Fish and Shrimp Cakes

If you like crab cakes, you’ll really like these fish and shrimp cakes. There are two things to remember when making fish cakes. First, they have to be just moist enough to hold together, but not so moist that they fall apart when cooked. Second, you can’t mess with them when they’re in the pan or they’ll break apart. Now that we’ve got that straight, let’s get started. I use any light white fish that will flake easily, like crappie, halibut, rockfish, etc.

Fish and Shrimp Cakes


  • 4 servings 8 large cakes
  • 8 large shrimp; tail-on peeled, deveined and butterflied
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup onion finely diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper seeded and finely diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • 4 cups fish fillets flaked and pressed dry with paper towels (really important!)
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3 tablespoons Japanese breadcrumbs or any breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 egg whites beaten
  • oil for frying


  • Heat butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and pepper and sauté for 4 – 5 minutes. Make sure that fish has been patted dry thoroughly with paper towels. In a large bowl, add cilantro, fish, pepper flakes, garlic and cooled onion/pepper from pan. Dust shrimp thoroughly with flour. Sprinkle remaining flour, breadcrumbs salt, pepper and Old Bay Seasoning over while tossing, making sure to coat fish evenly. Fold in mayonnaise and egg whites. Take some of the mixture and form into a ball, about 3 inches in diameter. If it holds together, you’re in business. If it’s too dry and flaky, add some more breadcrumbs. It should be moist, but not soggy. Form mixture into 8 equal sized patties. Hold shrimp flat and build the fish cake around the shrimp. The idea is to have a normal looking fish cake with a shrimp tail sticking out of the side.
  • Add enough oil to just cover the bottom of a large skillet and heat over medium heat. When oil is hot, add cakes and cook until medium brown on one side, about 5 - 6 minutes. Carefully flip over and brown other sides, about 5 minutes more. When cakes are just cooked, remove from pan and top with your favorite sauce.



  1. Donna Pitts on July 30, 2022 at 6:31 pm

    Are the fish or shrimp already cooked?

    • Scott Leysath on July 30, 2022 at 6:33 pm

      No, but I’ve also made this with leftover cooked fish and shrimp and it works, too.

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