Maryland Crab’less Cakes have an amazing crab-like texture and authentic seafood flavor, which makes them an impressive seafood appetizer or first course. The cakes are baked rather than fried, which ensures that they are cooked through evenly, and with less fat. This recipe yields 8 large to 12 standard-size crab’less cakes.

Crab’less cake ingredients:
• 1 can (14 oz.) hearts of palm*
• ½ cup chopped green onions, including some of the green
• ½ red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
• 2 T olive oil
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 block (14 oz.) firm or extra-firm water-packed tofu (do not use silken tofu)
• ½ sheet toasted nori seaweed, torn into pieces
• ½ cup vegan mayonnaise
• ¼ cup unmodified potato starch, cornstarch or arrowroot powder
• 2 tsp Chesapeake Bay™ or Old Bay™ seasoning
• 1 tsp vegan Worcestershire Sauce (pg. ) or similar
• ½ tsp fine sea salt of kosher salt
• ⅓ cup panko crumbs (Japanese bread crumbs) or gluten-free bread or cracker crumbs

For the breading, you will need:
• 1 cup very fine, dry breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs of your choice
• 2 tsp Chesapeake Bay™ or Old Bay™ seasoning
• cooking oil spray for misting

*Canned hearts of palm can be found in most supermarkets. Hearts of palm, when flaked, bear a resemblance to crabmeat. Hearts of palm are commercially grown and harvested in Central America and Hawaii and have absolutely no relation to the palm species from which palm oil is derived.

Drain the liquid from the canned hearts of palm and rinse the hearts thoroughly in a colander; drain well. Cut the hearts into chunks.
Place the green onions and bell pepper into the food processor. Pulse until minced. Add the hearts of palm to the vegetables and pulse a few times until flaked. Do not purée!

Sauté the minced vegetables with the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat until the excess moisture is evaporated and the onion is lightly golden but not browned. Add the garlic and sauté an additional minute. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

Drain the excess water from the tofu container and cut the tofu into quarters. Wrap the quarters in a lint-free kitchen towel, twist the top closed and squeeze the water from the tofu. Place the dry tofu in the food processor with the torn nori seaweed. Add the mayonnaise, starch, Chesapeake Bay™ or Old Bay™ seasoning, Worcestershire sauce and salt. Process the mixture briefly until the tofu has a crumbly texture. Do not process until smooth!

Transfer the seasoned tofu to the mixing bowl with the sautéed vegetables and add the panko crumbs. Stir well until the mixture begins to hold together.

Form 12 patties from the mixture, about 2 and ½-inches in diameter and ½-inch thick and set on a work surface. At this point, you will want to bread and bake only what you will be serving immediately. Store any extra patties in an airtight container between layers of wax paper and freeze until ready to use.

Baking the crab’less cakes:
Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a bowl, combine the fine breadcrumbs with the Bay seasoning. Gently press each patty into the breadcrumbs and place onto a lightly oiled baking sheet.

Mist the breaded patties lightly with cooking oil spray and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and carefully flip the patties over. Continue to bake for 20 minutes. Remove the baking pan from the oven and let the patties cool for 10 minutes to set. Serve immediately with a sauce of your choice.

Maryland Crab’less Cakes
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