No-Crab Crab Cakes, No Kidding


I love an easy summer dinner.  An easy summer dinner that I can prepare in advance to last for a couple of meals.   Salmon patties are always nice but time for a change.  And these no-crab crab cakes fit the bill. All in favour? Great. It’s unanimous.

Imitation crabmeat is made from mostly Alaskan pollock  and made to look and taste similar to crabmeat.  It’s a great substitute for those with allergies or dietary restrictions. Because it is made from a kosher fish, it can be found kosher in local supermarkets. Today,  I am going to season them with some curry powder to give them a punch, with a dipping sauce flavoured with mango chutney to compliment the curry spicing.

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The ingredients are simple.  Imitation crabmeat is blended with a beaten egg, mayonnaise, curry powder, some panko breadcrumbs and chopped chives and salt/pepper to taste.  Save some of the breadcrumbs to roll the crab cakes in before pan-frying.  This gives them a nice toasty and crispy texture.  I prefer to leave the pieces of meat chunky to emulate the ‘real’ thing.  However, you can finely chop the crabmeat if desired.

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Mix all the ingredients together.  At this stage, I put the mixture in the fridge to let the flavours blend for about 30 minutes.

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Madras curry is a spicier curry powder that I found in a local Indian supermarket but any curry will do.

After 30 minutes, take the mixture out of the fridge and shape into patties.  Coat the patties in the remaining breadcrumbs.  I pan-fry them in a 50:50 mixture of butter and olive oil.  All butter or all oil is also delicious.

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A no-crab cake cake served with chutney mayonnaise and a side of steamed green beans.  Hope there’s enough leftover for tomorrow’s meal.

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No-Crab Crab Cakes

1 454 gram (1 pound) package of imitation crab
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp. Madras curry powder (or your favourite curry powder)(or no curry powder!)  **
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 cup chopped chives
salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 egg
1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs, divided, putting 1/2 cup aside for coating

butter and/or oil for frying.

Dipping Sauce — a heaping tablespoon of Chutney into a 1/2 cup of mayonnaise.

  1. Using your hands, separate the imitation crabmeat into chunk-sized pieces, or finely chop if desired.
  2. Combine the meat with the mayonnaise, curry powder, mustard, chives, egg, salt, pepper and  3/4 cup of the panko breadcrumbs.  If the mixture seems too moist, add an additional 1/4 cup of the breadcrumbs.
  3. Place in fridge to let ingredients blend for 30 minutes.
  4. Shape the mixture into patties and coat them with remaining 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs.  Serve with the dipping sauce or a squeeze of lemon juice.

Variation: Shape them into appetizer-sized portions.  Great for sharing with company.

**  If curry powder is not your thing, try Old Bay Seasoning.  It’s a common spice blend for crab cakes and a good seasoning to have in the pantry.



  1. · · Reply

    will be making this asap. thank you.


  2. Frances harris · · Reply

    Photos look very appetizing. Made smaller would make a nice hors doeuvres.

  3. michael · · Reply

    I used the Old Bay seasoning and the cakes were a big hit. used mango chutney for the sauce and it was a big hit. all of shelly’s recipies are out of the ball park. to me the “secret” ingredient in this recipie is the chopped chives, which adds considerable depth to the flavor.

    1. Hi Michael, the Old Bay seasoning is delicious too. You are too kind with compliments. Keep enjoying! Shelley

  4. Making these now but they are falling apart on me. I think I needed to chop the meat more finely and perhaps the meat was too watery?

  5. Also I didn’t have panko crumbs, just used regular and so maybe that was the problem? Jackie

    1. hi Jackie,
      regular breadcrumbs are fine. Sometimes different brands of the imitation crabmeat are drier than others. Try adding another egg. That should bind it. please tell me if that works out. Shelley

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