Fish Cakes

If you like crab cakes, you’ll love these fish cakes. This recipe works great with any kind of fish or a combination of fish, but I prefer those varieties, which are flaky rather than firm. Striped bass, panfish, catfish and lingcod fillets are exceptional when formed into cakes. It is important to shred the fish fillets into quarter-sized flakes before molding the fish cakes. You can either break the fillets apart with your fingers or use the tines of a fork to rake through the fish. Make certain that you firmly squeeze the water out of the fish before adding to the fish cake mixture, particularly if the fish has been previously frozen. The fish cake mixture will be moister than what you may be accustomed to, but then so will the cooked cakes. If they are a bit dry, add some additional mayonnaise or beaten egg. If they are just too wet to stick together, add some more breadcrumbs. Don’t heat the pan up too much or the cakes will burn. Also, resist the urge to play with your food and turn the delicate cakes over too many times. Brown on one side and then carefully flip over and brown the other side. If you need to make a big batch of the fish cakes, lightly brown them on both sides and then keep warm on a sheet pan in a low heat oven. Serve with your favorite tartar sauce, aioli, cocktail sauce or a white wine and butter sauce.

Fish Cakes


  • 1/2 cup red onion finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil minced (or substitute 2 teaspoons dried basil leaves)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pinch white pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds fish fillets flaked, squeezed and patted dry with paper towels (see above)
  • 3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil

picy Mayonnaise

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tablespoons green onion white part only; minced
  • 2 tablespoons red onion minced
  • 1 lime juic only
  • 1 tablespoon Asian chili garlic sauce or your favorite hot sauce

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir until well blended.


    • Combine first 9 ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Add fish and combine mixture with hands until blended. Do not overmix. Mixture should be chunky. Form into 8 round cakes, about 3/4 to 1 inch thick. Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add cakes and lightly brown on first side, about 4 minutes. Turn cakes over carefully with a spatula and cook for 3 minutes more or until cakes or just cooked throughout.

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