Fish cakes from different cultures

Reply Thu 18 Dec, 2008 07:27 pm
I've been mumbling about fish cakes for a while now, both to myself and sometimes to a2k. I've been working up to cooking some, primarily remembering that I really liked my mother's codfish cakes - mixed with wanting more fish in my diet.
I've looked up recipes and saved a few, including one for Thai fish cakes.
Tell us about any fish cakes or fish balls (etc.) you cook.....

Today in the New York Times I read about a small well regarded restaurant in Paris, In Successful Paris Restaurant, Jewish Roots, and with that was a recipe for brandade potato latkes. Hmmm. Today is the day I try it.

So here's that recipe (to follow). Tonight I'm using that as inspiration while modifying it almost totally, as is my way. I'm not finished yet with my riff on it - which is based on what I have at hand - will add that later.

December 17, 2008
Brandade Potato Latkes
Adapted from Daniel Rose

Time: 1 hour plus 15 minutes’ resting and 30 minutes’ refrigeration

2 pounds fresh skinless boneless cod
Sea salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup milk
5 thyme sprigs
8 cloves garlic, crushed
2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and halved
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil for frying
2 cups matzo meal or fine dry bread crumbs.

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Liberally coat cod with about 3 tablespoons salt on each side, and allow to rest for 15 minutes. Rinse with cold water and pat dry with paper towels.

2. Place cod in an 8 by 12 baking dish or jelly roll pan. Pour olive oil and milk over cod, and lay thyme sprigs and garlic on top. Cover with foil and bake until fish is just cooked and begins to flake, about 20 minutes. When fish has cooked, remove cod and reserve thyme and cooking liquid; discard garlic.

3. While fish cooks, place potatoes in a large pot and add cold water to cover and 2 tablespoons salt. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well and return to pot. Place over very low heat for about 4 minutes to get rid of excess moisture. Remove from heat; mash in pot until smooth.

4. In a large bowl, whisk egg. Stir mashed potatoes, little by little, into egg. Add leaves (not stems) from reserved thyme. Using a fork, flake cod and fold it into mashed potatoes until well blended. If batter is too stiff, mix an extra 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup cod cooking liquid into the remaining batter. If it does not hold together, add up to 1/4 cup matzo meal. Season to taste with pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

5. Fill a large skillet with about 1/4 inch vegetable oil, and place over medium-high heat. Using a 1/2 cup or 1/4 cup measuring cup, measure a portion of cod-potato mixture and shape into a 1/2 inch thick disk. Coat disks in matzo meal or bread crumbs. Fry until golden, turning once, about 2 minutes a side. Repeat with remaining batter and drain on paper towels. To serve, reheat if necessary on a baking sheet in a 350-degree oven.

Yield: 8 main course servings (16 large latkes) or 32 hors d’oeuvre latkes.

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Reply Fri 19 Dec, 2008 02:02 pm
My great-aunt used to make salmon cakes with canned salmon, matzoh meal and eggs. I don't know a specific recipe. They were okay but salty. I don't remember any other spice in them but I bet pepper and dill would work.
Reply Fri 19 Dec, 2008 07:48 pm
Writing here from fishcakesRus... They turned out to be tasty.

What have I done?

Tilapia Onion Fishcakes

Time: no idea
Yield, 16 medium sized fish cakes

2/3 lb tilapia filets (2) fresh - in my case, previously baked over a bed of onions

bed of onions ---
two medium brown onions, chopped and sauteed in 3 tbs olive oil at somewhat low flame for 1/2 hour
- to which was added 1/2 tablespoon whole ground mustard
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- squeeze of 1/2 lemon
- cooked onion mix put in baking dish, tilapia placed over, baked 1/2 hour at 350. (I started with three, but ate one filet)

1 - 3/4 pound of red boiling potatoes, medium sized - boiled and peeled, let cool, then mashed, nothing added to them

3/4 cup milk

6 fat cloves garlic, crushed, chopped (I like garlic)

1 large egg, lightly beaten (I used one medium egg and one medium egg white)

Freshly ground black pepper - lots

oil for frying - I'm using olive oil, sauteing on low, about 2 tablespoons per batch of fish cakes

bread crumbs - I used one 4" ciabatta "roll", torn to small pieces

In a large bowl, whisk egg. Stir mashed potatoes into egg.
Add mashed garlic and the onion mixture (I cut mine into smaller bits).

