Recipe: Lion’s Mane crab cakes


5 oz. fresh lion’s mane mushrooms
pinch salt
2 tsp. water

1 Tbsp rounded minced scallion
1 Tbsp rounded minced red bell pepper
2-1/2 Tbsp panko breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp rounded high fat mayonnaise
2 tsp chopped herbs like cilantro tarragon, or Italian parsley
1 tsp worcesterchire or similar I use mushroom ketchup
1/4 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning optional, a mix of paprika, cayenne, and extra salt can be substituted
1 small egg (quail if you can get them!)
Kosher salt to taste

All purpose flour for dredging
Flavorless oil for cooking the cakes

Serve with:
Fresh green salad
Dollop of spicy mayonnaise optional
Fresh cut chives optional
Lemon wedges

Pick the lions mane mushrooms into pieces to resemble crab meat. Put the mushrooms in a pan with the water and salt, cover and bring to a simmer, stir, cover, and cook for a few minutes until the mushrooms are wilted and have given up their juice.

Allow the mushrooms to cool, then squeeze out as much water as you possibly can. This step is important as mushrooms, unlike crab, contain lots of water.

Combine the mushrooms with the cake ingredients and mix well. Taste a bit of the mixture (you can cook it if raw egg weirds you out) adjust the seasoning for salt and anything else you’re looking for, then allow the crab cake mix to rest for at least 15 minutes to allow the breadcrumbs to hydrate, which will make forming the cakes easier. In a perfect world, you’ll let it sit overnight.

To cook the cakes, form one or two patties of the mixture (it will be delicate, don’t worry—the egg will set as they cook). For the most refined look, form the cakes using a ring mold.

Heat a pan with a few tablespoons of oil.

Heat an oven to 350F. Meanwhile, gently dredge the cakes in flour on both sides, tap off the excess, and brown gently on medium heat. When one side of the cakes are golden brown, gently flip the cakes and transfer the pan to the oven and cook until hot throughout, about 10 minutes.

Remove the cakes to a plate with a fresh green salad, top with a dollop of spicy mayonnaise or aioli if using, sprinkle with chives and serve with lemon wedges on the side. The cakes are also excellent served on a bun like you would a burger.

adapted from