Simple fish cakes | how to make fish cakes without potato

This is a delicious recipe for fish cakes that look gourmet, yet unbelievably easy to make! Crunchy, but no dipping or coating required! These are gluten-free fish cakes without potatoes, flour, or breadcrumbs- all these are replaced by a single ingredient!

Fish cakes in a white ceramic plate with a bowl of yogurt dip.

Recipe overview

These easy fish cakes are the ideal comfort food you need to perk up your mood on a cold day. Perfect as an appetizer or main course with a salad, this homemade fish cake recipe can easily become your favorite EVEN if you don’t feel great about fish. And don’t forget to add them to your party menu!

Like most of my seafood recipes, these fish cakes are easy to make and healthy. (Like the baked panko-crusted fish recipe.) They are ideal for meal prep as they can be made ahead and frozen or refrigerated.

This recipe makes about 15 fish cakes that serve 5 as an appetizer or 3 as a main course accompanied by a lentil salad, easy chickpea salad or a rice dish like lemon rice with brown rice. You can even pair the fish cakes with rice and a simple spinach dal curry.

Fish cakes without potatoes

I’m not against potatoes, but fish cakes made with potatoes tend to be too potato-ish, totally enveloping the dish. You want fish to be the hero here, right? So do away with potatoes in this recipe.

LOVE POTATOES? Try the Italian potato croquettes with cheese.

Do you hate fish, yet want to try eating it because of its health benefits? Or you want to start eating fish and don’t know where to start? You’ve come to the right place. These fish cakes have the right amount of seasoning and don’t taste or smell “fishy” at all. So HEALTHY, so TASTY!

Fish cakes in a white ceramic plate with a bowl of yogurt dip.

Why is this the best fish cake recipe?

  • The unique seasoning with onions, tomatoes and simple spices is the secret behind this healthy fish cake recipe.
  • The other secret ingredient is oatmeal. It plays the role of 3 ingredients: flour, breadcrumbs and potatoes and makes the fish patties crunchier and tastier. Since oatmeal doesn’t have a distinctive taste of its own, it brings out the flavor of the fish, which is not the case when potatoes are used.

Which fish is the best for making fish cakes?

I’ve used Spanish Mackerel here, but this fish cake recipe is so versatile, it can be made with any fish- fresh or frozen. They taste great with salmon, tuna, cod, sardines or any other fish. Canned fish works great, too. In that case, the fish cakes are even easier to make since you can skip the step of boiling the fish.

Ingredients

  • Fish, of course.
  • Vegetables and seasoning– Onions, tomato, ginger, garlic and spices.
  • Binding agent– eggs+oatmeal.
  • For frying– vegetable oil.
Labelled ingredients for easy fish cake recipe.

Step-by-step instructions

(You can find the exact measurements and instructions in the recipe card at the end of this page.)

Do you get intimidated when you think of fish cakes that require dipping in flour, brushing with egg wash, coating with breadcrumbs, etc, etc.? Don’t be. Here you just follow these 4 steps:

Boil the fish, remove skin and bones, if any and mash. Grind the instant oatmeal to a coarse powder.

Saute onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic with spices. (Skip this step by using 1 cup of the Indian curry paste. It can be made in advance and refrigerated or frozen.)

Mix the mashed fish with the onion-tomato mixture, egg, ground oatmeal and cilantro.

Shape the mixture into patties and shallow fry in batches. Done!

Homemade cashew-yogurt sauce

These fish cakes taste great as is. If you want to make them extra-special, make this dipping sauce that’s much healthier than tartar sauce. A simple dip made of Greek yogurt, lemon juice, salt, pepper and finely chopped cashews and cilantro, it complements the flavors of the fish cakes so well. See the exact measurements in the recipe card below.

Commonly asked questions about fish cakes

How do you keep fish cakes from falling apart?

Fish cakes require a binding agent to keep them intact. In this recipe, we use egg and oatmeal for the purpose. Oatmeal acts as a substitute for potatoes and flour.

Why are my fish cakes soggy?

Fish cakes don’t come out crispy if there is excess moisture. After boiling the fish, pat them dry before flaking and mashing. The mixture for the fish cakes should be firm so that you can easily shape them into patties. If it’s not, try adding 1 or 2 more tablespoons of ground oatmeal with a dash of salt and pepper.

How long will fish cakes last in the fridge/ freezer?

Fried fish cakes will stay fresh for about a week in the fridge and 1 month in the freezer. Thaw them before reheating in the microwave or oven.
If you’re storing the mixture before frying, shape them into patties first. They can last for about 2 days in the fridge or up to 3 weeks in the freezer.

Can fish cakes be cooked from frozen?

These homemade fish cakes have to be thawed before frying. Since we’re trying to keep them healthy by shallow-frying them in less oil, the insides of the fish cakes may not get cooked if they are frozen.

