This easy Lion’s Mane mushroom recipe creates a delicious meatless and gluten-free entrée that tastes just like crab. It’s Paleo, Keto, and can be made Vegan with a few simple substitutions.
The diverse textures and flavors of our fungi never ceases to amaze me.
If you thought that a mushroom that tastes like chicken was something, be prepared to be blown away over by one that looks and tastes like crab!
Let’s Talk About Lion’s Mane
Lion’s Mane aka Pom Pom or Hericium erinaceus is a stunning fungus found widely throughout North America.
It is classified as a tooth fungi. Instead of gills, is has thin spore-producing structures that hang downward like teeth or–if you use your imagination– the mane of a lion.
Lion’s Mane has many traditional uses as a medical mushroom, and studies have shown it has promise in treating neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Where To Find Lion’s Mane
- In the Woods: This mushroom typically grows from late summer throughout fall on living hardwood trees. It often grows high up on trees, so keep an eye to the sky when hunting for it!
- At The Market: Due to its growing popularity, commercially grown Lion’s Mane can often be found at local farmer’s markets. I’ve even heard reports of it being sold at Whole Foods.
- Grow Your Own: Of course, you can take matters into your own hands and easily grow some Lion’s Mane at home.
I picked up a few grow kits from Myc Tyson which produced over a pound of Lion’s Mane for my first flush. Hazzah!
How to Make Lion’s Mane Mushroom Crab Cakes
For this Lion’s Mane recipe you’ll need:
- Lion’s Mane
- Red Onion
- Red Bell Pepper
- Almond Flour
- Egg (or flax egg for a vegan option)
- Mayonnaise or vegan mayo
- Old Bay seasoning
- fresh parsley
- garlic powder
- fresh lemon juice and lemon wedges
- avocado oil or high heat cooking oil of choice
Start by tearing the Lion’s Mane mushroom in to small pieces resembling crab.
Heat a small amount of oil in a large skillet, then add the Lion’s Mane along with a small pinch of salt.
Cook the mushrooms for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are tender.
The idea here is to sweat the mushrooms so that they release as much moisture as possible.
Transfer the Lion’s Mane to a mesh strainer. After it cools off a little bit, use the back of a spoon (or your hands) to squeeze out as much remaining liquid as possible.
Lion’s Mane, like most mushrooms, are loaded with water. This process will ensure that the crab cakes stay together once you form them.
Pro Tip: Save that juice! It’s loaded with goodness. Reheat it and drink as a tea, or dump some in your coffee.
Meanwhile, combine the almond flour, egg, onion, pepper, garlic powder, lemon juice, parsley and Old Bay seasoning in a large bowl and mix well.
Add the Lion’s Mane pieces to the bowl and give everything a good mix to throughly combine it.
Form the mixture into 4 patties. I’ve found that pressing the mixture down into a 1/2 cup measuring scoop works really well for this.
Chill the patties in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to help them form up a bit.
Finally wipe the skillet clean, then heat a couple tablespoons of oil to medium high heat.
Gently add the crab cakes to the skillet and fry for about 3-4 minutes per side until golden brown.
These Lion’s Mane Crab Cakes can also be backed in the oven with great success. It also is a fail-proof way to ensure the crab cakes don’t fall apart in the frying pan.
Simply line a baking sheet with a mat or parchment paper, then place the formed patties on top.
Drizzle a little oil over the patties and sprinkle some almond flour on top, then transfer them to a preheated 425°F oven.
Bake for about 15-20 minutes until the crab cakes are golden brown and cooked through.
I like to serve these Lion’s Mane Crab Cakes with a quick spicy aioli made from mayonnaise and hot sauce. You can also pair them with your favorite tartar sauce or cocktail sauce.
More Mushroom Recipes!
Lion’s Mane Mushroom Crab Cakes
- 1 pound Lion's Mane
- 3 tablespoons avocado oil divided
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise homemade or Whole30 compliant
- 1/4 cup red onion finely diced
- 1/4 cup red bell pepper finely diced
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- lemon wedges for serving
For Spicy Aioli
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise homemade or Whole30 compliant
- 2 tablespoons hot sauce
- Gently wipe the Lion's Mane clean of and dirt and tear into small 1-inch pieces.
- Heat 1 teaspoon of avocado oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the Lion's Mane and sea salt and cook for about 10 minutes, until the mushrooms have release their moisture.
- Transfer the mushrooms to a fine mesh strainer and allow it to cool. Using the back of a spoon, press the mushrooms against the strainer to squeeze out and additional liquid.
- Combine the remaining ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Add the mushroom pieces and mix until thoroughly combined.
- Using a 1/2 cup measuring scoop, form the mixture int 4 patties. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Wipe the skillet clean, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of avocado oil and then return to medium high heat. Gently fry the crab cakes for 3-4 minutes per side until golden brown. Serve with lemon wedges and Spicy Aioli.
For the Spicy Aioli
- Throughly mix the ingredients together in a small bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.
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