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Fish cakes with canned fish ?

i want to make fish cakes out of canned fish and mother is absolutely against this idea ( she thinks fresh fish is the only way to do it), i'm a student and can only afford the canned fish, can someone give me a good recpie for canned tuna/ salmon fish cakes ?

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  1. I can't remember the details but a few months ago I was in the mood for salmon cakes and used the salmon in the pouch. Whatever recipe I used was awful - they didn't stick together, I was hungry and frustrated.

    Good luck and hopefully someone else has a recipe that actually works!

    1. Can you find some cheap frozen whitefish fillets (to make Thai style fishcakes)? Can't see that canned would turn out.

      1. My mother used to make these in the day. Chopped onion, an egg, canned fish, flaked, and some type of binder, probably bread soaked in water (and squeezed) or soaked in the egg mix. Basically it was meat loaf made with canned fish, formed into patties and fried. Sorry I don't have proportions but we didn't cook that way! As long as the patties hold together it should be okay. I preferred the salmon ones.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mlgb

          Yup this is what my family does with Salmon Croquettes... onions chopped, egg, bread crumbs, canned salmon, and ketchup.

        2. I like canned red salmon (but not the flavorless pink). If you do a search for salmon croquette, you'll find a number of similar, traditional recipes that should work well.

          1. I have definitely done it before... but again, no recipe, just by trial and error...
            I thought they were perfectly edible, and good, but just needed a touch more sauce than ones made w/ fresh fish!

            1. I like the cheap canned salmon myself - I made a big batch of salmon salad with that some time back, and just for grins combined some of it with beaten egg and cracker crumbs, made patties, rolled those in more crumbs and chilled them on waxed paper overnight, then fried them and served'em for breakfast with eggs on top. That was a stunning success. Recipe? Ummm...drained and de-skinned salmon (though I keep the bones, which I love), half an onion chopped fine, a stalk or two of celery ditto ditto,S&P, a squeeze of lemon, a dash of Tabasco, some dill, all mixed well with mayonnaise just to bind - must not be goopy! That's the salad. About two cups of that with one egg beaten in, enough crushed/rolled saltine crumbs to make a damp but handle-able compound. Form into six or eight patties, coat with more crumbs, wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate for at least four hours or overnight, fry on a lightly-greased griddle or pan.

              I personally think this is one of many situations where canned fish is far superior to fresh; entirely too many classic dishes are being "improved" these days by employing fresh tuna, for instance, where the recipe was originally developed to use canned.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Will Owen

                A male roommate of mine once made tuna cakes. Similar recipe as mentioned above...some chopped onions, a little lemon juice, some breadcrumbs, egg to bind, salt, pepper. Put in frying pan (I often use spray to coat the pan) This is great over a nice salad w/a vinegrette dressing to make it a little more moist. I have also used the canned salmon. For a young adult on a budget this recipe works out great...boyfriends seem to love it as well :) I have tried to mix it up a little and chop some green/red peppers to the mix as well as trying to add some corn one time. Honestly, add what you like the flavors of. But when I want something fast canned fish does the trick.

              2. I made these and my husband really liked them. I just don't personally care for fishcakes, but they definitely held together without a problem


                1. There's a recipe in Bittman's Best Recipes in the World for a Japanese Salmon croquette--we've made it using canned salmon, potato and a bit of curry powder, served with shredded cabbage and a soy sauce dipping sauce.

                  To me, fishcakes=salt cod. Here near Boston, you can get a pound of salt cod chunks or bits for $3.99 a pound. That works out to be pretty economical.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: poundcake

                    I'm frankly envious - that boxed stuff runs around $20/lb. out here in LA, and even the Chinese "bacalao" (which isn't even cod anymore!) is around $8 for a pound bag. There's a local chain of Italian delis that carries two grades in bulk, the moist kind and stockfish (the kind like Fish Plywood), and it's still $13-$16 a pound.

