This is a special occasion dish that I used to make as an omnivore. I veganized it bit by bit over the years, first by replacing the crab with veggie crab meat, then by making crepes without eggs, and finally by replacing the dairy ingredients in the sauce. Vegan crab is extremely difficult to find (only one store in this giant city carries it, and even then they only have it in stock about half the time) but since the stars of this dish are the silky sauce and crepes, I think veggie chicken or mixed vegetables would be a perfectly acceptable replacement for the filling.
I’ve tried quite a few vegan crepe recipes over the years and this one, adapted from Passionate Vegetarian, is my favorite. The chickpea flour gives the crepes a velvety texture and makes them reasonably easy to handle (as easy as the eggy ones as I recall), but doesn’t overwhelm the flavor.
If you’ve never made crepes before, it takes a bit of practice but the results are well worth it. Here are some tips to get you started.
- Plan on making more crepes than you need, as you will probably crumple some when turning them over. You’ll also probably crack a few rolling them. I usually drizzle a little agave nectar on the rejects and eat them as I’m cooking the rest – a reward for the hard work!
- Use your smallest, lightest skillet for crepes, as they take a lot of wrist action.
- The ideal crepe size requires about 3 tablespoons of batter. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup and fill it about 3/4 full. Rest it in a small bowl when not using.
- Your skillet should be about as hot as for making pancakes. If bubbles are forming in your crepes, turn the heat down just a bit.
- If you find yourself crumpling up more than one crepe every 7-10 of them, you either need to use more oil in your pan or make them slightly smaller.
- Crepes can be made ahead of time, layered between wax paper sheets, and frozen.
- If filling and rolling previously frozen crepes, warm them back up in a dry skillet first to lessen cracking.
- If you have leftover crepes after filling them for dinner, have the rest for dessert! Spread on a little bit of jam, roll up, and dust with powdered sugar.
I’m sending this to My Meatless Mondays at My Sweet and Savory.
1/2 cup chickpea flour
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons potato starch or corn starch
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon canola oil (or any neutral-tasting oil)
2-1/2 cups water or more as needed
Whisk together all of the ingredients, adding extra water as necessary. The batter should be thick enough to coat a spoon but spread out in a thin layer when poured into a pan.
Heat a small skillet to medium hot. Lightly oil skillet with cooking oil spray or by brushing with a bit of oil. Drop 3 tablespoons batter into skillet. Pick up the skillet and rotate it with your wrist to spread the batter around, while keeping the crepe as round as you can. Put skillet back on the heat and cook until the crepe is dry on top, about 45 seconds. Turn over the crepe carefully with a spatula and cook another 15-30 seconds.
Stack crepes between layers of wax paper and refrigerate or freeze, or fill and roll immediately.
Makes about 22
Vegan Crab Crepes
Usually I make dishes like this in two pans and freeze one for later, but we all love this one so much that the leftovers are gone by noon the next day.
1 (16-ounce) package vegan crab meat
1/4 cup Earth Balance margarine
1/4 cup flour
1-1/2 cups plain soy or almond milk
1/2 cup dry white wine such as Pinot Grigio
1/4 teaspoon tarragon
4 ounces vegan cream cheese, cut into pieces
Pull or cut crab into thin pieces and transfer to a bowl.
Melt margarine in a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir in flour and cook for a minute. Remove pan from heat and add soy or almond milk. Stir well with a wire whisk until there are no lumps. Place pan back on the burner and raise the heat to medium. Cook, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens. Stir in wine, tarragon, cream cheese. Cook, stirring, until cheese melts.
Remove sauce from the heat. Stir about 3/4 cup of sauce into the crab.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Oil a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Spread about 1/4 cup of the sauce in the pan. Divide the crab among the crepes. Gently roll each crepe up and place side by side in the pan. Top with the remaining sauce. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the sauce just starts to bubble at the edges.