What Is Fish Cake? Learn How to Make and Cook Them Now!

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With its flaky texture and savory flavor, fish cake is a popular dish loved by many around the world. Made from chopped or mashed fish, combined with various seasonings and binders, this versatile food can be found in different forms and variations across cultures.

If you’re unfamiliar with fish cakes, you might wonder what exactly they are and how to prepare them. Fortunately, learning how to make and cook fish cakes is not only easy but also fun!

In this guide, we’ll explore what fish cakes are, their history, and some popular types of fish used for making them. We’ll also walk you through step-by-step instructions on how to create your own delicious fish cake recipe, whether pan-frying, grilling, or baking. Plus, we will also share some creative serving ideas and side dishes that complement fish cakes perfectly.

“Fish cakes have been enjoyed as a staple food in several cuisines worldwide since ancient times. Join us in discovering how to make these delectable treats at home!”

In the end, you’ll have everything you need to know about preparing mouth-watering fish cakes, allowing you to impress your guests or enjoy a new twist on seafood dinners any time! So buckle up, grab your apron, and let’s get started!

What Are Fish Cakes?

Fish cakes are a seafood delicacy that consist of cooked fish which is mixed with various ingredients to form small or large cakes. The cakes can be pan-fried, baked or deep-fried, depending on one’s preference. They are easy to make and very tasty, making them popular in many countries around the world.

Overview of Fish Cakes

Fish cakes have been enjoyed for centuries due to their versatility and delicious taste. They can be made easily at home with simple ingredients, such as mashed potatoes, herbs, spices, breadcrumbs, and egg yolk. There are also gourmet variations available from high-end restaurants where they may use exotic types of fish, like crab, lobster or shrimp to create unique flavour profiles.

Fish cakes are commonly served as appetizers, finger food, main course items, or even breakfast dishes in some cultures. In Asian countries, fishcakes are often sold as street food and are eaten alongside noodles or rice. A common variation known as “Korean fish cakes” called odeng-guk is consumed by boiling it in a soup broth with other ingredients like vegetables and tofu.

In Scandinavian countries, codfish is used to prepare traditional fiskekaker(fish cakes) along with mashed potatoes in a patty-like shape coated with crispy breadcrumbs. It is usually served alongside a creamy sauce filled with fresh herbs. Meanwhile, Latin American versions include using corvina(haddock), garlic seasoning plus cheese sometimes topped with tartar sauce rather than gravy.

History of Fish Cakes

Fish cakes find their origins of preparation in Northern European Countries such as Norway and UK during medieval times, where leftover pieces of fish would be combined with starch and shaped into patties. These patties were then pan-fried and sold in local markets. In the 19th century, Irish fishermen created “fisherman’s pie”, which was a baked dish made from leftover fish combined with mashed potatoes. The concept of adding spices and herbs evolved across time.

The first mention of codfish cakes being served at restaurants dates back to America in 1880s when it became popular among seafarers seeking hearty meals while travelling. After World War II, canned tuna replaced salted cod and dried haddock due to easy availability while salmon was introduced as well slowly evolving from seafood staple to party necessity.

Popular Variations of Fish Cakes

Fish cakes come in various shapes, sizes, flavours, and ingredients depending on their country or origin. Here are some examples of popular variations:

  • Thai Fish Cakes: These cakes are usually formed into small balls before frying and then served alongside dipping sauces such as sweet chili sauce or peanut sauce.. They might add lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, cilantro, garlic, red chili peppers plus sometimes coconut milk to bring all Asian flavors together.
  • Japanese Fish Cakes: : Japanese-style fish cakes called kamaboko have an airier texture that is steamed rather than fried, carved into shape making it look like pink and white-checkered loaves resembling decorative designs known as narutomaki.
  • Codfish Cakes: Codfish cakes form one of the traditional dishes often enjoyed by residents of the northeastern USA region especially Boston but also found throughout New England areas. This dish always features boiled cod mixed along with potatoes, onions, eggs plus seasoned breadcrumbs deep bad until nice golden brown color, commonly paired with tartar or tomato-based sauces as a condiment.
“Fishcakes will always be one of those all-time comfort foods for me. My aunt used to make them often after we’d gone fishing in the local river, and they were always incredibly fresh and delicious.” -Craig David

Fish cakes are loved in many cultures around the world due to their flavour and versatility. They may have originated as leftovers but now fish cakes can be found everywhere from high-end restaurant menus down to street food carts. With different variations like Japanese kamaboko or Thai fish balls alongside classic codfish cakes there is certainly something for everyone’s taste buds!

