Crab Cakes with Avocado-Wasabi Sauce

Healthy baked crab cakes made with Asian flavors: lime, ginger, and coconut. This 30-minute meal is served with a creamy vegan wasabi sauce. Dairy free.

I don’t post about it a lot, but seafood is actually a staple part of our diet. The only reason I haven’t featured more of it is that I can’t cook a good-looking piece of fish to save my life. I can make it taste good, but I’ve either poked the holy heck out of it, or it comes off the pan broken… and I just can’t get seem to get a picturesque sear when it counts.

But crabcakes covered in panko and baked (my preferred foolproof method so they won’t fall apart), I can do. Now, this flavor combo could also be applied to chickpea cakes, but this time these are the real thing. Not krab with a K, and not a veggie “crab” quotation-marked-version. They’re made with fresh Louisiana crab that I couldn’t pass up at the market the other day.

What I love about making crab cakes at home is that they taste just as good as they do in a restaurant except without the frying and the butter. They taste like a splurge, but they aren’t. This asian(esque) version made with coconut milk adds a sweet, rich flavor and no mayo is required.

This sauce, on a whim, turned out to be a total winner… I had half an avocado and an opened package of silken tofu that needed using up, so I made this creamy wasabi sauce. Later I thinned it with a bit of water and used it as a creamy vegan salad dressing.

Adapted from

5.0 from 3 reviews

Crab Cakes with Avocado-Wasabi Sauce

Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2
For the crabcakes:
  • 4-5 ounces lump crabmeat
  • 1 small shallot, chopped (about ¼ cup)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons regular coconut milk (not light), or more if needed
  • ½ lime, juice and zest
  • ¼ cup panko, plus more to shape cakes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • Sea salt and fresh black pepper
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon sriracha (optional)
For the avocado-wasabi sauce:
  • ¼ cup silken tofu
  • ½ avocado
  • Juice of ¼ to ½ lemon, to taste
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • ¼ or ½ teaspoon wasabi paste, (or to taste depending on your spice preference)
  • Sea salt and fresh black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder (or 1 tablespoon minced onion – both optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Gently mix the crab cake ingredients: the crabmeat, shallot, garlic, ginger, honey, egg white, coconut milk, lime juice and zest, panko, cilantro, sriracha, if using, and pinches of salt and pepper. Form into patties, and coat with extra panko on all sides.
  3. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. I turned on the broiler for the last 1-2 minutes. You can flip halfway through, but I forgot to, and it worked out just fine. Alternatively, pan fry the cakes in a skillet.
  4. Make the sauce: To a food processor, add the tofu, avocado, lemon juice, garlic, wasabi, onion powder, if using, and pinches of salt and pepper. Process until smooth, and chill until serving.




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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Rachel Cantin

    Very good! also served with a spicy-sesame mayo on the side.

  2. Mary-Beth Charno

    Hello everybody. I was wondering about size of the cakes. I’m making this as an appetizer for 8. I’m imagining these are large but I can reduce to mini’s. Yes? Double the recipe? Thanks.

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  4. Julie

    made these tonight – they were so good! mine didn’t brown up as much as in the picture, but they were still delicious.

  5. I’m loving the addition of coconut milk to this! I would of never thunk it! 🙂 Seafood can definitely be tricky to take pictures of. And you always risk a “cake” of any kind to crumble into a heaping mess in transport. I think the panko crumb coating definitely helped keep these looking pristine and flawless though. They look stunning!

  6. Scream my name with those ingredients why don’t you! I come from Maryland, home of the crabcake, and this asian/fusion twist sounds like the perfect refresher from the traditional crab cake. I can’t wait to test it out on my crab-loving friends and family next time I go home!

  7. I’ve tried something similar to this with salmon but forgot all about how much I liked it! Thanks for the reminder about how good fare from the sea pares with panko and spices. Yum!

  8. Great recipe! I can’t wait to try it out – just need to find some gluten-free panko crumbs and this meal is allergen-free (well, minus the shellfish). Beautiful, as always.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.