Free the Crab Cakes

It was 12:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning in 2003 (June 8th, to be exact).  I woke from a dream in which a recipe for vegan crab cakes came to me.  Ingredients, quantities and procedure were all there.  Even a creamy dill sauce!  I grabbed my recipe notebook, wrote down the recipe and went back to sleep.  Looking at the recipe the next morning it seemed like it would work.  Really just breadcrumb patties held together with sweet and savory moisture.  No way that could suck.  I made my crabless cakes that evening and they were awesome.

How strange!  Who dreams of recipes?  Even stranger if you know I had never made crab cakes in my life.  Growing up in Nebraska, can’t say I had even had any.  Closest I came were my mom’s salmon patties.  As much as I liked her cooking, I couldn’t stand her salmon patties.  Her recipe and technique were fine, but the canned salmon with the soft white spine bones was a deal breaker.  Turns my stomach just writing about it.  Great to be a vegan!

Yesterday I wanted to make dinner to celebrate Valentine’s day.  Lacey suggested my crabless cakes.  She loves them, we don’t have them often (not even once a year), and they are so easy to make.  Done!

Topped the dreamy fried delights with the creamy dill sauce and served them with roasted brussel sprouts, kimchi and sparkling wine.  Oh, and chocolate dipped strawberries for dessert.  All goood!

Feel free to give my crabless cakes a try.  Toss in a bowl 2.5 C breadcrumbs (I cube and freeze old bread for croutons and make crumbs by thawing it and whizzing in a food processor), a couple of shredded carrots and a couple of chopped green onions.  Whiz in a food processor 2 cloves garlic, an ancho pepper (no need to soak it–just take out the stem and give it a rough chop on a board), 1 Tbs oregano, 2 Tbs seaweed (I use whatever I have on hand and don’t bother reconstituting it–this time it was wakame) and some black pepper.  Then add to the food processor and whiz again 6 oz silken tofu, 2 Tbs olive oil, 2 Tbs nutritional yeast, 1 Tbs soy sauce, 2 Tbs vinegar, 1 Tbs sugar and 2 Tbs miso.  Stir this paste into the tossed breadcrumbs, form patties and fry in oil (grape seed oil is best).  The sauce is also easy.  Whiz in the food processor the second 6 oz of the silken tofu (aseptic packages are usually 12 ounces) with 2 Tbs oil, juice of a lime, 2 Tbs mustard, 1 Tbs dill, 1 Tbs soy sauce and as much as 1/4 C water if a thinner sauce is desired.

When this dream showed up, I would have never thought to check the web for recipes, but as I type this now it occurs to me to check.  Not surprisingly, there are many examples.  The first one I find is here (ripped from the book, Vegan Brunch, by Isa Chandra Moscowitz).  Surprising how similar Isa’s recipe is to mine (but mine is way easier and the cakes look more truck-stoppy (which I consider the highest compliment), but I like her addition of ginger and will try that next time).  The similarities are surely coincidental (since I don’t think I have shared my recipe with anyone until now), or maybe the forces were pushing out the recipe to vegan cooks all over the globe on the same night!  I hope such forces exist.  Hear me forces–I stand ready for your next transmission.

Sadly, that has been my only recipe dream.  At least it was a good one.  I can imagine something like this going horribly wrong.  Has a recipe ever came to you in your sleep?  If so, please share!



2 responses to “Free the Crab Cakes

  1. By far, the best words I’ve read all morning:
    “…or maybe the forces were pushing out the recipe to vegan cooks all over the globe on the same night! I hope such forces exist. Hear me forces–I stand ready for your next transmission.”

    As all good people who eat meat do, we strive to eat less of it, so I will happily try your recipe soon. Carbs, be damned!

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