Vegan “crab” cakes with homemade tartar sauce

August 2, 2016

When I was still eating meat I used to love fish and crab cakes. I was a bit obsessed. So it’s surprising that it’s taken me this long to get around to veganizing it, but there you go.

There are lots of ways to make faux fish/crab cakes, but to me it has to be jackfruit based. When cooked and shredded, jackfruit takes on a sort of crablike look and feel. It is also very mild tasting, so will take on any flavors you add to it.


For these crab cakes, I decided to do traditional American flavors – parsley, lemon, old bay seasoning (just a bunch of spices mixed together), lightly pan fried and then topped off with a homemade vegan tartar sauce. The result is a lovely, crispy, warm cake that’s the perfect starter if you want to impress your friends at a dinner party, or great as a light summer dinner.


For the crab cakes

  • 1 can jackfruit in brine (approx 250g)
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 uncooked vegan eggs (I use Follow Your Heart VeganEgg)
  • 2.5 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1.5 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon vegan worcestershire sauce (or tamari)
  • 1/4 tsp each: garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, oregano, thyme, cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or rapeseed oil, for cooking
  • Plain flour for dusting

For the Quick Tartar Sauce

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1.5 tablespoons capers, drained and roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced red onion
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

To serve 

  • Lemon wedges
  • Lambs lettuce or pea shoots


  1. To make the tartar sauce, combine all the ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Drain and rinse the jackfruit and boil for around 10-15 minutes, until it is tender. Once cooked, drain and set aside to cool.
  3. When the jackfruit has cooled, use two forks to shred it, and chop up any large pieces that remain. Throw out any seeds you find.
  4. Combine one “egg”, mayo, dijon mustard, worcestershire, seasonings and parsley in a large bowl and mix well.
  5. Add the jackfruit and half of the breadcrumbs to the bowl and gently fold mixture together until just combined. Shape into 6 cakes (about ½ cup each) and place on foil-lined baking sheet. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the cakes to firm up.
  6. Add the remaining egg to a small bowl. Place some plain flour and the remaining breadcrumbs in separate shallow dishes.
  7. Dredge a crab cake in the flour, then dip into the egg and coat in the breadcrumbs. Shake gently to remove any excess breadcrumbs. Repeat with the remaining crab cakes. You may need to add more breadcrumbs to the bowl if you get low.
  8. Preheat a large nonstick pan to medium heat and coat with the oil. When the oil is hot, place the jackfruit cakes in the pan and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side.
  9. Serve immediately with tartar sauce and a squeeze of lemon. Enjoy!


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