I love it when a recipe plan comes together – particularly a fish cakes recipe plan.  Recently in my quest to find some alternative ways to buy fish (that don’t cost an arm and a leg) I purchased a packet of frozen whiting fillets.  We like whiting and I thought this looked like a potential way to get more fish on the table.

Unfortunately, the first attempt at cooking them (according to the packet directions) was a disaster.  The flavour of the fish wasn’t bad, but the texture was awful.  There seemed to be a lot of moisture in the fillets and lightly pan fried on their own, they weren’t that great.

So in my wisdom I devised a plan to use the rest of the fillets in fish cakes.  That way the texture wasn’t such an issue and the flavour of the fish was still good enough to do justice to the cakes.

I have an old fish cakes recipe that’s been used religiously over the years.  The recipe uses canned tuna, so I simply tried a variation of that – and it worked fabulously.  The only tiny mistake was I forgot to add the onions this time (I knew there was something missing, should have looked at the recipe).

The fish cakes were well received by all and the best part is you can really make them using whatever fish you have on hand – canned or fresh.

Fish Cakes Recipe

400-500g fish

3 medium potatoes, peeled

1 onion, chopped

2 eggs

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Salt and pepper

1/3 cup plain flour

1 cup breadcrumbs

Oil for shallow frying


Chop potatoes and cook in boiling salted water until tender.  Drain, mash and set aside.

If using fresh fish, skin and pin bone if necessary then cook.  It can be poached (place in a pan of simmering water and cook for 4-5 minutes) or steamed over boiling water.  Once cooked, flake the fish into small pieces.

Combine the mashed potato, fish, onion, parsley and 1 well beaten egg in a large bowl.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Take a small handful of mixture at a time and shape into patties or ‘cakes’.

In 3 separate bowls place the flour, remaining beaten egg and breadcrumbs.   Dip the patties in the flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumbs shaking off the excess.

Heat 5mm oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.  Once the oil is hot enough, add the patties, being careful not to overcrowd the pan.  Cook for a few minutes on each side until golden brown.  Drain on paper towel.

Serve with some sauces or chutneys and a salad.

Serves 5

The Klutzy Cook Notes

  • As mentioned, any fish can be used.  Canned tuna and salmon will work just as well and you can simply eliminate the step to cook the fish.  This is a great option for saving time.
  • Try using different herbs.  Some that go well with seafood are dill, lemon thyme, marjoram and chervil.
  • While my cakes have been’patty shaped, these could also be shaped into croquettes.
  • Remember to get the oil nice and hot (but not so hot it burns), that way only minimal oil is actually absorbed by the patties.  Test the oil by dropping a few breadcrumbs in – if they sizzle, you’re good to go
  • Try any leftovers on sandwiches with a bit of fresh lettuce and tomato – yum.

You might also like my Tuna Patties and other Seafood recipes.

If you have any questions or comments on the Fish Cakes Recipe, please leave them below.

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