Vegan Old Bay Tofu "Fish" Cakes

Vegan crab cakes made with tofu instead of crab meat!
Vegan crab cakes made with tofu photo by Dirkr / Getty Images
Prep: 35 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 10 servings

Looking for a tasty way to make vegan crab cakes or fish cakes? These vegetarian and vegan crab cakes are a great vegan fish substitute and really do taste kind of fishy, thanks to the unique combination of white wine, nutritional yeast, lime juice, and Old Bay seasoning. They're a great vegetarian and vegan substitute if you're missing seafood.

In this vegan crab cakes recipe, tofu is spiced with Old Bay seasoning, then coated with seasoned bread crumbs to make a mock fish patty and fried in a bit of oil. Old Bay seasoning is a fairly unique blend of several spices, so it wouldn't be easy to use a substitute. However, plenty of crab cake recipes just use fresh parsley, mustard powder, and salt and pepper, so if you were to insist on omitting the Old Bay seasoning, that would be one way to do it. 

Serve your tofu fish cakes with a vegan tartar sauce or a cocktail sauce. Enjoy your vegan crab cakes from tofu!


  • 1 tsp. olive oil (or canola oil or vegetable oil; plus more for frying)
  • 1/2 cup onions (diced)
  • 1 carrot (diced fine)
  • 4 to 5 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 pounds tofu (firm or extra firm, crumbled)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/8 cup white wine (dry; we like Chardonnay, but Sauvignon Blanc is commonly used in cooking as well)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. white pepper
  • Juice from one lime (about 1 tbsp.)
  • 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs (finely ground)
  • 3 tbsp. Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups soy milk (unsweetened is best)
  • Oil for frying

Steps to Make It

  1. Sautee the onions and carrots in olive oil or another high-heat oil such as canola oil, until soft, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for one more minute. Set this mixture aside an allow to cool.

  2. Crumble the tofu into a large bowl and add the cornstarch, nutritional yeast, dry white wine, one teaspoon of salt, white pepper, and lime juice and combine well. Chill this mixture in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

  3. In a separate medium sized bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, Old Bay seasoning and another one teaspoon of salt. Pour the soy milk into a separate wide and shallow bowl.

  4. Using about 1/4 cup of the tofu mixture at a time, form small patties. Gently coat the patties with flour, then dip in soy milk. Next, coat well with the seasoned breadcrumbs. Chill for at least 30 minutes.

  5. Heat a thin layer of oil in a large skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Cook your tofu fish patties in a thin layer of oil until golden brown on each side, about 4-5 minutes on each side.

  6. Serve your Old Bay tofu crab cakes with a tartar sauce or cocktail sauce, or, if you're cooking for kids, ketchup is just as delicious. Enjoy!

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