Using a kitchen scissors, cut tilapia filets into bits and fold it into mashed potatoes/onions until well blended. Add bread crumbs or matzo meal until mix doesn't feel too wet.
Season to taste with pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Lightly coat a teflon skillet with vegetable or olive oil, and place over fairly low flame. Shape a handful off the fish cake mix into 1/2 inch thick disk. You may want to add a little flour or more bread crumbs if they seem too wet.

Saute, turning once with care, until golden on both sides. Repeat with remaining batter and drain on paper towels. To serve, reheat if necessary on a baking sheet in a 350-degree oven.

(I have a bias towards slow sauteing, so in other hands this could go faster.)

Secret ingredient - I did have a leftover marinated artichoke quarter, and chopped it and added that in the mix too.

Reply Sat 20 Dec, 2008 09:52 am
Oh, the other secret ingredient - I had added some cut up anchovies, but forgot to list them in the recipe. Good addition to the bland tilapia, if you like anchovies.
Reply Sat 20 Dec, 2008 10:06 am
Thoughts for more fish cakes -

using tinned sardines in mustard sauce, or "louisiana hot sauce"

using canned pink salmon, a little pickled ginger, perhaps some lime zest and fresh basil
Reply Tue 23 Dec, 2008 01:45 pm
Here's some mahi mahi fish cakes from Bon Appetit -

http://www.bonappetit.com/magazine/fasteasyfresh/2009/01/fish_cakes_with_coleslaw --


Reply Tue 23 Dec, 2008 01:58 pm
Thai fish cakes, By Darlene Schmidt, About.com (link)


quoting --

If you like crab cakes, you're going to love fish cakes just as much. These Thai Fish Cakes can be made with nearly any type of fish. Though not strictly Thai, I've taken the liberty of adding a very North American ingredient to these cakes (this is the secret ingredient that keeps them from falling apart). The cakes take a little less than an hour to make, but are well worth every minute. Enjoy these fish cakes with one of the dipping sauces mentioned in the recipe, plus a cold lager or chilled glass of white wine. Makes a great party food or appetizer!

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes


Serves 4 as an Appetizer
2 fillets of salmon, cod, sole, or other fish (1/2 lb. to 3/4 lb. or 300 g.)
2 large (or 3 small) potatoes
about 1 cup oil for frying (peanut, sunflower, coconut, canola, or other vegetable oil)
approximately 1 cup flour OR 1 1/2 cups bread or cracker crumbs (bread or cracker crumbs make a crispier crust)
1 egg, beaten
Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce for the dip (or make your own dipping sauce - see below)*

2 Tbsp. fish sauce
1 red or green chili, sliced (de-seeded if you prefer mild cakes)
3 kaffir lime leaves (dried, fresh, or frozen), snipped into small pieces with scissors (discard stem)
3 spring onions, sliced
1/3 cup coriander leaves and stems, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced


Place potatoes in a pot of water over high heat. Allow to boil while you perform the next several steps.
Place paste ingredients in a mini-chopper or food processor. Process well to create a paste. OR simply mince and stir everything together.
If using frozen fish, thaw it thoroughly (to thaw fish quickly, place in a bowl of tepid water for a few minutes). Cut the raw fish into small pieces and place in a mixing bowl. Remove any bones you might find.
When potatoes are cooked and soft enough to mash, drain them and place in a flat-bottomed bowl (or back in the pot). Quickly mash with a potato masher.
Add the mashed potatoes plus the paste you made earlier to the fish pieces. Mix well (don't worry if the fish falls apart).
Now, using your hands, make small patties or cakes. Tip: if cakes won't stay together because they are too "wet", add a little flour or bread/cracker crumbs to the fish/potato mixture.
Make Ahead Tip: If making ahead of time, cover cakes and refrigerate (overnight or up to 48 hours beforehand). When guests arrive, remove from fridge and continue with the steps below.

Cover a counter-top or cutting board with flour or bread/cracker crumbs. Tip: to make bread or cracker crumbs finer, briefly blend in a food processor. Dip the fishcakes into the beaten egg, then turn them over in the flour or breadcrumbs to coat.

