Hey! This site is reader-supported and we earn commissions if you purchase products from retailers after clicking on a link from our site.

Crab cakes are a delicious form of seafood that is enjoyed by many different people. However, if wanting to cut down on seafood or if you’ve turned vegan or vegetarian, you may be looking for an alternative that is free of crab meat. Fortunately, you’re in look as “crab cakes” made from lion’s mane mushroom are excellent substitutes for the real thing. As such, you may be wondering how to make lion’s mane crab cakes. If so, everything you need to know can be found below.

What Are Lion’s Mane Mushrooms?

Lion’s mane mushrooms are known by a few different names. Aside from Lion’s mane and their scientific name of Hericium Erinaceus, this type of fungi is also known as pompom mushrooms, bearded hedgehog mushroom, monkey head mushroom and bearded tooth mushroom. As such, you may already be somewhat familiar with these mushrooms without having initially realised it.

Often these mushrooms will begin to grow in the late summer or early autumn on dead trees, such as the American Beech tree. However, these mushrooms can also be just as easily be grown at home. In fact, you can even order packs to help you grow your own lion’s mane mushrooms via amazon.

Typically it will be available in a fresh intact form or as a powder. Either way, it can and often is used for both culinary and medicinal purposes.

How Do They Taste?

Mushrooms are incredibly delicious and varied with many providing a coveted umami flavour to dishes that they are incorporated into. Meanwhile, many have a chewy or slightly gummy flavour to them. 

Lion’s mane mushrooms are slightly different though as they are often compared to both crab and lobster in terms of flavour and texture. As such, in vegetarian or vegan crab and lobster ravioli or rolls, lion’s mane mushrooms are often used to substitute for these types of seafood.

Brown and white crab on black steel frame

What Are The Health Effects Of Lion’s Mane Mushrooms?

As mentioned above, lion’s mane mushrooms are not only used in a culinary context but also in a medicinal one. As such you may be curious about how safe they are to ingest outside of a medicinal context.

The Health Benefits Of Lion’s Mane Mushrooms

Many people will regularly use lion’s mane as a supplement to help their brain’s function. Often when consumed for this purpose though, lion’s mane will be ingested as a powder, capsule or mixed into coffee. Some of the specific benefits associated with lion’s mane mushroom consumption are as follows:

  • Brain Health: One of the main reasons that those who regularly consume lion’s mane do so is due to the apparent ability to help maintain the health of your brain.
  • Improved Mood And Focus: Within four weeks of regularly ingesting lion’s mane mushrooms, many people often notice a decrease in the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Certain compounds contained within lion’s mane mushrooms are shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects
  • Anti-carcinogenic: Whilst human studies have yet to take place, initial animal studies have shown that certain compounds found within lion’s mane mushrooms can help prevent the growth of cancerous cells.

Lions mane mushroom capsules (two month supply - 120 count) vegan supplement - nootropic to support brain health, neuron growth, and immune system, made in the usa by double wood

Do Lion’s Mane Mushrooms Have Psychoactive Effects?

Lion’s mane mushrooms don’t have any psychoactive effects and they won’t get you high. Despite this though, the cognitive benefits mentioned above are often noticed by those who regularly consume these mushrooms. 

Additionally, there are no known side effects to consuming lion’s mane mushrooms, even in high doses in laboratory experiments. That said though, some anecdotal evidence shows that in very high doses it may cause itchiness.

Where To Get Lion’s Mane Mushrooms

Depending on the region that you live in, you may be able to simply buy lion’s mane mushrooms from your local store, supermarket or indeed a local grower at a farmers market. In such a scenario, these mushrooms will likely be both cheap and simple to acquire when you desire them. 

However, if not from any area where they are commonly found or grown then you still have other options when wanting to procure them.

As mentioned above, buying online is an option, whether it be intact lion’s mushrooms or growth kits. These can be found easily on Amazon. However, they can also be purchased from other online distributors such as via Etsy. That said though prices of lion’s mane mushrooms can vary quite a bit online depending on your location and shipping costs. With this in mind if possible, you should always try to buy your mushrooms fresh.

Growing them yourself from packs found online is a much cheaper option than having pre-grown one shipped. That said though, they require more work as you will need to dedicate, space, care and time to growing them. However, if you are already familiar with growing your own produce, or are simply willing to give it a go, the process can be fun and rewarding whilst also saving you money in the long run.

Grow your own mushrooms kit - fully colonized lion's mane mushrooms - indoor grow kit - grow up to 4 pounds

How To Make Lion’s Mane “Crab” Cakes

Often when people make “crab cakes” from lion’s mane mushrooms they are doing so in order to have a vegan or vegetarian alternative to real crab cakes. With that in mind then, the directions below will be oriented towards use for a vegan diet. 

However, if you to make it vegetarian friendly the subsequent recipe for lion’s mane mushroom crab cakes can be easily modified for your own dietary preferences.

The beauty of this recipe though is that even with basic preparation, lion’s mane mushrooms are delicious and have a wonderful texture akin to meat or seafood. Therefore, when you prepare and cook patties correctly made from them they make for a truly wonderful stand-in for traditional crab cakes.

