Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Zucchini "Crab" Cakes

-with homemade tarter sauce

You've heard of them. Perhaps you've even had them. It's hard to find someone who either hasn't heard of Zucchini "Crab" Cakes or, hasn't tried them. However, you may not have heard the one tip that takes these little cakes over the top.

What is it?

It's how long you drain your zucchini!

Almost every single recipe for mock-zucchini crab cakes that I looked at included a drainage time of 3-4 hours. Some of the recipes had a drainage time of just 30 minutes! People, this is just not enough time. Zucchini holds a ton of water. A ton, a ton, a freakin' ton. Every time I've made these after only draining the zucchini for an afternoon, they have been mushy. And these little fritter-like concoctions are sooooooo much better with a nice crispy outside. The water in the zucchini also affects the middle of the cakes too, though. A lot of them were mushy, and the water  in the zucchini weakened the "crab" flavor in the middle of the cake. 

My discovery of how to make the most out-of-this-world mock-crab zucchini cakes was (like usual) a happy accident. One morning, the hubby's uncle brought over this-

The worlds most gigantic zucchini! The hubby and I hadn't had mock-crab cakes in over a year, so I decided to grate a good amount up to drain one morning. We had planned on making the crab cakes later that evening, but got invited out to dinner spur-of-the-moment. I thought I'd just make the crab cakes the next day. And then something came up the next day. So the zucchini drained for 2 days. At first, I thought there was no way the zucchini would still be usable. But I checked it out, and decided to foray ahead.

The zucchini mixture was a lot drier than normal, which kind of worried me. But, as it turns out, there was nothing to be afraid of. 

The cakes formed much easier than normal.

They browned better than normal as well. And they got really, really crispy on the outside. But it's the inside of the cake that will probably impress you the most. That "crab" flavor is so much better and more pronounced when the zucchini has had a longer time to drain. While I realize it may not be convenient to drain zucchini for 2 days, I highly recommend trying it. You will not regret it, and I have a feeling it will become your go-to technique from now on. 

And of course, round everything out with homemade tarter sauce. Mayo, relish, lemon juice- go. It's that easy. 

It's Wednesday! I can't believe it's August 19th and I haven't posted a garden update since May. I had much better luck last year (luck of the first year gardener) but this year has been much more difficult. Between mistakes I made and the incredibly wet summer we've had, a lot of lessons have been learned. I'll probably just post one big gardening lesson at the end of the year, I haven't decided yet. Either way, I don't have as much garden fresh produce as I did last year. I did get 2 humongous bags of tomatoes from the hubby's dad. One bag has been turned into a giant batch of marinara, while the second bag is earmarked for tomato soup. I may even get a few tomatoes off my plants next month. We'll see. So, since it's Wednesday and I don't have much else to share, I thought I share a few of my favorite "summer" things at the moment-

Summer music- obsessed with "Go Big or Go Home" by American Authors, "Fight Song" by Rachel Platten, and "Bad Blood" by Taylor Swift. 

My Sanuk's- the ultimate in summer comfort.

My Mediabridge arm band- perfect and comfortable for summer workouts outside or at the gym.

Under Armour Capris- I live in them, even when I'm not at the gym.

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson- one read was not enough. Going back a second time to find and/or think about everything I missed.

Simple guacamole- I've been eating avocados this summer like I'll never have them again.

The only 2 skin products I use in the summer- moisturizer and primer. No more ten pounds of makeup like I used to wear in the summer. Ah, youth.

The only hair product I use in the summer- using less and less products as I age. That's a good thing!

Ok friends, before you settle down to check out those links, get some shredded zucchini in the fridge to start draining. And try these with a long drain time- you will not regret it!

Ingredients (makes 6-8 cakes):

2 cups zucchini, shredded
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup panko
1 egg
1 tbsp mayonaise
1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1 tsp Dijon
1 handful fresh parsley, chopped
Black pepper
3 tbsp canola oil

Tarter Sauce-
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup dill pickle relish
1-2 tsp lemon juice, to taste


1. Combine shredded zucchini and salt in a large colander placed over a large mixing bowl. Place bowl in the fridge for 2 days, emptying mixing bowl of water as needed.
2. After 2 days, add panko, egg, mayo, Old Bay, Dijon, and parsley to the zucchini. Toss to combine. Season mixture with black pepper. Form mixture into 6-8 patties, depending on how big you like your cakes.
3. Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, place 4-5 cakes in the pan. Sear for 4 minutes on one side, then flip and sear opposite side for another 4 minutes. Remove cakes from heat and place on a cooling rack to set. Repeat process with remaining zucchini cakes.
4. To prepare tarter sauce, combine mayo, relish, and lemon juice in a small bowl. Stir to combine. Serve tarter sauce with zucchini cakes immediately.

Recipe adapted from My Kitchen Addiction.
If you liked this recipe, you may enjoy these-


  1. This is a genius idea and looks so tasty! Definitely making!

    1. Thanks Denise! Let me know if you enjoy the recipe! Thanks for stopping by, I hope you have a great weekend! :)


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