Crab-ZOOKS! Zucchini "Crab" Cakes | KNKX

Crab-ZOOKS! Zucchini "Crab" Cakes

Jul 15, 2015

I admit it.  When Kelly from KPLU Listener Relations first mentioned Zucchini Crab Cakes to me I scoffed.  But after my first bite I stopped scoffing and started scarfing.  They're good, with very much the taste and mouth-feel of regular crab cakes.  

And, as Nancy pointed out, they're just the thing for eaters allergic to shellfish –  or just to the high cost of crab.  And even if you do use real crab, this method is a great way to stretch it.

Here's how I made them

Google  "zucchini crab cakes" and you'll find tons of recipes, most of them pretty similar and all incorporating Nancy's favorite seasoning mix, Old Bay.   I combined several different methods and ingredients plus a few of my own. 

2 Cups coarsely grated zucchini + 1 teaspoon salt

1 Cup Panko or other dry bread crumbs

1 egg

2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon lemon juice

2 Tablespoons mayonnaise

2 Tablespoons each minced celery, parsley, onion

1/4 teaspoon celery seed

1. Toss grated zucchini with 1 teaspoon salt and place in a colander over a bowl to drain for 30 minutes.

Twist the grated zukes in a clean dish towel to wring out as much water as possible.  Combine with the bread crumbs.

2. In a separate bowl combine all the other ingredients and fold into the zuke/crumbs combo. Cover and refrigerate at least an hour or longer and they'll hold together better when you shape them. 

3. Heat about an inch of olive oil in a non stick pan over medium heat.  Try a small test cake to check the seasonings.   You might want more Old Bay, less lemon, or whatever.  Once you've got the mix to your taste you're ready to go.  I used an ice cream scoop to keep the cakes uniform in size.  Once in the pan I flattened them a bit with the greased underside of a spatula.  Brown on both sides. 

NOTE: Next time I make these I'm going to add something "fishy" to boost the flavor. Maybe some soaked and shredded dried scallops or a few shots of fish sauce.

Once we got started talking about zucchini Nancy mentioned that she was "Dying to try" a recipe by Seattle chef Renee Erickson of The Walrus and the Carpenter, The Whale Wins, Boat St. Cafe, and Barnacle.  The recipe's from Erickson's book A Boat, a Whale & a Walrus: Menus and Stories." 

"And what was that recipe for?" I asked. 

"Zucchini bread!" she chortled. Visions of macrame and India print bedspreads filled my head but Nancy's eaten it at The Whale Wins and swears it's the greatest.  Here's a link to chef Erickson's Olive Oil Zucchini Bread recipe.

"You cannot teach a crab to walk straight." (or a zucchini, but you already knew that – Stein)

– Aristophanes