Thursday, March 3, 2011

Fish Cakes... a Maritime Staple

You know... I ate fish cakes a lot when I was a kid. Several of my uncles were fishermen, and they gave my mom tons of fish, mostly cod and salmon. Both of which we ate a lot of. I wasn't so keen on the salmon but I did love fish cakes. Mom made them with cod mostly. But you know, I haven't made them that many times in my married life. I bought them frozen a lot for my kids, but making them from scratch was not in my routine.

It really was Scottie who reminded me how yummy they are homemade, after he treated me to a pan full. He made them from scratch and it inspired me to make them too. I bought some nice dried Cod from Carol Robicheau, Seafood Express. She also gave me a nice recipe that I sort of followed. I omitted the green peppers, I only put in a quarter of the bacon, and I only added one egg, not two. It doesn't really say how many potatoes to use, so I cooked this many. How do you measure potatoes anyway. I used 5 BIG ones.They are so easy to make and I got 15 nice size fish cakes. I used an ice cream scoop to get them the same size. I decided to experiment with the actual cooking part of the fish cakes.
The recipe I have from the Robicheau family says to saute them for 4 to 5 minutes per side, without any dipping or coating. My mom (and I do believe Scott) dipped them in egg and then flour. When I "googled" it, some mentioned bread crumbs both on the inside of the fish cakes and the outside. So... I tried 2 of each technique. 2 plain, 2 dipped in egg and then flour, and 2 dipped in egg and rolled in bread crumbs.
As far as handling the fish cakes, I put them in the fridge for 30 minutes while I cleaned up. The one down fall to making fish cakes from scratch... the amount of dishes you use. The dipping of the egg went fine, and the rolling in breadcrumbs were truly a piece of cake. The rolling in flour version was gooy, clumpy and messy. Not a winner so far. Lets see how they fry up.
The palest fish cakes in the frying pan are the flour coated ones. Believe it or not, the plain, untreated (naked) fish cakes cooked up very nice. The breadcrumb ones did too. Still not many good things about the flour coated ones!The taste test was fun too. Three fishcakes was way too many for me... man, I was stuffed! But I had to try one of each, right? So, the breadcrumbs was the best, but the "naked" ones were a very close second. Flour coated... no bonus to them, what so ever! Don't bother!. More observations about our fishcakes. I cut the bacon down to a quarter of what they called, mainly for the calorie save. Well, we didn't taste any bacon, really, so, why bother with the extra fat. I would rather use the extra fat in the frying pan to get a nice golden coat. Also, I would use the second egg in the actual fish cakes, because I found them a little dry without the second egg.

I left a little of each of my fish cakes for the kitties, and they had nothing to say about any of them. They just cleaned my plate and walked away.. not even a thank you.
The Recipe... by permission of Sarah Robicheau

Seafood Express Maritime Fish Cakes

1 lb salt cod or salt pollock
(soak overnight in water, change water several times)
In the morning, change water and bring to a boil, then simmer about 15 minutes.

Cook and Mash potatoes
1 lb bacon, fried lightly
2 onion, fried lightly
1 green pepper, fried lightly
Summer savory (a heavy sprinkle)
2 eggs

Mix all together in a big bowl. Let sit a little while to bind together.
Scoop up with ice-cream scoop. Pat down lightly with a fork. Saute about 3-4 minutes per side.


Scott said...

Bacon in fish cakes! I'll definitely have to try that next time I make them! They look fantastic.

GailM. said...

I'll try this when we get home. We had amazing crab cakes on the cruise ship this week. I'm going to try them when I get home too.

Anonymous said...

we love fish cakes and we love bacon...gonna have to try these!


ancient one said...

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mvm said...

I love fishcakes, but I have never made them. I usually wait for my parents to visit or if I go home they make them for me. Now that you have put up the recipe I may have to give them a try. They look so yummy :D

Anonymous said...


Thanks so much for this. I'm from the Digby area but moved to AB years ago. Was looking for a good recipe as I brought some salt cod (from Digby!) out with me on my last visit home. Miss the smell of the salt water all ready!! My mom always used breadcrumbs with a little flour mixed in but will definiately try the bacon.