Ingredients Required For Lion’s Mane “Crab” Cakes

Before you can follow our amazing recipe and cook lion’s mane mushroom crab cakes it is of course crucial to gather the necessary ingredients. As mentioned above, these ingredients are listed with the intent of being used for vegan crab cakes. However, where possible non-vegan substitutes will be listed as an alternative possibility. The ingredients required for lion’s mane mushroom crab cakes are as follows:

  • Eight Ounces Of Fresh Lion’s Mane Mushrooms.
  • One tablespoon of flax egg mixture (or regular eggs/an alternative vegan egg mix such as chia egg)
  • One-third of a cup of panko breadcrumbs (or regular breadcrumbs)
  • A quarter tablespoon of sea salt
  • Half a tablespoon of dijon mustard
  • A tablespoon of chopped parsley.
  • Half a tablespoon of cracked pepper (or black pepper if unavailable)
  • Three tablespoons of vegan mayo (or regular mayonnaise)
  • A teaspoon of vegan Worcestershire sauce (or regular Worcestershire sauce)
  • A quarter to half a teaspoon of hot sauce 
  • Two tablespoons of old bay seasoning
  • Two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice 
  • Half a tablespoon of garlic powder
  • Three tablespoons of olive oil (or your favourite cooking oil/ butter)

Ingredients For Spicy Aioli

If you wish to serve a spicy aioli with your lion’s mane crab cake then you will need the following additional ingredients to make it: 

  • Half a cup of vegan mayonnaise
  • Two tablespoons of hot sauce

Lion’s mane crab cakes recipe

Method For Making Lion’s Mane “Crab” Cakes

Now that you’ve acquired the necessary ingredients it is time to start cooking lion’s man crab cakes recipe. In order to do so successfully use the following instructions to guide you through the process: 

  1. With a dry brush gently wipe your lion’s mane mushrooms clean. This type of mushroom is super absorbent and will become waterlogged if washed with liquid. As such a dry brush is better.
  2. Pull you now clean mushrooms apart with your hands in quarter inch wide shreds. If in a hurry then using a knife will also work.
  3. In a large bowl mix all the ingredients other than the panko bread crumbs and shredded mushrooms. This will create your batter.
  4. Mix the mushrooms into the batter until they are fully incorporated.
  5. Following which add your panko breadcrumbs and mix them in well until they too are fully incorporated.
  6. Form the mixture into roughly equal-sized flat patties. There should be roughly enough for three or four.
  7. Heat one teaspoon of your olive oil (or add butter to melt) in a large skillet on medium heat or medium-high heat.
  8. Once the oil is hot, add your patties to the skillet and cook for around two to three minutes. Then gently flip on to the other side and repeat. 

When done they should be a delicious golden brown colour. Once cooked they will be ready to serve and will have a wonderful flakey crab texture and delicious taste. Far garnish you can add some lemon wedges along with preparing a simple spicy aioli sauce.

Lion’s mane crab cakes recipe

Method For Making A Spicy Aioli Sauce

The process for making your lion’s mane crab cake or cakes is quite simple. However, this great recipe can be improved even further by making an even more simple, yet delicious spicy aioli. To do simply adhere to the following steps:

  1. Combine your vegan mayonnaise and hot sauce to form a mixture of the two.
  2. Refrigerate the mix whilst stirring occasionally.

Then when your lion’s mane crab cakes are ready, serve you aioli alongside them when you are ready to eat them.

Other Lion’s Mane Mushroom Recipes

Lion’s mane mushrooms are an incredibly versatile type of fungi within the culinary world. As such they will often be used and cooked in a variety of ways that aren’t for meat-free crab cakes. Some examples of this can be seen below:

  • In a pan sauté these mushrooms with added butter, along with herbs, salt and pepper.
  • Roasted in the oven with either olive oil or butter along with seasonings of choice. A wonderful way of doing this is to roast them with onions and root vegetables, salt and pepper with herbs such as parsley sage.
  • When grilled with salt, pepper and your seasoning of choice like you would any meat these can make for a wonderful grilled meat substitute.
Lion’s mane crab cakes recipe

Answered: How To Make Lion’s Mane “Crab” Cakes

Lion’s mane mushrooms are incredibly versatile and can be made into meat-free “crab” cakes. When you do so the results are fantastic as these flavourful mushrooms have a rich meaty texture making them perfect for such a recipe.

Naturally, the recipe above is just one possible way of making lion’s mane “crab” cakes. As such, why not experiment with your own spin on things?

FAQ – Lion’s Mane “Crab” Cakes Recipes

Does lion’s mane really taste like crab?

Lion’s mane does taste somewhat like crab but it’s mainly in the texture that the similarities are most evident. As such, when cooking with it, if trying to replicate crab, you should use something like old bay seasoning to really cement the idea.

Can lion’s mane get you high?

Lion’s mane mushrooms will not get you high and do not have psychoactive effects. That said though, it has been noted that they can have beneficial effects on your cognitive health with repeated and regular ingestion.

How long does it take for lion’s mane to work?

The beneficial cognitive effects often associated with lion’s mane mushroom consumption will typically take around four weeks of regular ingestion to present themselves.

Does lion’s mane taste bad?

Whether or not lion’s mane mushrooms taste bad or indeed good is an entirely subjective question. To most people, they are often compared to something such as crab in terms of texture and when prepared correctly also taste.