These Lion’s Mane “Crab” Cakes are made with mushrooms instead of crab meat but taste like a real thing. A quick and easy vegetarian meal, which is not only incredibly delicious but also packed with health benefits!
When I first laid my hands on lion’s mane mushrooms, also known as pom poms, I wasn’t sure what to do with them. After all, it’s not the most common edible fungi out there and nobody from my friends or family has ever tried it.
During my research on how to cook Lion’s Mane mushrooms, I stumbled upon this interesting idea of using them instead of crab meat in recipes. It seems that these white shaggy mushrooms resemble shellfish when shredded into pieces. This immediately caught my attention.
I tried making the famous crab cakes using pom poms and, oh man, it worked out so well! The texture is so similar to regular crab cakes you wouldn’t believe it.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- A perfect vegetarian meal even meat eaters will love.
- This modern twist on an old favorite is not only crazy delicious but you also get all the health benefits of Lion’s Mane mushrooms, which they are notorious for. They are called “superfood” for a reason.
- Great for those who have a shellfish allergy.
- These are really easy and quick to make. A great weeknight dinner option.
The ingredients used for Lion’s Mane crab cakes are the same as the ones used for regular crab cakes. We just swap crab meat for the mushrooms and that’s it!
- Lion’s Mane mushrooms – Look for perfectly white ones because if there are discolored areas (yellow or brown), they are probably not fresh. You can still use them by cutting discolored parts off, though. Other kinds of mushrooms won’t work for this recipe.
- Egg – Needed to bind our “crab cakes”. You can also use an egg alternative such as a flax egg if you are vegan.
- Mayonnaise – Another binder which also adds flavor and creamy texture. Use vegan mayo for a vegan-friendly version.
- Dijon mustard and Worcestershire sauce – For a tangy flavor. You can swap Dijon for yellow mustard but I think Dijon works best in this recipe.
- Old Bay seasoning – This type of seasoning is usually used in regular crab cake recipes so we stick with it. It provides plenty of flavor. We also add salt and black pepper.
- Fresh parsley – You can also use dried parsley but fresh is better.
- Lemon juice and zest – For tangy and zesty flavor.
- Panko breadcrumbs – Panko works best in this recipe so try not to substitute it with any other types of breadcrumbs. Panko creates that perfect texture.
- Oil – For cooking. I almost always use olive oil in my recipes.
This recipe is actually really easy to make. All you need is one large bowl and a skillet.
Start by cleaning your Lion’s Mane mushrooms with a brush or damp cloth / paper towel to remove any dirt. Don’t rinse them in water because Lion’s Mane will absorb it and too much moisture can ruin the dish. If you rinsed the mushrooms, wring them out like a sponge and let dry on paper towels before cooking.
Next, shred Lion’s Mane mushrooms with your hands to resemble the texture of crab meat. Don’t leave big pieces because it will be difficult to make them stick together later.
Stir together the egg, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, Old Bay seasoning, salt, black pepper, fresh parsley, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a large bowl until combined.
Now add the mushrooms and mix gently but thoroughly. Lastly, add the panko breadcrumbs and mix well once again.
Divide the mixture into 6 cakes (pack them firmly) and fry in a skillet for about 4 minutes per side. That’s it! Serve your vegetarian dinner with some tartar or aioli and enjoy.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a couple of days. Reheat in an air fryer or in a hot skillet until heated through.
You can also freeze these Lion’s Mane crab cakes by frying them first and leaving to cool on paper towels. Arrange them in one layer on a baking sheet and pop into the freezer. When the patties are completely frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe container or freezer bags.
I hope you will enjoy this plant-based twist on traditional crab cakes as much as my family did. Make sure to also check out other vegetarian dinner ideas from the blog.
- Pumpkin, Red Lentil & Coconut Curry
- Creamy Chickpea and Spinach Curry
- Baked Gnocchi with Spinach, Tomatoes, and Beans
- Creamy Buckwheat Risotto with Mushrooms
Lion’s Mane Mushroom “Crab” Cakes
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 lb. (450g) Lion’s Mane mushrooms , shredded to resemble crab meat
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- In a large bowl, mix together the egg, mayo, Dijon, Worcestershire sauce, Old Bay seasoning, salt, black pepper, parsley, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
- Add the shredded Lion’s Mane mushrooms and mix gently but thoroughly to cover all pieces. Add the panko breadcrumbs and mix well again. Shape the mixture into 6 cakes. Pack them firmly so they stick together when cooking.
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Place the “crab cakes” in a skillet and cook for about 3-4 minutes per side, until golden brown. Transfer the cakes on paper towels to get rid of excess oil (optional).
- Garnish with chopped parsley and serve with tartar or aioli sauces and lemon wedges on the side.