I heard about a vegan restaurant in California using hearts of palm to make ‘crab’ cakes a few weeks ago and have been keen to experiment ever since. These were my first attempt and they were really tasty but I personally think I may add a bit of potato to the mix next time as the texture was quite crunchy and I think a combination of soft/crunchy may work better. I also found that although they looked quite ‘crabby’ the taste and texture was quite different to the crab-unfriendly version (from what I can remember!) Having said that, these are still well worth a try for something a little different plus they taste good in their own right and they’re healthy!
If anyone else has experimented with crabless ‘crab’ cakes then please do post a comment to let me know how you got on and to share any tips or ideas you might have.
(Serves 4 as a starter or 2 as a main)
- Tin of hearts of palm – roughly chopped into small pieces and make sure you buy it with salt, not sugar!
- 1 small bunch of radishes – topped, tailed and grated
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves of garlic – peeled and crushed
- Drizzle of organic sunflower oil
- 5 teaspoons of paprika
- 6 teaspoons of dill – fresh or dried
- Juice of one lemon
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Panko breadcrumbs to coat
- Once prepared place the hearts of palm, radishes and garlic into a sieve and using the back of a spoon force out as much of the liquid as possible (for the mixture to hold together in the pan later you don’t want too much moisture)
- Add the oil, hearts of palm, radishes, onion and garlic to a pan and gently fry for a few minutes to soften
- Add the paprika, dill, lemon juice and salt and pepper
- Leave the mixture on the side to cool down to room temperature and then place in the fridge for 20 minutes to chill further
- Using either your hands or chef rings mould the mixture into patties and coat in panko breadcrumbs
- Fry in a little oil for a few minutes each side until nicely browned
- Serve with a green salad, dill sauce (mix soya yoghurt, dill and lemon juice) and a wedge of fresh lemon