Have you ever wanted the perfect crab cake but just couldn’t seem to get the right consistency?
Mayo can be a big help in this situation, but it’s not always an option.
Whether you don’t have any mayo on hand or want to change up your crab cake recipe, there are some great alternatives to try out.
From egg whites to mashed potatoes, each one provides just the right texture for that perfect bite.
This article will guide you through different substitutes for mayo and how to use them in your next batch of homemade crab cakes for a unique and delicious dish.
Why Use Mayo in Crab Cakes?
When making a crab cake, you may be wondering why incorporating mayonnaise is such an important step.
The addition of mayonnaise not only adds flavor to the dish but also creates a better taste and texture.
Though it may seem intimidating to those who are unfamiliar with the technique, using mayonnaise in a crab cake is quite simple.
In its most basic form, when making your crab cake batter, you simply need to incorporate some mayonnaise and mix it until uniformly distributed.
Doing this not only helps bind all the ingredients together but also adds great flavor as well as moisture to the batter.
Additionally, since mayo has such a creamy consistency and mild taste, it helps make seafood dishes particularly succulent while also helping keep them from drying out during baking.
The 5 Best Substitutes for Mayo in Crab Cakes
Not everyone is a fan of mayonnaise, though it’s certainly the most widely used binder for crab cakes.
But there are plenty of alternatives to mayo that work just as well.
From Greek yogurt to hummus to cilantro chutney, you’ll find some great substitutes for mayo that can add wonderful flavor and texture to your crab cakes.
Read on for five of the best substitutes for mayonnaise in crab cakes.
1 – Plain Greek Yogurt
Plain Greek Yogurt – The high fat and protein content of plain Greek yogurt generally result in a very moist crab cake.
To avoid overpowering the delicate flavor of the crab, use plain yogurt with no added herbs or spices, and choose one that is unsweetened.
You can add a pinch of garlic powder, onion powder, or lemon zest to enhance the flavor.
Keep in mind that the moisture content of Greek yogurt is high, so start by adding just half a cup and make adjustments from there.
When baking crab cakes with Greek yogurt as an ingredient, you’ll need to reduce baking time because it burns more quickly than mayo does.
2 – Cashew Cream
While mayonnaise is the preferred binder when making crab cakes, cashew cream can also be used as a substitute.
To make it, simply soak raw cashews overnight in water until they double in size, then drain and rinse the nuts before blending with unsweetened almond milk or vegetable broth.
Cashew cream is just as effective as mayo in holding the mixture together, and it adds its own subtle nuttiness to the flavor of your crab cakes.
However, if you are vegan or are looking for a healthier option than mayo, this is definitely worth trying.
3 – Aioli
Aioli is a type of mayonnaise that is popular in Mediterranean countries like Spain, France, and Italy.
It is usually flavored with garlic and can be used in place of mayo in crab cakes or any other dish calling for mayo.
It enhances the overall flavor of the dish as its subtle garlic aroma helps to bring out the flavors of other ingredients.
Unlike regular mayonnaise, aioli has a thick and silky texture that gives depth to your recipes.
It’s also much richer than regular mayonnaise, so you will only need to use half of what you would normally use when making crab cakes.
To make your own aioli at home, combine equal parts olive oil and vegetable oil with minced garlic, salt, lemon juice or white wine vinegar, egg yolk and Dijon mustard in a blender or food processor.
Blend until it becomes an emulsion – this will take about 3-4 minutes – then adjust seasoning as desired before using it in your recipe.
4 – Avocado
Avocado is a great substitute for mayo in crab cakes.
Avocado is high in fat, low in carbs, and filled with dietary fiber.
Avocado also has a creamy texture that makes it perfect for making crab cakes without mayo.
When making crab cakes with avocado, mash the avocado and mix it with the other ingredients.
This will give the crab cakes an extra creaminess and add a boost of healthy fats to the recipe.
5 – Hummus
Hummus is a traditional Middle Eastern dip made with mashed chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, and other spices.
It makes a great substitute for mayo.
While it may have a different flavor and texture than mayonnaise, hummus still serves well as a binding agent to help hold the ingredients of your crab cake together.
To use hummus instead of mayo, mix equal parts hummus and crab meat.
This produces a slightly crisper texture than using only mayo or eggs would produce, so if you want to make sure your crab cakes stay together when you cook them without having any soggy spots or falling apart on the grill or pan-fryer then hummus is an excellent choice.
Additionally, many people find that hummus adds an interesting flavor to the dish overall.
Mayonnaise has been a popular ingredient in crab cakes over the years, but you don’t have to use it.
There are many substitutes that offer just as much flavor and moistness.
From cream cheese to Greek yogurt, these options are healthier and more versatile for those who prefer a mayo-free crab cake.
No matter what substitute you choose, be sure to add some fresh herbs or crunchy vegetables as well.
This will give your crab cakes an added layer of flavor and texture so they turn out extra delicious.
Don’t forget the other basic ingredients too like eggs, Worcestershire sauce, breadcrumbs or panko and whatever seasonings you prefer such as Old Bay or paprika.
As you can see, using mayo in your crab cakes is not the only option — there are plenty of great substitutes that can provide the same moisture and taste without all the added fat and calories.
Think outside of the box when making this classic dish and make something that suits your tastes and dietary needs.