Looking for a star appetizer or fun side dish for your summer menu?  Consider this twist on the classic crab cake with these beautiful, mini crispy croquettes.  Your shellfish allergic & vegetarian friends will love you for it!  We ditched the crab and substituted with lion’s mane mushrooms for this gourmet, yet approachable classic dish.  We also recommend using oyster mushrooms if lion’s mane mushrooms are not accessible to you at a local farmer’s market.  Ideally, they are both available during the mid-summer months.  We served these tasty mini crab-less “crab” cakes with a dollop of our homemade Greek yogurt tartar sauce on top, then garnished with some lovely radish micro-greens (or you can also you parsley if micro-greens are difficult to find).  The flavors are delightful together and make for the perfect light & savory summer appetizer at a seafood boil or friendly gathering.   


For the Crab Cakes:

  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons spicy coarsely ground Dijon mustard
  • 1 dash of your favorite hot sauce
  • ½ tablespoon lightly chopped capers
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1 generous dash of freshly ground pepper
  • 1 ½ cup chopped lion’s mane or oyster mushrooms
  • ⅔ cup plain breadcrumbs or panko breadcrumbs (or mix half & half)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons old bay spice seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon diced chives
  • ½ medium-sized shallot, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup radish micro-greens, for garnish

For the Greek Yogurt Tartar Sauce:

  • 1 cup Greek Yogurt (we recommend using a thick Greek yogurt, such as Fage)
  • 1 ½ tablespoon spicy coarsely ground Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon McClures pickle relish
  • ½ lemon, freshly squeezed



  1. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, Worcestershire, hot sauce, red pepper, capers, egg, shallot, chives, parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, old bay seasoning, salt and pepper.  Gently fold the mushrooms into the mixture and add breadcrumbs.
  2. Form 8-12 uniformly sized patties by gently pressing in your palms.  Arrange on a plate and refrigerate for about 30 minutes to let set and avoid sticking when cooking.
  3. Meanwhile, combine ingredients for the tartar sauce in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside.
  4. Once patties have set, remove from the refrigerator and heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the butter and olive oil.
  5.  While the butter and olive oil heat, season the patties on both sides with salt and pepper.  Arrange the patties in a single layer in the pan, spaced evenly.  
  6. Cook for 3 minutes, or until golden on one side; turn and cook on the second side for another 3 minutes.  
  7. Serve warm with a dollop of the tartar sauce on top, then garnish with parsley or micro-greens as an appetizer or delicious light meal. Make sure to pair with some bubbly, light beer or lovely white wine while you are at it and ENJOY!



4-6 servings (about 2-3 per person)

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Author:  Jennifer Kuhar