Lately I have had a major hankering for crab cakes. Not fake surimi cakes but honest to goodness crispy crab cakes with little bits of color and that tang of Old Bay seasoning. Unfortunately finding crab—at a reasonable price—around these parts is about as easy as finding Unicorn meat so I had to improvise.
At first I was hopeful I could find canned crabmeat, but alas in Germany most of their canned seafood does not fit the bill. Canned tuna, while not awful, tends to dry out a lot as I learned years ago in a failed attempt to sate a crab cake craving. The rest of this aisle is filled with mackerel, sardines and tuna, but packed in a variety of flavored oils. Needless to say it didn’t fit.
Plus I was sick of using beans so I decided to get some deliciously fresh zucchini. I never was a big fan of zucchini if I’m being honest but when I was about 12 years old our neighbor Rosemary made zucchini pie. And I was thinking “yuck” until I slid a piece off the fork and I decided it was some of the best pie I’d ever eaten. Of course Rosemary made a superb crust that was the perfect blend of flaky and buttery, but the cinnamon, nutmeg and what I later learned was cardamom made zucchini pie taste a whole lot like apple pie.
Fast forward a bunch of years later and I marry a man who loathes any type of squash, much to my chagrin. Lo and behold my butternut squash soup got him over that hurdle so for about the last 6 years I’ve been free to experiment with different squash recipes. Hence the zucchini cakes.
If you don’t like spending time in the kitchen you will probably hate this recipe with everything in you. It isn’t difficult or time consuming but the prep does take some work.
Makes 9 zucchini cakes.
1 large zucchini, grated
2 scallions, chopped
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/8 cup Miracle Whip
Salt & Pepper
2 tbsp. honey mustard
½ cup bread crumbs
2 tbsp. flour
1 egg (or egg substitute)
1 garlic clove, grated
2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
- Grate zucchini then using a cheese cloth or tea towel to remove excess moisture and place in a large mixing bowl.
- Season with salt and pepper and toss with fingers.
- Add in yogurt, Miracle Whip, mustard and garlic and blend.
- Add egg and mix with hands.
- Stir in flour and bread crumbs, adding more or less as needed.
- Let mixture chill in the fridge for 10 to 20 minutes.
- Place one tablespoon of oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat until oil begins to shimmer.
- Drop spoonfuls of mixture into the skillet, leaving enough space for even cooking.
- Cook each zucchini cake 4 to 6 minutes or until golden brown, then turn.
- When oil is done, add more for the next batch of cakes.
- Set aside on paper towel to drain excess oil.
This time around I chose not to make a sauce for dipping. You can use simple honey mustard or stone ground mustard. My favorite dipping sauce is what I use when I make fish tacos, which consist of: sour cream, green yogurt, dill, cumin, lime juice, salt, pepper and hot sauce.
Serve it on top of salad for a complete meal or make smaller cakes for appetizers.