Recipe: Homemade Fishcakes

Story by Hal Goodtree. Photo by Alpha.

Cary, NC – I don’t know where I learned this recipe for homemade fishcakes, but it’s easy, low fat, high in protein and fish oils and positively delicious. Perfect for a summer evening.

Start with Leftover Fish

That’s really the secret to this recipe: start with leftovers.

Any kind of fish will do: baked salmon or grilled tuna, pan-fried tilapia or broiled swordfish.


  • Half-pound (two servings) of cooked fish
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 Eggs
  • Spices – pepper, paprika, oregano

Directions – Prep

Peel the carrots, wash the celery and skin the onion. Using a food processor, dice the vegetables finely one at a time and dump in a large bowl.

Prepare the cooked fish for the food processor – remove any skin, bones or breading. Food process until the fish is like a mealy in consistency. Dump it in the bowl with the processed vegetables.

Add whatever spices you like. I use pepper, paprika and dried oregano from our garden. I don’t use salt because fish is already salty. But, really, any seasonings will work. I’ve even made this recipe with curry.

Add the bread crumbs. Beat the eggs in a bowl and add them to the veggies, fish, breadcrumbs and spices. Mix it all together in the bowl with a large spoon until the egg has coated everything and al the ingredients are evenly distributed.

Directions – Cooking

Pre-heat a pan or griddle to a medium hotness. Brush the surface with oil.

Form the fish-veggie-egg mixture into patties about the size of a hamburger. Place them on the hot griddle.

Turn once with a spatula after about 7 minutes. Cook until both sides are a medium brownness.

Variations – You could also deep fry these babies, bake them or cook them on the grill.


Lemon juice is nice, adding a piquant flavor. Cocktail sauce or tartar sauce are fine condiments for fishcakes. Salsa would be good, too.

My favorite: wasabi sauce. You can find it in the supermarket near the ketchup and mustard.

Serve the fishcakes on a plate or in a bun.

Pair it with a green salad and a chilled white wine and you’re good to go.


6 replies
  1. Jennifer Grinter
    Jennifer Grinter says:

    I tried this recipe with leftover blackened swordfish and leftover cod. It was VERY good! My husband and I both really liked it!

  2. Tom M
    Tom M says:

    I was looking for something to do with left over Captain D’s fish and found this recipe. Wasn’t really expecting a lot, especially after trying to remove the breading from cold fish and microwaved wasn’t much easier, so I had a little breading in the mix. I added a little ZATARAIN’S® creole seasoning and we were very pleasantly surprised! Chipotle Ranch dressing as a dipping sauce is great on them! I will definitely be doing this one again! Next time I will De-bread the fish before putting it in the fridge, even though I think it actually added to the texture and favor.

  3. Michelle Williams
    Michelle Williams says:

    This is my second attempt to leave a review. Kept getting an error message.
    Thank you so much for this simple recipe. We had a leftover whole snapper and I was going to make a fish stew, but searched for something different. I didn’t have an onion so I added a parsnip, a couple teaspoons of homemade salsa and fresh chives. I have celiac and used gluten free bread crumbs. I used eggs from our own hens and they are smaller than the supermarket variety. Those two things made me wonder if the patties would hold together. I was pleasantly surprised when they held up beautifully throughout the cooking process. The patties cooked in under 10 minutes on a griddle. I couldn’t stop saying Yum while eating dinner. These are so good, maybe having no onion was a good thing! Hubby thought it would make a good crab cake

    • Hal Goodtree
      Hal Goodtree says:

      Glad you enjoyed it! Just about anything works – fish, shrimp, crab. I may try all vegetable one day.

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  1. […] Recipe: Homemade Fishcakes Perfect for a summer evening. Start with Leftover Fish. That's really the secret to thius recipe: start with leftovers. Any kind of fish will do: baked salmon or grilled tuna, pan-fried tilapia or broiled swordfish. Ingredients. Half-pound (two … Read more on CaryCitizen […]

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