Stovetop Fish Cakes

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Fabulous Fish Cakes

I don’t know about you, but I love fresh fish.  Seattle is the right place for me — it is easy to find seasonal fresh fish in the fish markets here.  When I have my family for dinner, I usually prepare some type of seafood since none of us eat pork, we eat very very little red meat and we are sick of chicken.  

This past week I had my two kids who live here along with their households for Friday night dinner.  There were six adults, four kids who could feed themselves and 10 ½ month old twins who eat but need to have food cut up in tiny pieces.  My daughter came over in the morning and showed me how to sous vide the halibut I bought, then arrived early for dinner to demonstrate the searing of said fish.  Let me tell you, it was really buttery and moist!  I made six pounds of fish and thought I would have a lot left over, yet when all was said and done I had less than a pound of halibut left (the 5-year old girl ate three servings of fish, the babies did pretty well too, and the older kids ate like they had never seen food before). 

For the leftover fish, I pulled out my recipe for crab cakes, substituted shredded halibut chunks and in 10 minutes the patties were resting in the refrigerator, ready to be floured and fried and eaten with either a squeeze of lemon, some homemade aioli or homemade blueberry salsa from the night before.  

This basic recipe can be used with previously cooked salmon, crab meat (it is horribly expensive here so that is a non starter) or any other pre-cooked white fish that is a little firm.  

Stovetop Fish Cakes

Makes 4-6 cakes



Fish Cake Ingredients
  • 1 lb halibut, shredded a bit with a fork 
  • 1 large leek, chopped into ¼ inch pieces (½ cup). You could use shallots but Jake had leeks growing in his garden!
  • 1 Tbsp fresh minced dill, parsley, basil  or cilantro (your choice)
  • 1 ½ tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 2-4 Tbsp dry bread crumbs – start with 2 Tbsp and add more if you need the mix to stay firmer
  • ¼ cup mayo (mine is homemade)
  • Salt to taste but I didn’t add any
  • fresh ground white pepper
  • 1 whole egg
Frying Ingredients
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Mix halibut, leeks, fresh herbs, Old Bay, bread crumbs and mayonnaise in a small bowl – leave the lumps of fish a little intact.  Season with salt if needed and pepper to taste.  Carefully add one beaten egg just until the mix stays together.

Divide the mixture into 4-6 patties, about 3 inches across by 1 inch thick.  Put on a waxed paper lined rimmed tray and place in the refrigerator, covered with plastic, for  30 minutes or as long as 24 hours.

Ready for cooking

Put flour on a dinner plate. Lightly dredge each side of the fish cakes. Heat oil in a large nonstick fry pan over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Gently lay the chilled fish cakes in the skillet; pan-fry until the outsides are crisp and browned, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Serve hot, with or without salsa or aioli or sauce of your choosing.

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