Last night a friend returned from a trip to Los Angeles talking about the vegan "crab" cakes at Crossroads. There was also talk of the extreme sense of calm one feels in LA, lower blood pressure, outdoor bookstores, driving to Ojai with the windows down on the PCH, and how life is so goddamn perfect there. But the "crab" cakes, those we can have here. You know, if we make them ourselves.
Even if you do eat meat, jumbo lump crab meat (that's the good stuff) costs way too much money, and hearts of palm (which is what the Crossroads cakes are made from) are only about $3.50 a can. So we cobbled together our own recipe, and enjoyed it alone in our small studio apartment that is nowhere near the ocean or the mountains or any outdoor bookstore.
Try it, and read this while consuming them.
- One bunch of radishes, grated
- One can of hearts of palm, grated or chopped up
- A dollop of mayo (or Vegenaise)
- A few strands of fresh dill
- Old Bay seasoning (as much as you prefer)
- Olive oil
- Bread crumbs (optional)
Once you've grated your radishes and hearts of palm (which sort of resemble crab meat when shredded), put all of that into a piece of cheese cloth and wring out the moisture. (No cheese cloth? Use a clean dish towel.) This will help it all stay together. Drop all of that, along with your dollop of mayo, into a bowl and stir. Add the dill, and season it all generously with Old Bay.
Now form your crab cakes (the above measures will make about four). If you want, dip them into a separate bowl holding bread crumbs. Finely grate some of that bread in the fridge, or maybe go panko, or even totally bare. It's up to you, not some fancy pants vegan restaurant chef in sunny Los Angeles.
Put about a tablespoon of olive oil into your skillet, and place the crab cakes on there. Maybe go one at a time, while taking deep breaths. They actually cook pretty quickly, maybe a minute on each side depending on how hot you've got that skillet.
Done? Now plate your meal—this is important, even if you're eating alone, do something nice for yourself! We paired our cakes up with some more dill and a little tartar sauce, but you can do what you want. You can even use LAist's no-radish recipe if you want.