NASA's crab cakes ... try this at home

NASA's crab cake, made at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

(CNN)Astronauts consume some 3,000 calories a day while they're in space. Providing them with a nutritious diet is the job of NASA's food scientists at the Johnson Space Center, in Houston.

But their menu is designed to do more than just keep astronauts healthy: food plays an important role in our psychological well being -- and that's as true in space as it is on Earth.
That's why space food isn't simply protein shakes and vitamin pills -- it's real food, freeze dried and rehydrated before eating. Take NASA's crab cakes, for example. Tasty, healthy and made with real ingredients, they could grace any Earthbound kitchen. And if you fancy sampling some authentic space food, you can even make them yourself, following NASA's recipe.


    3lbs crab Meat, large lump
    205g bread crumbs, Panko
    340g Duke's Mayonnaise
    120.2g egg beater, eggs
    30.9g Dijon mustard, low sodium
    13.9g Worcestershire sauce
    0.8g pepper, white ground
    1.5g cayenne pepper, ground
    2.3g parsley, dried
    76.6g shallot, minced fresh
    51.7g bell pepper, orange diced fine
    52.0g bell pepper, red diced fine
    57.9g pimento, diced
    38.9g scallions, fresh chopped fine
    Non-stick spray


    Make sure there is no shell in the crab meat.
    Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl.
    Let sit 5-10 minutes for breadcrumbs to absorb mixture.
    Weigh 4oz patties, form into rounds
    Place onto a baking sheet-tray that has been sprayed with nonstick spray.
    Bake in an oven preheated to 350F [or 325F if convection] for 12 minutes or until just brown.
    *Modified from the original recipe for freeze drying
      NASA / BIO /LM
      Donna Nabors