Tag Archives: fish cakes

Homemade Crispy Salmon Fish Cakes

Homemade smoky salmon fish cakes

Calling these “fish cakes” really doesn’t do these crispy succulent patties justice. The “fish” part is right, but “cake” infers flour, fat, and eggs with a bread-like crumb. These Salmon Fish Cakes have none of that.

When my family and I lived in Denmark, a favorite family outing was to our local harbor where the fish market sold fish cakes or fiskefrikadeller, created from the daily catches hauled in on the fishing boats. When the fish were fileted, all the extra pieces were reserved for fist sized fish patties sold by the bagful with containers of remoulade, or tartar sauce, meant to be devoured family-style at the picnic tables perched over the sea. Every harbor with a fish market sold fish cakes, and the recipes were similar, made with white fish, such as plaice or cod, simply spiced and bound together with flour and egg, then pan or, more often, deep fried. Their flavor was mild, thanks to the white fish and simple seasonings, and they were very easy to eat, best washed down with a cold Danish beer (or juice for the kids) in the summer sun.

While nothing could beat fresh fiskefrikadeller at the seashore during the summer, at home I would make my own fish cakes with the goal to create a more healthy and tasty family dinner. I wanted something lighter and brighter, with more fish flavor and less filler. After many renditions, I arrived at this recipe, which I now use as a template. While I vary the fish at times, depending on what’s fresh and available, the amounts remain constant, as does the inclusion of some, if not all, salmon to the mix. I find that salmon’s thick and buttery flesh yields a rich, tasty, and sturdy fish cake, and for deeper flavor I’ll often add cold smoked salmon, which adds a salty, smoky (and addictive) edge to the cakes. Fresh herbs, lemon, and chopped chiles balance out the richness of the fish, while the binder is kept to a minimum – just a dollop of Greek yogurt and Panko breadcrumbs, which do double duty as a crisp coating for the patties. The results are fresh, vibrant, and flavorful, and prove that you that can, indeed, take the cake out of the fish cake.

Salmon Fish Cakes with Lemon-Chile Yogurt Sauce

The fish cakes may be formed up to 4 hours in advance and refrigerated until pan frying. If desired, more salmon may be substituted for the halibut for a 100 percent salmon fish cake.

Makes  about 16 (2-inch) cakes

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Chilling Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour and 45 minutes

Fish cakes:
1 pound salmon fillet, skin and pin bones removed, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
8 ounces thick white fish filet, such as halibut or cod, skin and pin bones removed, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
6 ounces cold smoked salmon filet, skin and pin bones removed, coarsely chopped
1 small red jalapeno or fresno chile, stemmed and seeded, minced
1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs, plus 1 1/2 cups for rolling
1/4 cup coarsely grated yellow onion, with juices
1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley and/or cilantro leaves, plus extra for garnish
2 tablespoons whole milk Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon hot sauce, such as Tabasco
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Sauce:
1 cup whole milk Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon Sriracha
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Canola or grapeseed oil for pan frying
Lemon wedges

1. Combine the salmon, white fish, and smoked salmon in the bowl of a food processor and pulse 3 to 4 times to finely chop without over processing – the consistency should be slightly chunky and not mushy. Transfer the fish to a large bowl. Add the 1/4 cup breadcrumbs, the onion, parsley, yogurt, lemon juice, hot sauce, salt, and pepper and stir to combine.

2. Pour the remaining 1 1/2 cup breadcrumbs into a shallow bowl. Using a soup spoon, scoop out a generous amount of the salmon mixture. With a light hand, carefully form the mixture into a plump two-inch patty. Gently roll the patty in the breadcrumbs to evenly coat and place on platter, lightly pressing the patty to slightly flatten into about a 1/2 inch-thick cake. Repeat with the remaining fish, adding more breadcrumbs to the bowl as needed. Loosely cover the platter with plastic and refrigerate the fish cakes for at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours.

3. Whisk to sauce ingredients in a small bowl and refrigerate until use.

4. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. In batches, carefully add the fish cakes to the pan without overcrowding. Fry the cakes until golden brown and cooked through, turning once with a spatula, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the cakes to a plate lined with a paper towel and keep warm. Repeat with the remaining fish cakes. Transfer the cakes to a warm serving platter and garnish with the parsley or cilantro. Serve with lemon wedges and the yogurt sauce.

