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Homemade Fish Cakes


After trying some fish cakes at a restaurant a while ago, I was inspired to make some at home. I’m generally not a huge fish fan, but I actually like it when it’s made into a cake.

Basically, I took the crab cake recipe I use and tinkered with it a teeny bit to make it work for fish cakes. I’ve been making these on a pretty regular basis now and since they’re approved by the whole family, I thought I’d share the recipe.

fish cakes

I think you could use pretty much any mild-tasting white fish you’d like, but I use frozen tilapia, which you can buy in a two pound bag at Aldi for $5.99.

You know what my one complaint about tilapia is, though? Pretty much anywhere I buy it, each fillet comes individually wrapped in plastic. The trash-y part of that annoys me, but it’s also a pain to cut open each fillet, especially when you’re using a whole bunch of fish for a family of six.

I digress.

Where were we? Oh, the fish. You’ll need a pound of cooked white fish. I thaw my tilapia, season it with salt and pepper, and cook it over medium-high heat in a skillet (with enough butter to keep it from sticking). It only takes a few minutes on each side.


Let the fish cool for a few minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together mayo, mustard, parsley, seafood seasoning (Old Bay), and an egg, and then stir in the bread crumbs.

I usually make my own bread crumbs by toasting dried ends of bread and then running them through the food processor, but you can use prepared crumbs instead.


When the fish is cool enough to handle, break it up into small pieces and add it to the mayo/egg mixture. Properly cooked fish should flake really easily, so this isn’t a time-consuming task at all.

fish cakes in process

Gently fold the fish into the egg/mayo mixture until it’s all evenly coated.


Using your hands, shape the fish mixture into patties. You can make them as large or as small as you want, but I usually go for something around the size of a hamburger. Place the patties onto a clean baking sheet.


At this point, they’re pretty delicate and would fall apart if you tried to place them in a skillet. To help them firm up, place them in the fridge for 10-15 minutes.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of butter. Add as many fish cakes as will comfortably fit in the skillet (leave room so you can easily flip them).


I’m not sure why there are only two in the skillet in this particular photo. Please imagine another three or four.

Let the cakes cook for 5-7 minutes (depending on the size), or until they’re nicely browned on the bottom. Then gently flip them over and cook ’em until they’re golden brown on that side.

Repeat with the remaining patties, adding more butter as needed, and then dig in!

You can serve these as-is, with tartar sauce on the side, or they’re also good made into sandwiches, with tartar sauce, lettuce, and tomato.

fish cakes with salad and asparagus

Fish Cakes

serves 4-6

Printable Fish Cake Recipe

1 pound of cooked white fish, flaked
1 egg yolk
1 egg
2 teaspoons seafood seasoning
1 teaspoon prepared mustard (not dry)
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup bread crumbs

In a bowl, whisk together egg yolk, egg, seafood seasoning, mustard, parsley, and mayo until smooth. Stir in bread crumbs, then gently fold in fish.

Shape fish mixture into patties and place on a baking sheet. Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes.

Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium heat and add two tablespoons butter. Gently place fish cakes in pan and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until golden brown on bottom. Carefully flip cakes and cook for another 3-5 minutes, or until golden brown on both sides.

Serve with tartar sauce, or make into a sandwich with a bun, tartar sauce, lettuce, and tomato.

Food Waste Friday is over at Simply Being Mum today.

Joshua’s 365 post: My Latest Origami

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Sunday 16th of August 2020

I’m single, so it is just me. How do leftovers hold up? Pretty sure I can’t eat a full batch for one meal.


Sunday 16th of August 2020

Leftovers are yummy (I actually like them cold!), but since they're fish, I wouldn't keep them for a bunch of days. I'd halve the recipe for sure so that you can use them up in a day or two.


Friday 14th of August 2020

Thank you for this recipe I have used it several times and it is delicious.


Tuesday 23rd of June 2020

You had re-shared this on a menu post a few weeks ago, and I'm so glad you did! My daughter requested crab for her bday dinner (she's turning 7, apparently we raise them with good - and expensive! - taste around here), but we're having my parents over as well and my dad is allergic to crustaceans. This looks perfect to make for him so that he gets some fun seafood along with the rest of us!


Tuesday 15th of September 2015

I didn't have any seafood seasoning so I just used seasoning salt. Bad choice! I couldn't find Old Bay at several stores. I did finally find it, its quite expensive and this the only recipe I have that calls for it. How else do you use Old Bay? I want to include more seafood in my diet so is probably a good seasoning to have on hand.


Monday 30th of March 2020

A few years late for a response, but I use Old Bay on lots of food - it's a great seasoning for veggies - either fresh or frozen


Tuesday 15th of September 2015

Old Bay seems to be more readily available in coastal areas (which makes sense, given that it's a seafood seasoning!). It can be used when you cook most kinds of can sprinkle it on top of fish, with some butter, and then broil the fish. Or you can season shrimp with it before you steam them (use a heavy hand because some of the seasoning will come off during cooking).

Some stores have their own brand of seafood seasoning too...even if it's not Old Bay exactly. Also, there are a bunch of DIY recipes on the internet, like this one: I might give that a try!


Thursday 2nd of July 2015

This is so good! I lost my old recipe for fish cakes so I googled it and stumbled across this one. Made it tonight and my kids asked for seconds! Definitely a keeper! I did season my fish with creole seasoning while it was cooking. Made for a super tasty cake

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