Pour oil into a wok or frying pan, about 1 inch (or more) deep. Turn heat to medium-high (or around #7 on the dial). Oil is hot enough when bubbles begin to rise from the bottom of the pan, or when you see the oil "moving" ("snaking") across the bottom of the pan. Test it by dipping the edge of a fish cake into the oil - if it sizzles and begins to cook, the oil is ready.
Fry fish cakes until golden brown, approximately 2-3 minutes on each side. Use tongs to turn the cakes. When they are done frying, place on paper towels (or a tea towel) to drain excess oil.

Serve hot with Thai Sweet Chili Sauce* for dipping. Or make your own dipping sauce (see below). Thai fish cakes make a great appetizer, and are delicious with a cold lager or a chilled glass of your favorite white or blush wine.

*Thai Sweet Chili Sauce is now available at many large grocery chains in the Asian section, and at all Asian/Chinese food stores. OR make a very simple dipping sauce by combining 2 Tbsp. Chinese plum sauce with 1 Tbsp. soy sauce and 1 Tbsp. fish sauce. Add freshly cut chilies if you like it spicy. ENJOY!!!

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Reply Fri 16 Jan, 2009 11:15 am
For those who like tinned sardines --

I opened a tin of sardines in louisiana hot sauce, put all of it including sauce in a bowl, mashed them up, added some leftover cooked rice (arborio in this case) - probably two cups - made them into patties. That made easy patties, not too wet or dry, but if dry, you can add bread crumbs.

I cooked them on a non-stick pan, served with a little mayo on the side.
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Reply Fri 14 Feb, 2014 03:30 pm
adding new recipe, this time from Kerala:


Healthy Fish Cakes
Serves: 3 to 4


White Fish Fillets – 3 medium
Finely Minced Onions – 1/4 cup
Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
Red Chilly or Cayenne Pepper Powder – 1/4 tsp + 1/4 tsp
Garlic Powder – 1/4 tsp
Black Pepper Powder – 1/4 tsp
Dried Parley Flakes – 1 tsp (optional)
Egg – 1
Dessicated Coconut – 1 tbsp
Almond Flour – 2 tbsp approx (I made my own by powdering Almonds in a mixie)
Salt – to taste
Oil – 1.5 to 2 tbsp
Preparation Method

Wash and pat dry the fish fillets with a paper towel.
Marinate the fillets with 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, 1/4 tsp Red Chilly Powder and a little salt. Keep it aside for 5 minutes.
Heat 1-2 tsp oil in a wide non-stick pan or skillet. Place the fillets on the pan and allow it to cook for 3-4 minutes on medium heat.
Gently flip the fillets and let it cook for another 2-3 minutes. Do not worry if the fillets break or fall apart. Remove from heat. Once cooled, transfer it to a bowl and flake it with a fork.
Add garlic powder, black pepper powder, 1/4 tsp red chilly powder, dried parsley flakes, egg, dessicated coconut and chopped onions to the bowl.
Start mixing everything together with your hands. Add 1 to 2 tbsp almond flour as needed. Shape it into mini-patties.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a skillet or frying pan on medium heat. Gently fry the fish cakes for 3-4 minutes on each side or until browned.
Drain onto paper towels. Serve with ketchup, tartar sauce or any sauce of your choice.
(end quote)

Meantime, since my last post, I've made many dozens of fishcakes, using sardines or pink salmon or mackeral or even anchovies and peas, all with different flavorings, and usually involving mashed potatoes. This one from Kerala is new to me (coconut! almond flour!) so I'm putting it here to find it again.
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Reply Thu 3 Apr, 2014 02:56 am
My mom prepares it in the following manner and it turns out to be delicious. I am drooling Razz.

1 lb of cod fillets
2 medium-sized russett potatoes
1 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Grapeseed oil, or other high smoke point oil such as canola oil, for frying

1 Boil and mash the potatoes, set them aside.
2 Boil the codfish until it flakes easkly. Drain and flake the fish with a fork. Be sure to remove all bones.
3 Mix the flaked fish, the potatoes and the rest of the ingredients together well by hand. If the mixture is too crumbly, add another egg. If too sticky, add some more bread crumbs.
4 Form the mixture into cakes and fry them on medium high heat in a skillet coated with oil, until nice browned on one side, then flip them over and continue to cook until well browned on the other side.
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