Favorites: Fish Cakes with Sauce

This recipe is based on one I clipped from a printed BonAppetit magazine, date unknown. I first tried these fish cakes in 2009, and modified the recipe several times to settle on the version below. What’s kind of nice about this entree is that you can use frozen fish. I choose frozen mahi mahi, simply because I can always find it as a wild caught product in our local stores. Cooked as is from the package, it can be tough. But chopped up in these dill-seasoned fish cakes, it is a yummy delicacy.

I state to use “12 ounces” of fish because that’s the size package it’s sold in. Any fish will probably work. I’ve been successful with tuna, mahi mahi, and cod. If you don’t have quite 12 ounces of a fish filet, add a few scallops to make up the weight.

If you don’t have fresh dill, use any fresh herbs you have, like oregano and basil.

The recipe makes 4 fish cakes. It will serve 2-4 people, depending on appetites. For the two of us, I usually have a leftover fish cake that tastes good the next day!


  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup yogurt (substitute the yogurt with mayonnaise if you prefer)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (fresh) (go ahead and squeeze 3 tablespoons, since you will need 1 tablespoon for the fish cakes)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons pickle relish
  • 1-2 tablespoons horseradish (this depends on how hot your horseradish is and how much you like the taste of horseradish)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill (go ahead and chop 3 tablespoons, since you will need a tablespoon for the fish cakes)
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions (go ahead and chop 1/2 cup, since you will need 1/4 cup for the fish cakes)

Fish cakes:

  • 2 cups fine bread crumbs, divided (process about 3 slices of sandwich bread in a food processor)
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 12 ounces mahi mahi, or other boneless, darkish fish (this is a good time to use economical frozen fish)
  • olive oil

Mix the sauce ingredients and set aside.

Put 1 cup crumbs in a large bowl (for the fish cakes), and place about a cup in a dish (for coating fish cakes).

Cut the fish into large chunks and put it in a food processor. Using very short on/off pulses, very coarsely chop it (do not form a paste).

Add the processed fish to the breadcrumbs in the bowl; then gently mix in the egg, 1 tablespoon of the sauce, 1/4 cup green onion, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 1 tablespoon chopped dill, and a little salt.

At this point, you can let the mixture stand for an hour or so, covered in the refrigerator. The original recipe did not say to do this, but I did it and it worked.

Shape the fish mixture into 4 – 3 1/2″ round cakes. Thickly coat both sides with the breadcrumbs in the dish.

Heat a large non-stick pan over medium high heat. (I always hold my hand an inch above the pan and when I can feel a good heat coming off the pan, I know it’s ready. Don’t heat it to the smoking stage.) When the pan is hot, add enough olive oil to lightly cover the bottom of the pan. As soon as the oil is shimmering, carefully add the fish cakes. Cook until cooked through and nice and brown and crispy, about 4-5 minutes per side.

Serve immediately, with the sauce and fresh lemon wedges.

Fish Cakes

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