Vegan MoFo Day #17, Post #13: Make (or eat) a traditional local dish: RI clam cakes veganized!

Apparently vegan seafood is my specialty. And why wouldn’t it be living in New England? I’ve made vegan shrimp bao, lobstah salad, vegan scallops wrapped in tempeh bacon (that was actually featured on the Bake and Destroy Blog for Superbowl recipes), papaya lox, and probably more that I am forgetting! I’ve fantasized about making a vegan New England Beach food truck more than once…

Today I decided to veganize a Rhode Island (my home state) favorite seafood snack, the clam cake. According to Wikipedia, “Clam cakes, which can also be called clam fritters, are a New England food, most commonly found in Rhode Island.” I didn’t really eat these before going vegan, but from what I know, these are not a “cake” in the way you’d think of a crab cake or whatever (which can also be veganized–check out this recipe I love). They are more like a fritter or even a weird type of fried donut.

I made these with dried reconstituted shiitake mushrooms in place of the clams. They were pretty darn good!

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I served them with some vegan Tartar sauce (relish and Just Mayo), and my favorite new thing: Broccoli Fries, They’re french fries with broccoli in them. I threw out the bag and the trash went out so I can’t tell you the name of the brand that makes them currently…I’ll try to remember to share this some other time.

Here is the recipe!

Vegan/Gluten Free New England “Clam” (Shiitake) Cakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz package dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp kelp granules
  • 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • Cold Veggie Broth and boiling water mixed together, enough to soak the dried mushrooms in
  • 1 cup yellow corn flour (not cornmeal!)
  • 1/2 cup superfine brown rice flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp dried dil
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chia seeds with 1/4 cup water
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • Peanut oil, for frying

Directions:

  1. Reconstitute the dried mushrooms by placing in a medium sized bowl. Pour the water and broth over them. Stir in the kelp granules and Old Bay. Let sit for thirty minutes.
  2. In the meantime, mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Prepare the chia seeds and water mix, whisking several times, and let it sit until the mushrooms are done.
  4. When the mushrooms are moist after 30 minutes, drain in a strainer. Don’t rinse them off or anything, you want the seasonings to remain (I almost did that out of habit).
  5. Cut each mushroom into thin strip. You probably want to cut those in half as well, but that’s up to you.
  6. Add the chia water mixture, lemon juice, and light coconut milk to the dry ingredients.
  7. Pour about an inch of peanut oil into a frying pan/skillet with tall sides. Begin to heat the oil on high.
  8. Fold in the chopped shiitakes to the batter mix.
  9. The oil is hot enough when a drop of the batter immediately sizzles when placed in the oil.
  10. Set aside a plate or platter lined with paper towels to drain the excess oil and cool the cakes when done.
  11. Before frying the batter, turn the heat to medium, you will need to adjust this occasionally as you continue to fry them.
  12. Drop large spoonfuls of the batter into the oil.You will most likely need to cook them in two batches. Don’t get tempted to overcrowd the pan.
  13. Flip them over when the side facing the bottom of the pan is golden brown. They are ready when they are golden brown on both sides.
  14. Take each cake out with a slotted spoon so that you don’t get hot oil all over the place. Gently transfer to the plate with the paper towel, and allow to cool before serving.

Here are some more pictures of the process:

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After the Shiitake are reconstituted and drained

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The batter minus the shiitake

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The shiitake all chopped up

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Some finished cakes.

I haven’t gotten a chance really to look at many other people’s MoFos because of my workload lately 😦 But I hope to be looking a bit more this weekend *fingers crossed* If you’ve been participating with your blog, and you want me to check it out, be sure to comment on this post (and/or tomorrow’s) so I remember to look!

Also, don’t forget to “Like” me on Facebook if you haven’t already! Or follow me on Twitter. And Instagram.

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