Karl’s Noom Friendly Crab Cakes with Middle Eastern Salsa

My wife Jan requested crab cakes for dinner. She has started on the Noom program, and I am adapting some of my recipes to fit the new restrictions. While there is nothing really restricted on this diet, some foods are better than others—you are meant to fill up on “green foods” with some limited “yellow foods” to keep you happy and satisfied. Finally, there are “red foods”—foods like white flour and sugar that are to be severely limited in this diet. Looking for Noom recipes for crab cakes I got some ideas, but I was not satisfied with any that I found. I decided to adapt my own recipe to be more Noom friendly.

Karl’s Noom Friendly Crab Cakes with Middle Eastern Salsa

Karl’s Noom Friendly Crab Cakes with Middle Eastern Salsa

The first problem I needed to deal with was the mayonnaise—which is a red food. I needed to reduce it to the point that it would not hold the crab cakes together or it had to be replaced entirely. Thanks to watching Beryl’s podcasts I have been introduced to many—new to me—world food ideas. Labne is a strained yogurt cheese—Labneh, labna, labni, lebni, labani; لبنة, or many other names for similar cheese depending on the country of origin. Labne has about the same consistency and a similar flavor to mayonnaise, but it is still a yellow food.

I also, originally, used an egg as a second binder. However, while the egg white is a yellow food, the yolk is a red food that was best eliminated. Since there were fewer binders to hold the crab cakes together, I thought to move several of the vegetables—that I would normally included in the crab cake mix—to a salsa that would top the cakes when served—basically a Middle Eastern tomato and cucumber salad chopped finely. A bed of Bibb lettuce and some sangak bread on the side completed the meal.

Note: Another new thing that Beryl introduced us to is sangak, a Persian flatbread. It is very much like lavash—that many Americans are familiar with in their wraps—but larger, thicker, and with a substantial hearty chew. There has not been a day in the last few weeks when there has not be a sheet of this bread in my refrigerator.



Note: I placed a ruler just under the name to give you an idea of the size of the bread.

Karl’s Noom Friendly Crab Cakes with Middle Eastern Salsa


Crab cakes

¼ cup Labne
1 egg white
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup ciabatta bread crumbs
2 green onions, finely minced
2 Tbs. flat leaf parsley finely minced
1 tsp. lemon zest
¼ tsp. black pepper
Pinch Kosher salt

8 oz. crab meat

½ cup panko

2 Tbs. butter

3 Bibb lettuce leaves per person

¼ cup micro greens

Karl’s Middle Eastern Salsa

1 Roma tomato, seeded and diced finely
1 Persian cucumber, diced finely
¼ cup red onion, diced finely
2 Tbs. flat leaf parsley finely minced
1 Tbs. lemon juice
Pinch black pepper
Pinch Kosher salt


1. Put the Labne, egg white, Worcestershire sauce, bread crumbs, green onions, parsley, zest, pepper, and salt in a medium bowl and mix them together.

2. Gently fold in the crab meat into the mixture.

Tip: Be very gentle when folding in the crab meat, you want to keep the crab pieces as large as possible.

3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the mixture for 20-30 minutes.

Tip: This rest gives the bread crumbs time to fully hydrate and for the mixture to firm up.

4. While the crab mix is resting make your salsa, chop all of the vegetables finely and mix them together in a small bowl with the lemon juice and seasonings.

Tip: Stir the salsa frequently to redistribute the lemon juice to coat all of the vegetables.

5. Put the panko in a small plate.

6. Form the seafood mixture into patties and coat both sides with the bread crumbs.

Tip: You have enough of the crab mixture to form six ¼ cup or three ½ cup patties.

7. Melt the butter in a skillet, over a medium heat, and fry the patties for 4-5 minutes per side, until golden brown.

Tip: Putting a lid on the pan ensures that the patties cook all the way through.

Note: Remove the lid during the last few minutes of frying to keep the bread crumbs crisp.

8. Rinse and dry the lettuce leaves.

9. Arrange three leaves on each plate and place 1-2 crab cakes in the center of the plate.

10. Spoon some of the salsa over the crab cakes and garnish with micro greens.

11. Serve immediately with sangak and labne on the side.

Tip: I used the lettuce leaves as a wrap with part of a crab cake and some of the salsa in each.

1 Comment

Filed under Main Dishes

One response to “Karl’s Noom Friendly Crab Cakes with Middle Eastern Salsa

  1. A lovely reinvention of the lovely crab cake!

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