By Montana Grant

Posted: September 11, 2021


Crab cakes are delicious. Anyone from places where you could eat Blue Crabs knows what I mean. Montana is way far from anyplace where Blue Crabs live. Dungeness crabs, or any crabs from the Bering Sea, are tasty but not the same.

Whenever you see a recipe like “Poor Man’s” Lobster, or Crab cakes, it makes you wonder. Usually, they are created by cooks that have never tasted real lobster or crab. Recently I was digging through my old recipe files, looking for ways to enjoy zucchini. My garden has exploded with green and yellow varieties. My neighbors have been loaded up, but I still have a boatload. One overlooked zucchini recipe was way in the bottom of the file. It was written on an aged pink 3×5 file card.

Poor Man’s Crab Cakes, from an old friend. Linda gave me this recipe 25 years ago! It just was hiding. Her spelling needed some work, and terms were different, but her other recipes, from back in the day, were winners. So, what the heck, Zucchini Crab cakes?


2 cups of grated zucchini

1 cup of Flavored Breadcrumbs

2 eggs beaten

1 tablespoon of Mayo

2 teaspoons of Old Bay seasoning

Salt and pepper

When you mix this up, it kind of looks like crab. You could even add some real crab or flaked fish to it. I made the faux crab into smaller cakes, not softball sized. Maybe the size of flattened golf ball, or potato Jo Jo’s. Instead of frying them in oil, or deep frying, baking them, I used the new air fryer we recently got.

The cooked Crab Cakes looked like the real deal. The Old Bay aroma was present. We made an avocado garlic sauce and had tartar sauce on the side. You can certainly make up any flavor that you like. The crab Cakes were served as a side to some Halibut that I had baked. After all the crab cakes were a vegetable side.

Now I know what real crab tastes like. These cakes were pretty good for Montana grown zucchini seafood. The texture and taste are close. The filling looks like a finer, stringier meat, not giant lump, but… we live in Montana!

I would serve these at hunting camp in a minute. You can make them up ahead of time and they are quick to cook and easier to eat. They are healthier than starchy pasta, Hush Puppies, or potatoes as a side dish, especially when air fried. I could even see this mixture as a great way to stuff a fish. If you have a Vegan to cook for, this recipe fits the bill.

Next time I plan to add a bit of dry mustard or Dijon to the mix. Panko would work as well as breadcrumbs. Fresh parsley wouldn’t hurt. Maybe some small diced white onion. Cooking them under a broiler, with a bit of butter on top might be fun. Make this unique recipe your own and use up your zucchinis.

I wish I had tried this recipe 25 years ago!

Montana Grant

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