I have a confession… these Jackfruit Crab Cakes have been on my mind for what feels like AGES! It wasn’t until I was flipping through an old soul food cook book from my pre-vegan days that it hit me. I knew then, I would be making them the following weekend. Once I put the ingredients on my shopping list, it was as good as done. Vegan Jackfruit Crab Cakes were definitely happening!
It’s impossible to talk about most anything seafood related without Old Bay Seasoning being in the conversation. I knew that if I was going to give these crab cakes a fair try, Old Bay Seasoning was definitely going to have to be in the mix. A lot of it!
It’s no surprise that this seasoning was the star of the show. It definitely gives these vegan crab cakes that hint of authenticity they need in order to win your tastebuds over. So needless to say, don’t even think about making these if you don’t have any!
Vegan Jackfruit Crab Cakes: Store-bought vs. Homemade
To be honest, I was a little skeptical about if these would work or not due to a prior experience. It’s no secret that Trader Joe’s is one of my favorite places to shop. I love visiting them because they’re always adding to their selection with new vegan offerings. A while back they started selling jackfruit crab cakes. I grabbed a box without even thinking about it. I just knew they were going to HIT!
My instincts couldn’t have been more wrong. I baked them in the oven and prepared for what I thought would be an enjoyable meal. Y’all, this was theeeeeee worst purchase I’ve ever made from Trader Joe’s. Not even hot sauce helped.
I tried seasoning them with Old Bay, but it didn’t work either. To me, it tasted like they just coated jackfruit in breading, fried it, and called it a day.
TJ’s is one of my faves, so for them to take such a loss on what could have been such a win was hard for me. I honestly wondered if it was possible to make a brag-worthy vegan crab cake myself. As with most foods, it’s all about seasoning.
Once I remembered that, I was back in the game. The last thing I was going to do was fumble the ball like TJ’s so I moved forward with giving it a try for myself.
What Kind of Jackfruit Should I Purchase to Make Crab Cakes?
The type of jackfruit that you purchase is REALLY important! This will determine your success with this recipe. You want to make sure that you purchase young green jackfruit in either brine or water. You can find this at your local Asian market or Trader Joe’s.
Trader Joe’s currently only sells jackfruit in brine, so if you choose to purchase it from there just pick up a green can of this stuff and you’re good to go. If you’re taking a trip to your local Asian market, you may see a few different types of jackfruit: fresh jackfruit, canned jackfruit in syrup or canned jackfruit in brine or water.
Again, you want to go with the latter. Fresh jackfruit will be much too sweet, as will canned jackfruit in syrup. Stick with Jackfruit in brine or water and you should be set!
How to Make Vegan Crab Cakes:
Preparing these crab cakes was super easy. So easy, I’m ashamed I waited so long to make them. In preparing them, it’s important to take a few minutes to prep your jackfruit properly. This way you can avoid the unwanted seeds that are usually present in jackfruit. You want them to be as realistic as possible, which means you only want the stringy parts.
Once you’ve chopped up your veggies and separated your jackfruit, it’s time to mix everything! While you’re mixing, you’ll want to go ahead and heat the oil on the stove you’ll be using for frying. This way, it’s ready for you when you’re ready to start frying them.
To make this part a little easier you could form all of the patties, then fry them. Alternatively, you could make a few patties and fry them. Then while those are frying, begin prepping a few more patties for the next round and continue this until you’re done. Personally, I’d rather get all of them done at once. I love cooking, but I hate messy fingers!
I’m happy to report that these Vegan Jackfruit Crab Cakes are WAY better than anything you could buy in the stores. They’re easy to put together and are very well seasoned. I even tested them out with my omni husband and I’m happy to say he’s a fan of them too!
These cakes are so crispy! The next time I make them, I’m going to try air-frying them to see if that works out. For authenticity’s sake, I wanted to go with the old-fashioned grease the first time around. Give these Vegan Jackfruit Crab Cakes a try and let me know what you think in the comments below!
What to Eat With Vegan Crab Cakes:
- Coconut Turmeric Rice
- Easy Baked Vegan Mac and Cheese
- Easy Vegan Collard Greens
- Crispy Smashed Potatoes
Tools You Might Need:
Other Jackfruit Recipes You’ll Love:
- Easy Jackfruit Carnitas Tacos
- Jackfruit Curry
- Vegan Tuna Pasta Salad
- BBQ Jackfruit Tostadas
- Sriracha Jackfruit Bowl
- BBQ Jackfruit Empanadas
- Jackfruit Pulled Pork Sandwich
- Chicken Fried Jackfruit
Vegan Jackfruit Crab Cakes
- 1 20 oz. can of jackfruit in brine
- ⅓ cup chopped green onion
- ½ cup diced green peppers
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- ¼ cup plain unseasoned bread crumbs
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 flax eggs (2 tbsp flax seed meal mixed with 5 tbsp water)
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- black pepper to taste
- ½ tbsp old bay seasoning
- enough oil for frying (1/2-1 cup) I used vegetable oil
- In a small pan over low-medium heat, sauté green peppers and onions until softened.
- While those are cooking, begin removing the seeds and hard parts from the jackfruit, leaving only the stringy parts. Remember to keep an eye on the stove.
- Once the peppers and onions have softened, remove from heat and set aside.
- In a large bowl add all of the ingredients together( with the exception of the frying oil) and combine.
- In a larger pan (I used a cast iron pan) appropriate for frying, add the oil and heat over a medium low temperature.
- While the oil is heating, begin forming the patties using a ¼ measuring cup. Scoop out enough to fill the measuring cup, then form round patties with your hands, and set aside. Repeat until all of the mixture has been formed into patties.
- By now your oil should be hot enough, but check by flicking a tiny bit of water into the pan. If the oil begins to pop, it is hot enough. If not, you may need to increase the stove setting or wait a bit longer.
- Once the oil is done heating, carefully begin placing the patties in the pan leaving enough space to flip them easily. Cook on each side for about 4-5 minutes or until browned.
- Once done cooking, transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels to soak up the excess grease. Let them cool for a few minutes and enjoy!