Are fish cakes healthy?

This fish cake recipe uses natural ingredients and less oil, in addition to the fact that fish is one of the healthiest foods. The homemade yogurt-based dip adds to the health benefits of this appetizer.

Health benefits of fish

  • One of the healthiest foods on the planet, fish has numerous evidence-based health benefits. It is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and a rich source of Vitamins D and B2.
  • Other nutrients include high-quality protein, iodine and various vitamins and minerals, being rich in calcium and phosphorus, along with iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium and potassium.
  • That’s why eating fish may lower your risk of heart attacks and strokes. It is also essential for the development of the brain and eyes.
  • Regular consumption of fish is known to reduce the decline in brain function due to aging, prevent and treat depression, reduce the risk of autoimmune diseases, prevent the risk of asthma in children, protect your vision in old age and may improve sleep quality.
  • And what more, fish is delicious and easy to prepare!

More seafood recipes

Fish cakes in a white ceramic plate with a bowl of yogurt dip.

Easy recipe for fish cakes | How to make fish cakes without potato

This is a yummy recipe for homemade fish cakes that look gourmet, yet unbelievably easy to make! Crunchy, but no dipping or coating required! These are gluten-free fish cakes without potatoes, flour, or breadcrumbs- all these are replaced by a single ingredient!
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Appetizer, dinner, LUNCH, Main Course, Party food
Cuisine Indian
Servings 5
Calories 115 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 700 gms fish fillet or steak Mackerel or any fish
  • 1/2 cup instant oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 egg

seasoning

  • 2 onions finely chopped
  • 1 tomato finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder or cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt divided
  • 1/4 cup cilantro finely chopped

yogurt dip

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 10 cashews finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro/ coriander leaves finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Cook the fish fillet with 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large pot of water. Once the water starts boiling, let it simmer for 5 to 10 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillet. Remove from heat, cool and separate the flesh from bones and skin if any. Dry the flesh on paper towels. Transfer to a mixing bowl and mash well. (Note1)
  • Prepare the vegetables and seasoning mix: Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan, saute the onions, minced ginger and garlic. After 5 minutes, add the tomatoes and saute until they are cooked and mushy. Add all the spices and 1 teaspoon salt and mix on low flame until you get an almost dry consistency. Turn off the heat.
  • Cool the mixture and add to the fish along with egg and cilantro. Dry-grind the oats coarsely (to the texture of breadcrumbs) and add to the mixture. Mix well.
  • Shape the mixture into about 15 lime-sized balls and flatten them into rounds. Heat the remaining oil in a pan and shallow-fry the fish patties on medium heat, turning them over until you get a uniform golden brown tint.

Yogurt dip

  • Whip together all the ingredients and serve with the fish cakes.

Video

Notes

  1. If using canned fish, skip the first step of boiling the fish.
  2. Ensure that the mixture for the fish cakes is firm. If not, add 1 or 2 additional tablespoons of oatmeal with a pinch of salt and pepper. 
  3. For this recipe, you don’t need much oil to fry the fish patties, since most of the ingredients are either already cooked or ones that cook fast.
  4. Make-ahead option: The fish cake mixture can be frozen up to 3 weeks or refrigerated for about 2 days. Shape them into patties and freeze in air-tight containers. Thaw them before frying.
  5. Who says the fish patties have to be round? You can use cookie cutters to make different shapes or make your own shapes by letting your imagination run wild. That makes it a perfect appetizer for kids’ parties.
 
Simple fish cakes | how to make fish cakes without potato
Keyword fish cakes without potato, how to make fish cakes, recipe for fish cakes

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Thank you and happy cooking!

– Sheeba.

This recipe was originally published in December 2017 and has been updated with new photos to give you an awesome experience!

What do you think of this recipe? Please share in the comments section if you made and liked these fish cakes.

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19 thoughts on “Simple fish cakes | how to make fish cakes without potato”

  1. Hi Sheeba

    I’d like to try your recipe as I love fish and I’m on a permanent gluten-free diet due to IBS, diverticulitis and allergies and intolerance to many foods. I’m not allowed to eat onions or garlic even though I love them. Would it matter if I left them out? Also, can I use Rolled Oats and would I need to crush them? My food is very boring so I’m looking for different things to try. Many thanks.

    Sharon

    1. Hi Sharon,
      Thanks for the feedback! Yes, you can leave out the onions and garlic though they help to enhance the taste. You can add 1/2 teaspoon of cumin powder for added flavor if you’re ok with it.
      If you’re using rolled oats you have to crush them. Occasionally when I’m in a hurry, I use instant oats without crushing. In that case, the fish cakes turn out flakier but with the same deliciousness:)

  2. I served this with a few other fish dishes with friends a short while ago. Everybody raved about these fish cakes.

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