How Are Fish Cakes Made?

Ingredients for Fish Cakes

Fish cakes are a popular dish made with cooked fish and other ingredients, shaped into a patty and fried golden brown. The ingredients used in making fish cakes can vary depending on the recipe, but there are some common ingredients that you may find.

  • Fresh or canned fish (Salmon, Tuna, Cod, etc.)
  • Boiled potatoes
  • Bread crumbs or crackers
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Lemon juice
  • Eggs
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation of Fish Cakes

The first step in preparing fish cakes is boiling the fish until it’s fully cooked and tender. You can use fresh or canned fish depending on your choice, but if you’re using canned fish make sure to drain it before mixing.

The next step is mashing boiled potatoes. You can mash them traditionally using a potato masher, or alternatively pulse them in a food processor to create a smooth texture.

Add the mashed potatoes, bread crumbs, finely chopped onion and garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and beaten eggs to the cooked fish and mix everything together. Make sure the mixture looks homogeneous.

If you notice that the mixture is too wet or runny, add more breadcrumbs or flour to help thicken it up before forming it into patties.

Cooking Fish Cakes

After forming the mixture into small patties, allow them for settling in the refrigerator for at least one hour, so they won’t fall apart in the frying process.

Heat a skillet with cooking oil and gently place fish patties into it. Cook each side around 4-5 minutes until they’re golden brown on both sides. Once cooked, use a tissue paper to remove any excess oil from the surface of the patty.

“Fishcakes are a simple home-cooked dish that is quick and easy to make and leftovers can be reheated for lunch or dinner.”

The once humble fishcake has become something of an iconic staple from many cultures around the world, with different twists given depending on the region. While based on similar ingredients, recipes vary commensurate with tradition and local flavors – Charlotte Lyons-Warren

Fish cakes are not only tasty but healthy due to their high protein content. Their preparation requires some basic culinary skills; you can try these creative variations based on your liking by changing up the type of fish used while keeping other ingredients consistent.

What Are the Different Types of Fish Cakes?

Traditional Fish Cakes

Fish cakes are a popular snack or appetizer in many cultures around the world. Traditional fish cakes often include white fish such as cod, haddock or whiting along with flour, potatoes, and herbs like parsley and thyme. Some recipes may also call for egg and breadcrumbs to help bind the ingredients together.

These cakes can be found all over Europe where they are known by different names but share similar ingredients: brandade de morue (France), frikadellefisk (Denmark) and fiskekake (Norway) are just a few examples.

“You cannot make an omelet without breaking eggs.” – French proverb

Thai Fish Cakes

One of the most popular types of fish cake is the Thai version which features a blend of fish paste, red curry paste, sugar, fish sauce, and kaffir lime leaves. Then it’s fried until crispy on the outside but still moist on the inside.

In Thailand, these cakes are called tod man pla and can be found at street food vendors, restaurants, and markets throughout the country.

“Thai cuisine is about balancing bold flavours: sour, sweet, salty, bitter.” – Yotam Ottolenghi

Salmon Fish Cakes

Salted salmon and hot-smoked salmon are two common varieties used to create the perfect smoked salmon fish cake. Fresh salmon is typically baked before flaking it into chunks that are then mixed with various minced vegetables, such as onions or carrots, and bread crumbs. This recipe typically omits the use of potatoes thus producing a firmer texture.

The taste and texture of salmon fish cakes make it a perfect food pairing with hollandaise sauce – the classic combination being an appreciated brunch dish in America, the UK, and Canada.

