Cut into 2.5 cm lengths and shred with your fingers until it resembles crab meat.
  3. Heat the remaining tablespoon of butter in a medium-sized frying pan over medium heat. Add the shredded palm and fry for a few minutes, until it begins to lightly brown. Add the celery, spring onion, jalapeño and crushed garlic. Cook until the vegetables begin to soften, then add the fish sauce, Old Bay Seasoning and ground cumin. Season with salt and pepper, then transfer this mixture to the mash. Add the mustard, dill, coriander and lime zest and stir to combine. Put the mixture in the fridge to cool completely.
  4. Shape the mixture into tennis ball-sized balls (or roll into golf ball-sized balls for a finger-food option). Flatten your balls into thick discs and put back into the fridge for about 30 minutes to firm up.
  5. To prepare the crumb, pour the soy milk into one bowl and add the vinegar. Mix and set aside – it will thicken slightly. Add the flour to another bowl and season to your liking with salt and pepper. Place the panko crumbs in a third bowl.
  6. Coat each crab cake with the flour, then dip into the soy milk wash and finally in the panko breadcrumbs. Make sure they are well coated with no gaps.
  7. Place the crumbed crab cakes back into the fridge so the crumb can set.
  8. Pour vegetable oil in a large frying pan until 1 cm deep and place over medium heat. Cook the crab cakes, 3–4 patties at a time, for 3–4 minutes on each side until golden and crunchy. Drain on paper towel and season with salt flakes.
  9. Serve with mango salsa and avocado cream or any aioli dipping sauce that you love.


  • If you have the luxury of having access to fake meat, you can substitute crab meat for the hearts of palm – just a tip.Unless you live in the US, you will probably need to buy Old Bay Seasoning online.
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