Crisp and Smoky Salmon Fish Cakes

fish cake plate tastefood

~ Crisp and Smoky Salmon Fish Cakes with Lemon Chili Yogurt ~

In my eternal search for the perfect fish cake, I have found that the best recipe is packed with fish with little filler and has a robust balance of flavor that pops in the mouth. Ideally, some of the fish should be smoked, which adds a rich depth of flavor and saltiness to the light cakes. Onion, chiles and fresh herbs add sweetness, heat and brightness.

Fish cakes are a great weeknight meal. They may be formed in advance and refrigerated until frying. While I usually begin my fish cakes with uncooked salmon, you can easily add any leftover cooked salmon in the fridge from the night before. I promise there won’t be any leftovers after making these little cakes.

Smoky Salmon Fish Cakes with Lemon Chili Yogurt Sauce

Makes  about 16 (2-inch) diameter cakes

Sauce:
1 cup Greek-style whole milk  yogurt
2 teaspoons Sriracha
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

Fish cakes:
1 1/2 pounds salmon filets, skinned, pin bones removed
1/4 pounds smoked salmon
1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs, plus 1 1/2 cups for rolling
1/4 cup grated yellow onion
1 small red jalapeno or serrano chile, stemmed, seeded, minced
2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons Greek-style whole milk yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Tabasco, to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

Vegetable oil for pan frying

To make the sauce, combine all the ingredients, except the dill, in a small bowl.  Stir to combine. (Sauce may be made up to 4 hours before serving.  Cover and refrigerate.) Before serving, stir in the dill.

To make the fish cakes, combine the salmon filets and smoked salmon in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to chop without over processing – the consistency should be finely chopped without becoming mushy.
Transfer the salmon to a large bowl.  Add 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs and the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine without overmixing.
Pour the remaining 1 1/2 cup breadcrumbs into a shallow bowl.  Using a soup spoon, scoop out a generous amount of the salmon mixture. With a light hand, carefully form into a plump 2-inch patty. Roll cake in Panko to coat and place on platter, gently pressing to slightly flatten. Repeat with the remaining salmon, adding more breadcrumbs to the bowl as needed. (The patties may be formed up to 4 hours before cooking. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate.)

Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the fish cakes in batches without overcrowding. Fry until golden brown, turning once, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer cakes to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain; keep warm. Repeat with remaining the salmon mixture. Transfer the cakes to a warm serving platter and garnish with dill or parsley leaves.  Serve with the yogurt sauce.

If you like this, you might enjoy these TasteFood recipes:
Smoky Salmon and Fennel Chowder
Salmon Wrapped in Kale Leaves with Harissa
Shrimp and Veggie Spring Rolls

Fish Cakes

Calling these “fish cakes” really doesn’t do them justice. The “fish” part is right, but “cake” infers flour, fat and eggs with a bread-like crumb. These crispy succulent fish patties have none of that. They are packed with 3 types of fish, fresh herbs and chiles, and just a little filler to hold them together. I’ve combined sweet baby shrimp, salmon and Alaskan smoked halibut in this recipe, but feel free to adjust the quantities of each, so long as you have about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds in total. I do recommend including smoked fish – it’s flavor adds a certain heartiness and saltiness to these, er, cakes, evoking the seaside on a grey and misty autumn day.

Fish Cakes

Finely chop the fish instead of processing in a food processor. This will ensure a chunky – not pasty – consistency. Makes about 16 (2-inch) cakes.

1 3/4 cups Panko breadcrumbs, divided
1 salmon fillet, about 6 ounces, skin and pin-bones removed, finely chopped
3/4 pound cooked baby shrimp, finely chopped
1/2 pound smoked fish (halibut or salmon), finely chopped
1 red jalapeno chile peppers, stemmed and seeded, finely minced
1/4 cup grated yellow onion, with juices
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons whole milk Greek yogurt or sour cream
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley and/or cilantro leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Sauce:
1 cup whole milk Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon Sriracha, or to taste
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt

Extra-virgin olive oil

Place 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl. Set aside. Place remaining 1/4 cup breadcrumbs and all of the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Gently mix to thoroughly combine, without overmixing. With a light hand, carefully form 2-inch patties. Roll in the reserved breadcrumbs to coat and arrange in one layer on a tray or platter. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours.
Prepare the sauce: Whisk all of the ingredients together in a small bowl. Keep refrigerated until use.
Fry the fish cakes: Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add fish cakes in batches without overcrowding. Fry until brown and crispy on both sides, turning once. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel. Keep warm. Serve  with Yogurt Sriracha Sauce.

If you like this, you might enjoy these TasteFood recipes:
Smoky Fennel Salmon Chowder
Cioppino with a Twist
Smoked Mackerel Pate with Horseradish and Dill