::Edit:: FIXED!  My sidebar is back & the links will be up later today.  Woohoo!  Oh, and I think my issue with the crab cakes is the use of hot sauce–I just don’t want hot sauce in my “crab” cakes, but that’s just me.  🙂

Moving on! Remember when Isa posted her recipe for Chesapeake Tempeh Cakes from her forthcoming cookbook Vegan Brunch?  Ever since Vegan Brunch was announced with its crab cake recipe, I was stoked.  I’ve made a version before, and they’re pretty good, but I figured Isa, being the vegan goddess she is, would have a superior recipe.  Needless to say, when she posted the recipe on the PPK Blog, I freaked out (in a good way).

I finally got around to making them this week, and yup, they’re pretty good.  I have a not-so-great relationship with tempeh and this recipe certainly helped me like it a bit more.  The texture is certainly more crabby than my tofu version and I love the addition of nori to add something “fishy,” but there’s still a taste I don’t like.  I’m blaming it on the tempeh, but it could be the remoulade (I’m not a fan of the hot sauce in it).  The poet loves them and thinks I’m nuts for not, and it’s not that I think they’re bad or inedible, but I’m not bowled over.  The search for the perfect vegan crab cake is still on!

Isa’s Tempeh Crab Cakes

from The PPK blog

For the cakes:
8 oz tempeh
1 c water
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
1 bay leaf

3 tbsp Vegenaisse
1 tbsp whole grain mustard
1 tbsp hot sauce
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1/4 c very finely chopped red bell pepper
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
fresh black pepper
1 1/2 c panko/rice breadcrumbs, plus extra for dredging
1 finely chopped nori sheet

Oil for pan frying

For the remoulade:
2 tbsp Vegenaise
1 tbsp whole grain mustard
1 tbsp hot sauce
2 tsp capers (try not to get too much brine)

Crumble the tempeh into a small pan. Add the water, soy sauce, oil and bay leaf. The tempeh won’t be fully submerged, but that’s fine. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, let boil for 12 to 15 minutes, until most of the water has evaporated. Stir once during boiling.

Transfer contents to a mixing bowl, remove bay leaf, and mash with a fork. Let cool for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to hasten the cooling process. Make sure the tempeh is barely warm before you proceed, or the cakes may fall apart when you cook them. Add the mayo, mustard, hot sauce, vinegar, chopped bell pepper, spices salt and pepper, and mix well. Add the bread crumbs and nori and use your hands to incorporate.

Once you are ready to form the cakes, preheat a thin layer of oil in a heavy bottomed non-stick skillet (cast iron is great) over medium heat. Pour a few tablespoons of panko into a bowl. Scoop a little less than 1/4 cup batter into your hands and form into a ball. Flatten between your palms and then roll the sides gently with your hands cupped to smooth them. You should have ten 2 1/2 to 3- inch patties. I do them in batches of five. Press them into the panko to lightly coat (CP note: I didn’t have any extra panko, so I fried them without it.  I also only make up 1-2 at a time and store the rest of the mixture in the fridge). They don’t need to be thoroughly covered, just a little bit for some texture.

Fry a batch of five cakes for 4 minutes on one side and flip when dark golden brown. Fry for 2 minutes on the other side and transfer to a paper towel or paper bag to drain. Do your second batch and in the meantime make your remoulade by mixing all the ingredients together in a bowl.