Sunday, August 1, 2010

Chesapeake Tempeh "Crab" Cakes

I saw this recipe posted on Olivia Wilde's blog back a few weeks ago and have been dying to try them ever since. They do take a little time to prep, but they're really easy to make.

Chesapeake Tempeh "Crab" Cakes


For the Cakes:

8 ounces tempeh
1 cup water
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
1 bay leaf

3 tbsp Vegenaise
1 tbsp stone-ground Dijon
1 tbsp hot sauce (Frank's)
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/4 cup very finely chopped red bell pepper (orange bell pepper)
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
Fresh black pepper
1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs, plus extra for dredging
1 sheet nori paper (turn into a powder by putting in the magic bullet w/ the flat blade)
Oil for pan-frying

For the Remoulade:

2 tbsp Vegenaise
1 tbsp stone-ground dijon
1 tbsp hot sauce


First we’re going to steam the tempeh to get the bitterness out and also to give it some flavor with the soy sauce. Crumble the tempeh into a saucepan in little bits. 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 the 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 Vegenaise, mustard, hot sauce, vinegar, bell pepper, ginger, oregano, salt, and pepper and mix well. Add the breadcrumbs 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, nonstick 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 (use an ice cream scoop) into your hands and form into a ball. Flatten between your palms and then roll the sides gently to smooth them. You should have ten 2 1/2- to 3-inch patties. Press them into the panko to lightly coat. 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.

Optional: Make ahead. Make the entire mixture and the remoulade the night before. In the morning, form into cakes and pan-fry. (I waited about 6 hours)

Prepping the Mixture: 45 Minutes
Forming Cakes & Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Servings: Makes 10-12 Cakes

(Other Use: Instead of making crab cakes, you can also just use the "crab" mixture for sandwiches or over a bed of lettuce, etc. It's delicious on its own as well.

Adapted from the recipe in Vegan Brunch by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.

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