This homemade vegan fish cakes recipe is easy to make with jackfruit and chickpeas – They are crispy on the outside, tender on the inside and taste like real crab cakes, even though these veggie patties are 100% plant-based and contain no fish! Serve them with vegan remoulade sauce as party appetizers, game day snacks or side dish with burgers, fries & more!
Healthy Vegan No Fish Crab Cakes
Made with fresh ingredients and natural seasonings, these vegan fish cakes are not only healthy, but also as delicious as the classic! They are made with jackfruit, chickpeas and potatoes, and other veggies, seasoned with ground nori seaweed and a variety of spices, then formed into patties and fried until golden brown and crisp! They are crispy on the outside, flaky and tender on the inside and simply amazing! Especially paired with the creamy and zesty vegan mayo-dill dip that is to die for!
The vegan fish cakes are so good that everyone will love them – whether vegan, vegetarian or omnivore! The veggie patties are rich in plant protein, contain complex carbohydrates, lots of nutrients and almost no fat. Thanks to the seaweed, it’s not only easy to mimic the taste of fish, but also to get your iodine needs. If you drizzle vegan omega-3 oil over the patties, you can even enrich them with the healthy fats found in real seafood, making these fish cakes a perfect fish substitute!
- Chickpeas: These protein-filled legumes will hold the patties together and give them a tender texture.
- Jackfruit: The shreds will give the fishcakes a flaky and meaty quality. Since it has a neutral flavor and is highly absorbent, the fish seasoning and spices will really shine through! You can also use artichoke hearts or hearts of palms as alternatives.
- Potatoes: Using them is a great way to make the fish cakes hearty and filling! You can also use leftover mashed potatoes.
- Carrot: adds texture, moisture, naturally sweetness and a pop of color!
- Green onions and parsley: give the patties earthy pops of freshness!
- Nori leaf: its naturally sweet, salty, and umami flavors make it an ideal “sea” flavoring for this vegan crab cake recipe. You can either cut the nori leaf into small pieces with scissors or grind it finely in a coffee grinder. You can also use seaweed flakes or dulce granules as an alternative.
- Tomato paste: aside from adding tons of flavor, it also helps in binding the ingredients together.
- Mustard: I used medium hot mustard for that perfect blend of spicy and tangy!
- Vegan skyr: you can use vegan sour cream or vegan mayonnaise instead. This helps make the fish cakes moist and flavorful.
- Fish seasoning: a delicious blend of herbs and spices that will liven up any dish! You can buy these ready-mixes at most groceries and supermarkets. You can also use another seasoning blend of your choice instead.
- Garlic powder: you can also use fresh minced garlic if you prefer.
- Breadcrumbs: this will keep the fish patties from turning too soft and allows them to help it shape better. I also used it to coat the cakes to give them a crunchier and golden exterior. Another option is to use oat flour.
- Salt and pepper
As always, I recommend checking out the recipe video and these step-by-step instructions first. Then you’ll find the full recipe with the exact measurements in the recipe card below!
Step 1: Make the vegan fish mixture
Start by shredding the jackfruit with a fork or your hands, making sure to pat the shreds dry. Place chickpeas and potatoes in a large bowl and mash coarsely with a fork or potato masher. Then add jackfruit shreds, carrot, green onion, parsley, ground nori seaweed, and all remaining ingredients (tomato paste, mustard, skyr, fish seasoning, garlic powder, bread crumbs, and salt) and mix well.
Step 2: Cook vegan fish cakes
Form about 12 patties from the mixture and optionally roll them in breadcrumbs. Heat some oil in a large pan and fry the patties for about 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown and crispy.
Garnish the crunchy vegan chickpea fish cakes with fresh dill, parsley, capers, chili flakes and lemon slices as desired and serve with vegan remoulade sauce. They are perfect as a side dish for potato salad, pasta salad, Buddha Bowls, or wrapped iin naan bread, flatbread, or tortillas to make wraps. Or serve them between homemade bread or burger buns with your favorite veggies and sauces to make sandwiches and fish burgers. You can also pair them with other dips like hummus, tzatziki, aioli, herb dip, or ketchup.
