Plant-Based Crab Cakes for World Oceans Day

Savor the flavor of the ocean with a climate-friendly, plant-based crabless croquette.
June 5, 2020 Leave your thoughts 3 min read

In a time where we are turning our attention and hearts towards injustice, we must keep ourselves conscious of another crisis on the horizon: climate change. Although we don’t always see it, the vast majority of the waste that we produce on land reaches the ocean. Many fishing and dumping practices are unsustainable, while adversely affecting coastal communities of color the most.

Take this revolutionary time in our history to learn and ally yourself with information. Start with this to learn more about the intersections between marine litter and environmental racism. Support the work of Ocean Collectiv and Urban Ocean Lab as well as their founder, Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson.

A sustainable world is what we’re fighting for, but that’s not possible without equity. We cannot begin to honor the Earth until we learn to honor each other. Structural racism is a cruel mechanism and time-consuming distraction that prevents us from healing the Earth or ourselves. We have a duty and obligation to rebuild a world that is sustainable for all people.

Plant-Based Crab Cakes

And as you expand your horizons, enjoy the flavor of the ocean in a planet-friendly way with this crabless croquette. The blend of chickpeas, heart of palm and jackfruit creates texture while kelp and Old Bay enhance the flavor of seafood. Especially delicious as a po’boy-style sandwich with homemade tartar sauce or remoulade.


  • 15 oz can chickpeas, drained
  • ½ small onion, diced
  • 15 oz can of jackfruit, drained
  • 15 oz can of sustainably-sourced heart of palm
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs, plus more as desired
  • 1 tbsp roasted red peppers, diced
  • 2 tbsp Old Bay
  • 1 tbsp kelp granules (or seaweed sheets, ground in a food processor)
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp black or white pepper
  • 2 tsp parsley, chopped
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil or melted  plant-based butter, for frying or brushing


1. In a food processor, add the chickpeas, Old Bay, kelp granules, garlic powder, onion powder and parsley. Process until the chickpeas resemble a chunky puree. Add the jackfruit and heart of palm, pulsing 1-3 times until just shredded and combined to retain as much texture as possible. Transfer to a large bowl.

2. Taste the mixture (it’s all vegetables, you’re safe!) and add salt as desired.

3. Add breadcrumbs and gently fold in. Form palm-sized pucks of the mixture and set aside. If you’re pan-frying and would like some extra crispiness, roll the finished pucks in panko breadcrumbs.

4. Frying Directions: In a skillet, bring enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan up to temperature on medium heat. (Alternatively, you can use a nonstick pan.) Cook 2-3 patties at a time for 3-5 minutes on each side, until browned.

5. Air-Frying Directions: Gently brush a thin layer of oil on the interior of the air fryer basket. Omit extra breading. Brush the tops of the crabless cakes with plant-based butter or oil and transfer to the air fryer, avoiding overcrowding. Cook at 400F for 7-9 minutes, until crisp and golden brown.

6. Serve hot with spicy plant-based mayo or tartar sauce. Delicious as a po’boy-style sandwich!

About the Author

Zakiyaa Taylor is OMD’s North Carolina Field Organizer. She works with communities on the ground in North Carolina to change hearts and minds around plant-based eating by supporting school districts, community members and restaurant owners to co-create lasting change.

Join the conversation!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are noted. Play nice!