Making New Friends and Crab Cakes

IMG_6703I’ve only been blogging for one week, but one of my favorite things so far is the friendly online community.  From other food blogging newbies like Life, Minced to veteran bloggers, such as NerdSteak, everyone has been nice, encouraging, and funny.

This past week, NerdSteak posted an awesome Red Quinoa Crab Cake recipe that I had to try.  However, the recipe included eggs.  After I commented NerdSteak wrote back suggesting substitutions for me. (Seriously, one of the sweetest things ever!)  I was so excited that I spent my Friday night making crab cakes.

Please turn your vent on when frying, the fire alarm WILL disturb your cooking time! Courtesy of
Please turn your vent on when frying, the fire alarm WILL disturb your cooking time!
Courtesy of

Now, my mom was on her way back from a trip, so I wanted to surprise her with crab cakes.  BUT, in the process of frying crab cakes (albeit in a basement with limited air circulation), I set off the fire alarm.  Rather than coming home to a nice relaxing dinner, my mom received a panicked phone call asking her for the alarm code.  (I swear I’m grown up, I just forget codes.) So please, when your frying crab cakes, turn your vents on!

Now, back to NerdSteak’s Red Quinoa Crab Cakes. They had just the right flavoring, and they tasted like a non-gluten-free crab cake.  His suggestion of rice flour led to just the right amount of crunchiness upon frying.  And, most importantly, my mom loved them.  I’ve included my adaptation below, but first, go read NerdSteak’s recipe.  (It’s gluten free, just not egg free!) Did you read his post? Alright, here you go then!

NerdSteak's Red Quinoa Crab Cakes (Egg-Free)

Allergies:  Free of the Big 8, except shellfish. And, as always, free of gluten, dairy, eggs, safflower, tapioca, rosemary, cinnamon, and annatto seed.


  • IMG_66691 cup of Red or Rainbow Quinoa
  • ¼ cup Gelled Chia Seeds
  • 1½  cups of Lump Crab Meat
  • ¼ cup of Diced Celery
  • ¼ cup Diced Red Onion
  • ¼ cup of Diced Red Pepper
  • 2 tbsp. Chopped Parsley
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • ½ tsp. Black Pepper
  • ¼ tsp. Garlic Powder
  • ¼ tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
  • ⅜ cups of Rice Flour, and more to coat cakes
  • Olive Oil for frying


  1. Cook quinoa according to package.
  2. Gel chia seeds by pouring ⅓ cups of chia seeds and 2 cups of water into a jar.  Shake vigorously and rest for 15 seconds. Repeat. Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes until the mixture gels.  (You’ll use ¼ cup of this gel.)
  3. Mix quinoa, crab, celery, onion, red pepper, and parsley in a large bowl.
  4. Add rice flour.  Then, gelled Chia seeds. Mix until consistent.
  5. IMG_6685Form the mixture into cakes and coat in rice flour.
  6. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat.  Brown both sides of the crab cake until golden.  (Recommended: 2-3 minutes per side).
  7. Remove excess oil with a paper towel. Serve with a sauce of your choosing.

Tips and Modifications: 

  • If you don’t like any trace of hot spices, you can take out the red pepper flakes.
  • Use Superfine Rice Flour! Honestly, it’s never grainy and that makes all the difference in the world.
  • On a couple of crab cakes when I was forming them I added just a little bit of extra gelled chia seeds.  Try this if some of your crab cakes have trouble sticking together!
    With a splash of red for Valentine's Day!
    With a splash of red for Valentine’s Day!

15 thoughts on “Making New Friends and Crab Cakes

    1. Thank you so much! If you’re not gluten free, you can always use breadcrumbs instead of rice flour. And, if you’re not egg free, you can also use eggs instead of gelled chia seeds. (You can find the proportions for this on NerdSteak.) Honestly, since there is already quinoa, the gelled chia seeds don’t stand out, work amazingly well, and add a slight bit of nutrition to the dish!

  1. Well, these look tasty! LOL to the fire alarm, I totally did that three times when I first moved into my apartment this summer, the bad thing, WE HAVE NO VENT, so I need to open up the kitchen and living room window and door for a trifecta breeze effect!

    1. Thanks, Amber! It sounds like you have the trifecta breeze effect down! We were able to put a vent in our basement, which is pretty exciting. So, now, if I set off the fire alarm, then I did something really wrong. 😀

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