- Make sure that the chickpeas and jackfruits are drained and dried to keep the patties from becoming watery and difficult to form. In case it is too mushy, add a bit of flour to firm it up.
- When shaping the crab cakes, use a gentle hand. Do not pack them too tight or they will become tough or dry when cooked. This can also lead to the insides remaining raw.
- The no-fish cakes should be shaped equally so they will cook evenly.
- You can make the fish cakes ahead of time and keep them in the fridge for a few hours to overnight to make them even more flavorful!
If you want to lessen oil in your diet, you also have the option to bake them instead of frying them. Just brush the patties thinly with oil and then bake them in a preheated oven at 428 °F (220 °C) for about 15 minutes. You can also bake them using your air-fryer at 392 °F (200 °C) for around 10 minutes. You’ll have to cook in batches to prevent overfilling the basket.
You can make the fish cakes ahead of time and keep them in the fridge for a couple of days and in the freezer for at least 2 months. Make sure to place wax paper or plastic in between so they do not stick together. Let them thaw to room temperature before frying or baking.
These Vegan Crab Cakes are:
- Without fish
- Can be made gluten-free
- Easy to make
- Flaky and fishy
- As delicious as the original!
More Vegan Fish Recipes to try
- Carrot Lox
- Crunchy Tofu Fish Fillets
- King Oyster Mushroom Scallops
- Watermelon Tuna
- Tofu Salmon Fillet
- Tofu Fish Nuggets
- Chickpea Tuna Salad
If you try this easy recipe for vegan fish cakes, feel free to leave me a comment and a star rating! And if you take a photo of your result and share it on Instagram or Facebook, please tag me @biancazapatka and use the hashtag #biancazapatka because I love seeing your remakes! Enjoy! 🙂
Vegan Crab Cakes (No Fish Patties)Author:
- 1x14 oz can (400 g) chickpeas 240 g drained weight
- 1x14 oz can (400 g) jackfruit 240 g drained weight
- 4.2 oz (120 g) cooked potatoes from the previous day
- 1 (80 g) carrot finely grated
- 2 (45 g) green onions finely chopped
- 3 tbsp fresh parsley finely chopped
- 1 nori sheet ground (or 2-3 tbsp seaweed flakes)
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tsp yellow mustard medium hot
- 3 tbsp vegan skyr thick yogurt, or vegan sour cream or vegan mayonnaise
- 2 tsp fish seasoning *see notes
- 1 tsp garlic powder or 2 fresh garlic cloves pressed
- 1 cup (60 g) breadcrumbs or ground oats + a little more for rolling
- 1 tsp salt or to taste
- vegetable oil for frying
To serve (optional)
- Vegan Remoulade Sauce
- chili flakes
- fresh parsley and dill
*Note: Check out the recipe video + step-by-step photos above!
- Drain the chickpeas and jackfruit, rinse and rub well dry with a clean kitchen towel. Cut off the hard stems of the jackfruit and chop finely. Shred the tender part of the jackfruit with a fork or your hands. Then pat dry again well.
- Place chickpeas and potatoes in a large bowl and mash coarsely with a fork or potato masher.
- Add chopped jackfruit, finely grated carrot, finely chopped green onion and parsley, ground nori seaweed, and all remaining ingredients (tomato paste, mustard, skyr, fish seasoning, garlic powder, bread crumbs, and salt) to potato-chickpea mixture and mix well. (Optional: For even more flavor, you can cover the bowl afterwards and chill for 1-2 hours or overnight).
- Then form about 12 patties from the mixture and optionally roll them in breadcrumbs. Heat some oil in a large frying pan and fry the meatballs for about 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown and crisp.
- Fish seasoning: you can use another seasoning blend of your choice instead.
- Nori: You can either cut the nori leaf into small pieces with scissors or grind it finely in a coffee grinder. Alternatively, you can use seaweed flakes.
- Oven: You can also brush the patties with oil and then bake them in a preheated oven at 428 °F (220 °C) for about 15 minutes.
- More helpful tips and information, including ingredient notes and instructions for storing and freezing, are mentioned in the blog post above!
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