Kung-Pow Crab Cakes

By TWS resident Nutritionist Quincey Cummings

One of the many benefits of living on the ocean is year-round access to the freshest seafood!

A common catch along the California coast is crab. The most popular being Dungeness and the Red rock crab. Seafood Watch rates crab on the Pacific coast as a moderate, “good alternative” for sustainable seafood choices. The main concerns are the effects of crab pots on other marine life if they are concentrated in large quantities or use massive pots. All the better reason to source crab from small, local fishing operations. If you’re feeling adventurous, get yourself a recreational fishing permit, a crab pot, and seek out responsible mentors to teach you how to safely catch your own crab!

Kung-Pow Crab Cakes

Ingredients for Crab Cakes

2 cups cooked crab meat

2 eggs

3 - 4 tablespoon coconut flour

2 tablespoons of yogurt of choice

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

salt & pepper


  1. Simply mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. I find using a fork helps to mix well and break up the meat.

  2. Ideally, let the mixture sit for about 30 minutes in the fridge. This allows it to firm and stays moist.

  3. Take about 1/3 cup of the mixture, shape it into a ball. Place on a plate or cookie sheet, press down to flatten to about 1/2 inch thickness

  4. Take a skillet and heat up some coconut oil on medium heat. Once the pan is hot, gently place the formed cakes down on one side. Cook for 4-5 minutes, or until golden brown to your liking! Gently flip the cakes, repeat on the other side.

These cakes taste amazing with a fiery Kung Pow Sauce (see recipe below), massaged kale salad with olive oil, lime juice, sea salt, and sushi rice.

Makes about 6 small cakes, serves 2

Ingredients for Kung Pow Sauce

1 tablespoon refined coconut oil (or neutral, high-heat oil like avocado oil)

10 dried chilies

1/2 teaspoon crushed Szechuan peppercorns

1/2 cup chopped cashews

1” knob ginger, peeled and minced

2 tablespoons scallions chopped

1/4 cup finely chopped red and/or green bell peppers

1/4 cup thinly sliced celery

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1/3 cup tamari (alternatives - soy sauce, Bragg’s Aminos, coconut aminos)

2 tablespoons coconut sugar

3 tablespoons rice vinegar

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1-1/4 cup water

2 tsp arrowroot powder (alternative - organic corn starch)

Instructions for Kung Pow Sauce

  1. Heat oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add chilies and cook until fragrant, but barely browned (around 1 minute)

  2. Add the Szechuan peppercorns and cashews, stir for about 30 seconds.

  3. Add minced ginger, stir and cook on medium-low heat for a few more minutes until cashews are golden brown

  4. Add in scallions, bell peppers, and celery. Stir and cook for 2 minutes. Add garlic, stir.

  5. Add tamari, vinegar, sugar, salt, and 1 cup of water. Increase heat and bring to a boil

  6. Whisk arrowroot powder and remaining 1/4 cup of water together in a small cup, add this to the sauce mixture, and stir. The sauce will start to thicken in about 3 minutes.

Makes about one cup (8oz.)

Kung Pao Sauce inspired by and adapted from Vegan Richa’s Everyday Kitchen (a favorite aboard S/V Esprit !)

Quincey Cummings​

Quincey is a holistic nutritionist and co-captain aboard her Kelly Peterson 46, Esprit. She spent much of her childhood in Southeast Asia and she's had the great fortune to travel to many countries. Her culinary tastes reflect a fusion of worldly cuisines. She holds a degree in Nutrition and Human Development and is a certified Nutritionist. She delights in sharing two of her greatest passions; sailing and great food! Her desire is to inspire other cruisers to nourish themselves every day with delicious meals they can create in small, moving spaces.

Together with her partner they liveaboard and cruise the Southern California coast and the Channel Islands, with plans to venture further south and into the Trade Winds.

You can find more delicious, cruising-friendly recipes on her Galley Blog www.FairwindsNutrition.me


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