11 February 2010

Fish Cakes

Do you ever just open the fridge and find parts of things left over? Of course you do. We all do. When that happens, sometimes Dan and I just eat little bits of things for dinner. At our house we call that ‘grazing’. Other times I make something that ends up being really good, and then I wish I had taken the time to write it down so that I could make it again.

When I made these fish cakes, I opened my fridge and what I found was some baked fish and two baked potatoes. I immediately started to think about fish cakes. I wanted something kind of chunky, not really fine. Rustic. I also had some Asian spices and some herbs. The result was, if I do say so myself, very good. And I somehow thought about jotting down how I made them. I know. I’m very glad I did. You will be too, I think.

Of course, I don’t have to tell you that all of the measures here are approximate, and you can change them as much as you wish. You can change the herbs and spices as well. Go ahead, make this dish your own!

I used tilapia for this. I had baked it with ginger and lemongrass leaves and a chopped red chili. The fish already had a lot of flavor, but I added a little more. If you’re starting with raw fish, bake it in a hot oven with milk for about 15 minutes till it’s flaky. Then drain it and let it cool. This recipe is written as if your fish is already cooked, but without the Asian flavors already in it.

Fish Cakes

250 g / 1/2 pound baked fish

1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

4-5 lemongrass leaves, chopped fine

small piece of red chili, chopped very fine

2 baked potatoes, cold

dash fish sauce

a good handful of cilantro, chopped



Oil or butter to fry

  • Flake the fish into large-ish flakes.
  • Peel the potatoes and crush them with a fork, again into large-ish bits.
  • Add the ginger, lemongrass leaves, chili, fish sauce and cilantro with the potatoes. Mix well. Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add the fish and stir gently to mix.
  • Form patties with your hands. Heat oil or butter in a large pan until a drop of water spits when added to it. Put the fish patties in the pan and cook till golden brown on one side. Gently turn them over and cook till brown on the other side.

Serves 2 if they like it and 4 if they don’t.


  • Everything here is already cooked, all you’re doing when you fry these is browning them and heating them up.
  • We ate this with a salad and a little sauce made by mixing mayo with balsamic vinegar and some of the herbs from the fish cakes.


La Table De Nana said...

Great photos! Just had to tell you~

Kathy said...

Hi Kate...My memory is just going in high gear now!
My Grandfather "OLE" from Oslo Norway...made a fish grinding machine for my grandmother when she was to make fishcakes...
My grandparents had an Island in Canada when I was growing up that was the place of endless wonderful memories...One of which were the tons of fishcakes my grandmother made. She made a gravy that was off the chart fabulous. Fishcakes with fishcake gravy...we all lost our minds over it.
Yours look wonderful...thanks for the memories, LOVED my grandparents...
xoxo~Kathy @ Sweet up-North Mornings...

Linda said...

These look delicious!

Kim said...

What a great thing to "throw together". It looks fish cakes look delicious and your sauce really tops if off nicely:D

Junglefrog said...

I love little dishes like this! It indeed seems perfect for getting rid of all those leftovers.

zurin said...

left over sometimes make teh tastiest dishes!! wonderful fotos!

Sarah Alaoui said...

looks simple enough--i love leftovers.

My Carolina Kitchen said...

What beautiful fish cakes Kate. I'm sure the cilantro and lemon grass would add a lot of flavor. Great photo too.

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

Love fishcakes and yours look scrumptious!

Hungry Dog said...

Yum! Love this idea. We have dinners like this too but have gotten in the habit of calling it "scrounging"..."grazing" sounds MUCH more appealing! I'm holding on to this idea, thanks!

The Gypsy Chef said...

Beautiful pics! Really lovely.
That said, I am making these with leftover swordfish to night. Sounds so YUM.
Hope you having a great time in Milan.

Neeta said...

Hi Kate, I discovered your blog thanks to Pam at Gypsy chef and Lynn from Autour de la Table d'Hote....and I'm so so glad :-)
I love fishcakes and these with the Asian twist look so yummy - great picture too!!
Thanks, and I look forward to browsing your wonderful blog.....

2 Stews said...

Sounds really good, Kate. You know what they say is the mother of invention :-)

I think I'll try this with crab...thanks!


~~louise~~ said...

I love meals like this Kate. Just tonight I stuffed a piece of flounder with leftover shrimp and would you believe leftover Matzoh Balls! I know it doesn't sound good (and it would take too long to explain) but with a bit of doctoring, I must say, YUM!!

Speaking of yum, your "grazing" fish cakes sound oh so good!!! Love the lemon grass! I'm in a "fishy" mood tonight, May I have just one? Please...

Carol at Serendipity said...


Sounds yummy. I cook from the refrigerator sometimes, too.

Your photos are perfect - the header is gorgeous.


Carol at Serendipity said...


You should be a mentor! Your blog is elegant!


Thibeault's Table said...

Your fish cakes look and sound wonderful. Next time I cook halibut I'll cook extra so I can make your fish cakes.

Kate at Serendipity said...

Thanks for your comments. These fish cakes were really very good! But according to foodgawker, the photos are 'dull and unsharp'. Sigh...

Stella said...

I can't believe I missed this post, Kate! These look so good. My Mom and I are going out to get some fresh fish right now from the Dekalb Farmers Market here in Atlanta.