Unlike crab cakes, which taste best when you limit the cracker or bread filler, these fish cakes benefit from such additions to add texture. My fish cakes also always include diced onion, green pepper and celery.
Then I flavor the little cakes with other appropriate ingredients (often leftovers) from my refrigerator and pantry. Leftover mashed potatoes added a creamy texture to cakes I made recently from coarsely chopped sole fillets. Pair these fish cakes with a California pinot grigio.
Donna Pierce writes for the Chicago Tribune, which provided the recipe analysis.
Spicy Fish Cakes
Makes 4 servings Total time: 20 minutes
1 rib celery, coarsely chopped
1/2 each, coarsely chopped: onion, green pepper
3 sole fillets, about 5 ounces each, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon each: coarse salt, freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon each: dry mustard, red-pepper flakes, dried thyme, seafood seasoning such as Old Bay
1 egg, beaten
1 cup leftover mashed potatoes (optional)
3/4 cup dry bread crumbs or cracker crumbs
2 cups vegetable oil
Asian chile paste or tartar sauce
Place the celery, onion and green pepper in a food processor; pulse to finely chop. Add the fillets; pulse to coarsely chop. Stir in the salt, pepper, dry mustard, red-pepper flakes, thyme and seafood seasoning; pulse 2 to 3 times, until mixed.
Transfer to a large bowl; stir in the egg, stirring lightly until combined. Fold in the mashed potatoes. Form into 8 patties; lightly coat with bread crumbs. Set aside.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add the fish cakes. Cook, in batches if needed, until lightly browned on one side, about 4 minutes. Turn; cook until browned and cakes are cooked through, about 4 minutes. Serve with Asian chile paste or tartar sauce.
Per serving: 205 calories, 10 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 103 milligrams cholesterol, 8 grams carbohydrate, 21 grams protein, 715 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber