Hearts of palm form the base of these delicious vegan crab cake sliders, seasoned with dill and Old Bay. We crush saltines to bind the mixture and shape it into cakes before deep frying. Serve with a creamy sauce made with vegan mayo, sriracha and capers.
What are hearts of palm?
Hearts of palm, a white vegetable extracted from palm trees thriving in humid regions of South and Central America, undergo a specific process to ensure their freshness. After harvesting, the hearts of palm are promptly boiled, cut into cylinders, and carefully packed in a brine solution due to their perishable nature. If possible, look for hearts of palm brands that note they use sustainable harvesting practices on the can.
What do hearts of palm look and taste like?
Hearts of palm are pale white in color and look like smooth asparagus spears, but thicker. They have a neutral or slightly nutty flavor, similar to artichokes. The texture is flaky, and the brine adds a slightly salty note. I love using them in vegan seafood dishes because the delicate texture and neutral flavor mimics crab or lobster.
How to make these vegan crab cake sliders
These vegan crab cakes are golden and crunchy on the outside and super rich and flakey on the inside. I will share my secret to getting these crab cakes just right: use hand-crushed saltines, which help bind the hearts of palm and vegan mayo together. Old Bay and dill gives the mixture that seafood feel, and apple cider vinegar adds just the right amount of acid.
Once I fry up these crab cakes, I serve them on toasted, buttery buns. The crunch of the cakes against the crunch of the buns is so good! The special sauce pulls everything together. Vegan mayo adds richness, the capers and brine add a salty acidity and the sriracha adds a little pop of spice.
Look at these beauties! These fry up to a perfect golden shade in minutes.
Note: You’ll need to use the mixture right away for a crisp crab cake that holds its shape in the hot oil. Don’t refrigerate the mixture or leave it out too long, or your crab cakes will be mushy and sad. 🙁
Check out these recipes for more ways to use hearts of palm!
You can add microgreens, arugula or butter lettuce for a pop of green and lemon wedges to serve if you’d like!
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These flavorful vegan crab cake sliders are made with hearts of palm and seasoned with dill and Old Bay. It’s deep-fried and served on a toasted slider bun with special sauce. This is a perfect vegan seafood appetizer!
for the crab cakes
- 1/4 cup vegan mayo
- 1/4 tsp dill
- 1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1, 14 oz. can hearts of palm, halved, then smashed with the flat part of a knife, then rough chopped
- 2 tsp Old Bay
- 10 saltines, crushed up with your hands
- canola, grapeseed or vegetable oil, for frying.
for the special sauce
- 1/4 cup vegan mayo
- 2 tsp capers
- 1/2 tsp sriracha
- toasted slider buns (use olive oil or vegan butter)
- arugula, microgreens or butter lettuce (optional)
- lemon wedges (optional)
to prep the crab cake mixture
- Combine the first 3 ingredients together in a small bowl.
- Place the chopped hearts of palm into a separate bowl. Season with the Old Bay.
- Gently fold in the crushed saltines.
- Add the sauce to the crab cake mixture and gently fold again until combined.
- Form the mixture into 4 crab cakes and set aside.
to fry the crab cakes
- Place several inches of oil into a medium-sized dutch oven or cast iron pot.
- Heat the oil to about 375. It should take about 7 minutes over medium high heat.
- You can test the oil’s readiness by inserting a chopstick into the oil so it touches the bottom of the pot. If bubbles form around the chopstick immediately, you are ready to fry.
- Place one of the crab cakes onto a skimmer and lower gently into the oil. You can add another if you like, but keep the fry number to 1 or 2 for each batch.
- Using the skimmer, gently roll the crab cakes around and allow to fry for 2-3 minutes, or until deeply golden.
- Using the skimmer, transfer the crab cakes to a baking sheet with a cookie rack over the top to drain while you fry the rest.
to toast your slider buns
- Preheat a cast iron skillet over medium heat.
- Add in enough vegan butter or olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan.
- Working in batches, add in the slider buns and allow to toast, gently pressing them down with your hand or a spatula to ensure even contact.
- Smear a tablespoon of the special sauce to the bun, and add the crab cake.
- Serve with greens and lemon wedges if you’d like.
The mixture needs to be used right away—do not chill.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Lunch, Dinner
- Method: Deep Fried
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: vegan crab cakes, vegan crab cake, vegan crab, vegan seafood