Mock Crab Cake Open-Face Sandwiches

21 May

I can’t say that I know what crab really tastes like since it isn’t kosher, but I can tell you that these mock crab cakes are amazing! They don’t even need to taste like the real thing, although I hope they do because that would mean real crab is delicious. My sister, Francine (the pastry chef sister that I seem to mention a lot), asked me to make this open-face crab burger recipe from Bon Appetit magazine and I just couldn’t say no! Not only did they taste amazing when fresh, but they even rocked my world reheated. 

Mock Crab Cake Ingredients

makes 18-20 patties, 2 for each sandwich (plus leftovers for later)

1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise

2 eggs

4 Tbsp lemon juice

2 Tbsp ketchup

2 tsp finely grated lemon peel

2 tsp hot chili sauce (such as sriracha)

1 tsp salt

4 Tbsp minced drained roasted red peppers from jar (okay, so I only had sweet salad pepper slices so I used those and they were delicious)

2 green onions, thinly sliced

2 pounds mock crab, shredded

3 cups panko bread crumbs

1/2 stick butter

2-4 Tbsp vegetable oil

Dressing Ingredients

1/4 cup mayonnaise

2 green onions, thinly sliced

2 Tbsp minced drained roasted red peppers from jar

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1 Tbsp ketchup

2 tsp hot chili sauce (such as sriracha)

1/4 tsp finely grated lemon peel


3-4 ciabatta rolls, halved horizontally

6 crisp heart of romaine lettuce halves

*if you don’t want to have the bread, you can top a light salad with the cakes and dressing

There are a lot of ingredients but don’t be intimidated! Most of them just go in one bowl and mix. So easy.

I whisked the first 7 ingredients in a large bowl.

I then chopped up the peppers and green onion and mixed them in to the mayo mixture.

I cut up the mock crab sticks into small pieces and gently stirred that and 1 1/2 cups panko in to the mixture.

I sprinkled the remaining panko on a rimmed baking sheet. Using 1/4 cup for each burger, I shaped the mixture firmly in to patties. Since the crab is not actually, well, crab, it needs to be tightly packed by hand so the cakes stay together on the baking sheet. I pressed each patty in to the panko bread crumbs then flipped over to coat the other side. I covered with plastic wrap and let them chill in the fridge for at least one hour to set up.

In the meantime, I spread butter on the rolls and lightly toasted them. Small tip: be careful not to over-toast the bread or it will be difficult to eat the sandwich. Trust me! I also made the dressing for the crab cakes. Not much to it. Just add all of the ingredients to a bowl and mix. WARNING: the sauce is pretty spicy. You can always add less hot chili sauce (or something mild) instead.

Once the crab cakes were set, I removed them from the fridge and prepared the pan. I melted two tablespoons of butter with the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, I added the patties and sauted until brown, 4-5 minutes on each side.

While in the process of shallow-frying the mock crab cakes, I placed my left ring finger directly in the hot oil. It was obviously not on purpose, but it hurt like hell!!! Here is a picture of my hand dipped in a cold cup of water (thanks for the advice from everyone on Facebook) while finishing the cakes. Oh, and thanks to Lauren Glicksman for coming over with some burn cream.

Once the crab cakes are out of the pan, I was ready to assemble the sandwiches. I topped each piece of toasted bread with lettuce, then placed two patties on top of that. I spooned the spicy dressing over. Done!

I made enough mock crab cakes to have leftovers for the weekend. For a Shabbos lunch appetizer, I served the reheated patties over fresh spinach with a dressing mixture of olive oil, honey mustard and garlic powder. I also added croutons for some extra crunch and the spicy dressing over the top. It was truly delicious and I can’t wait to make them again!


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