“That’s what we do in the kitchen. We create magic.” – Marcus Samuelsson

Cod Fish Cakes

Cod is used not only in Traditional but also codfish cake is prepared on its own as well. The key to great codfish cakes, whether traditional or not, lies in the freshness of the cod used. Potatoes, onions, milk, eggs, and bread crumbs are added to form patties that can be baked or pan-fried till they achieve golden brown deliciousness. Cod fish cakes have variations that differ from region to region: Icelandic and Portuguese versions being particularly famous worldwide.

Another way of enjoying dried salted cod meat made into a most amazing Jamaican snack referred to as “stamp and go” which consists of pieces of battered fried fish served with seasoned sauces or dips such as tartar sauce or coconut-flavored curry sauce or dipping mustard.

“Fish is meant to be eaten in swimming schools…” – Alan Watts

What Are Some Popular Fish Cake Recipes?

Classic Fish Cake Recipe

A classic fish cake is a simple yet delicious recipe that can be enjoyed as an appetizer or main course. To make this recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 pound of cooked and flaked white fish (cod, haddock, or pollock)
  • 1 cup of mashed potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup of flour
  • 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs
  • Oil for frying

To make the fish cakes, mix together the flaked fish, mashed potatoes, parsley, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Divide the mixture into 8 balls and flatten them into patties.

Dredge each patty in the flour, dip it in the beaten egg, and coat it with breadcrumbs. Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat and cook the fish cakes for about 4-5 minutes on each side until golden brown and crispy.

“Fish cakes are perfect for using up leftover fish and they’re quick and easy to make.” – Jamie Oliver

Spicy Fish Cake Recipe

If you like your food with a bit of a kick, then you’ll love this spicy fish cake recipe. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 pound of cooked and flaked white fish (tilapia, cod, or salmon)
  • 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger paste
  • 1 teaspoon of red chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Oil for frying

To make the fish cakes, mix together the flaked fish, breadcrumbs, egg, green onions, garlic, ginger paste, chili flakes, paprika, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Divide the mixture into 8 balls and flatten them into patties.

Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat and cook the fish cakes for about 4-5 minutes on each side until golden brown and crispy.

“Fish cakes are a great way to add some spice and flavor to leftover fish.” – Gordon Ramsay

Whether you prefer classic or spicy flavors, these popular fish cake recipes are sure to be a hit at your next dinner party or family gathering. They are simple to make, use inexpensive ingredients, and can be adapted to suit your tastes and dietary needs. So why not give them a try today?

What Is Fish Cake?

Fish cake is a popular dish made from fish that has been minced or pureed and mixed with potatoes, spices, and other ingredients. This mixture is then shaped into patties or balls and cooked using various methods like frying, baking, grilling, or microwaving. It’s often enjoyed as a snack, appetizer, or side dish in many different cultures around the world.

Frying Fish Cakes

If you’re looking for a crispy exterior and soft interior, frying your fish cakes could be the best option. The oil used should be hot but not smoking; otherwise, it may burn the fish cakes’ outer layer before cooking them through. Use a slotted spoon to turn the fish cakes gently while they cook to ensure even browning. Once done, let them sit on paper towels to drain any excess oil before serving.

“When frying fish cakes, use an oil that can withstand high heat, such as vegetable, canola, or peanut oil.” -The Spruce Eats

Baking Fish Cakes

If you prefer a healthier alternative with less fat, baking fish cakes might suit you better than frying. Brush the fish cakes with a bit of oil or melted butter if you want them crispier, then bake them in a preheated oven at 400 F for about 20-25 minutes, flipping them halfway through until golden brown. You can also place them on a lined sheet tray instead of greasing with oil for a lower calorie option.

“Baked fish cakes are healthier as compared to their fried counterparts and are considered to be a low-fat alternative.” -NDTV Food

Grilling Fish Cakes

Grilling is another healthy way to cook fish cakes, and it adds a smoky flavor that complements the taste of the dish. Brush the grill racks with oil or use non-stick sprays to avoid sticking. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat before placing the fish cakes on the grates, gently touching them as little as possible during cooking to prevent breaking apart. Cook for several minutes until the edges are well marked, then flip them over using a spatula, carefully brushing the other side with some oil before continuing to cook.

“Grilling is an excellent way to get perfectly crispy fish cakes without compromising their moisture content.” -Food52

Microwaving Fish Cakes

When you’re in a hurry but don’t want to compromise the quality of your fish cakes, microwaving could be a convenient option. Place the fish cakes on a microwave-safe plate, cover them with a damp paper towel, and heat them at high power for about 2-4 minutes, depending on the quantity and size of the cakes. Check them after every minute to ensure they’re not getting dry or rubbery. Although microwaving doesn’t provide the same texture and flavor as other methods, it can be a lifesaver in certain situations.

“Microwave cooking maintains nutrients better than any other method due to its shorter processing time.” -Harvard Health Publishing

What Are the Best Sides to Serve With Fish Cakes?

Tartar Sauce

Tartar sauce is a classic condiment that pairs perfectly with fish cakes. It’s creamy and tangy, with a unique flavor profile that complements the delicate taste of the seafood cakes. You can buy pre-made tartar sauce from any grocery store, or you can make it yourself by mixing mayonnaise, minced onions, pickles, lemon juice, and capers.

“Tartar sauce is one of the best condiments to serve with fish cakes as its acidity cuts through the richness of the main dish.” -Delishably


Another side that goes very well with fish cakes is some crispy fries or chips. This combination reminisces traditional British fish and chips and adds an extra layer of crunchiness and texture to the meal. The salt seasoning in both the dishes enhances each other’s flavors, leaving behind an enticing experience altogether.

“Fish and chips are invincible individually, but together they become something else entirely- everything about this pairing sings in perfect harmony” -Food Republic


Coleslaw is another tasty option that provides a welcome contrast to the softness of a fish cake. The fresh cabbage-based salad with a hint of sweetness complements the creaminess of the tartare sauce beautifully, elevating the entire dish to greater heights of deliciousness.

“The beauty of coleslaw lies not just in its crisp freshness but also in the fact that the vinegar-based dressing gives your palate a bit of a shock –a much-needed break when eating richer proteins such as fried fish.” -BritanniaLiving

Green Salad

If you’re looking for something a bit lighter and refreshing, then the green salad can be an ideal accompaniment to fish cakes. It provides an excellent contrast in texture and also adds some much-needed vitamins and fiber into your meal—squeezing lemon on top will enhance its taste further.

“The best salads accentuate the main dish rather than compete with it; this is why simple greens with lemon vinaigrette or a tangy honey mustard dressing make great company for rich fried food like fishcakes.” -Food52
In conclusion, there are several sides that go wonderfully well with fish cakes. From classic tartar sauce to crispy chips/fries, coleslaw, and fresh greens, you’ve got plenty of options to choose from depending on your preference. Whether you want something crunchy or refreshing, any of these dishes would perfectly complement your savory seafood cake, delivering a delightful feast to remember!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the ingredients of fish cake?

Fish cake is typically made with white fish meat, like cod or haddock, mixed with mashed potatoes, breadcrumbs, and seasonings such as salt, pepper, and herbs. Some recipes may include additional ingredients such as onions, garlic, or cheese.

What are the nutritional benefits of eating fish cake?

Fish cake is a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for heart health and reducing inflammation in the body. However, it can also be high in calories and sodium depending on how it is prepared.

What are the different types of fish used in making fish cake?

While cod and haddock are the most common types of fish used in fish cake, other white fish such as tilapia or pollock can also be used. Some recipes may also call for salmon or tuna.

What is the difference between fish cake and fish ball?

While both are made from fish meat, fish cake is usually made with a mixture of fish and other ingredients like potatoes and breadcrumbs, while fish balls are typically made solely from ground fish meat. Fish balls are also often served in soups or broths, while fish cake can be served as a standalone dish or in sandwiches.

What are some popular dishes that use fish cake as an ingredient?

Fish cake is a popular ingredient in many Asian dishes, such as Korean fish cake soup or Japanese fish cake sushi rolls. It can also be used in Western dishes like fish cakes with tartar sauce or fish cake sandwiches.

What is the origin of fish cake and where is it commonly eaten?

Fish cake has been a popular dish in many cultures for centuries, with variations found in Asian, European, and African cuisines. It is commonly eaten in countries like Korea, Japan, and the United Kingdom, and can be found in many seafood markets and restaurants around the world.

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