                    There was always salt cod in the stores when I was growing up in the Midwest, but it simply wasn't part of my family's cuisine, and having a rep as cheap-and-nasty prole food it never appealed to my parents' occasional bursts of adventurous gourmandise. So I didn't get addicted to it until the great cod banks got depleted and the price went 'way up. In many ways a bad time to be a food nut: what if I'd gotten addicted to foie gras instead? I'd have to move to France!

                  2. These are really pretty good. And easy. And dirt cheap. Invite your mother to lunch and make these. She'll change her tune. (You can spice them up to your taste - this recipe is just the bare bones.)

                    Tuna Burgers
                    1 medium carrot, coarsely grated
                    1 small onion, very finely chopped
                    1 6½ oz can tuna, drained and flaked
                    1 egg
                    2 tbsp. mayonnaise
                    1½ cups fresh bread crumbs
                    1 tsp. vegetable oil
                    salt and pepper

                    In a medium bowl, mix all the ingredients together, seasoning the mixture with salt and pepper to taste. If you have a food processor, now is the time to use it. The tuna mixture should be very well mushed together or else the burgers will fall apart when you cook them. If you don't have a processor, use a fork and mash like crazy.

                    By hand, form the mixture into patties.

                    To pan fry - heat a little vegetable oil in a large skillet, and cook the patties, 10 minutes per side, until golden. Very tiny patties can be served as tuna nuggets, with dipping sauce.

                    Or, if you want to grill them, place tunaburgers on a preheated barbecue grill, and cook over fairly high heat for about 10 minutes per side, until golden brown.

                    Makes 3 to 4 servings.

                    1. Here's my ex-mother-in-law's recipe for salmon cakes. I've always liked them, and I'm not a huge salmon fan. Besides, they're quick and simple, and who doesn't like that? (Gosh, I sound like Ina Garten!)

                      1 large can red salmon (not pink), bones and skin removed, flaked
                      1 large potato, grated
                      1/2 small onion, grated
                      2 eggs
                      2 Tbsp melted butter
                      large pinch of salt
                      plain or seasoned bread crumbs

                      Mix first six ingredients together. Add bread crumbs until mixture holds together well in patties. Form into large patties and pan-fry in olive oil.

                      Ok, some comments from me. First, grate your onion and potato on a box grater, not in a processor. The processor makes too long of shreds for the recipe to work right. Second, use about an inch of olive oil to fry the patties in. They'll get dark brown, that's when you turn them over. Third, feel free to add some black pepper, I always do. Fourth, the best way to mix everything is with your hands. You get a real feel for if you've got enough bread crumbs that way.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: QueenB

                        Is the potato raw? Peeled? And a 16 oz. or so can of fish?

                        1. re: Sharuf

                          Yes, the potato is raw and cooks as the cakes cook. Since it is shredded, it cooks quickly. The fish is the 16oz. can. I pull out all the bones and junk, but you can leave in if you like.

                          1. re: Sharuf

                            Sharuf, my grandmother used cooked potatoes if she had them. Great way to use up leftovers. Or you can use raw potatoes as QueenB's recipe calls for.
                            My grandmother made codfish cakes often - back when codfish was inexpensive. Costs and arm and a leg now. As I said in an earlier post, fishcakes are a great dish to have in a repertoire as they can be a super economical, easy meal with a can that you have on your pantry shelf.
                            And follow QueenB's advice. Use your hands. Never trust a cook who doesn't use his hands!

                        2. You can absolutely make great fishcakes with canned fish. I'm with Will Owen on this one. Too many folks are trying to fancy this one up these days with fresh fish. Works fine but canned fish is an economical way to go. Good old fishcakes have been a standby through lots of lean days but they also taste really good when you learn how to make them well.
                          Lots of good ideas above that are regional differences or simple preferences - potatoes or bread crumbs. I use fresh bread crumbs which keep the fishcakes lighter. About 1 cup for a large can of salmon. At least one egg. Some mayo. Sometimes some Old Bay. Maybe pickle relish. One small onion. I like red bell pepper if I have it. Worchershire sauce. Always a shot of tabasco. Salt and pepper. Obviously you can improvise. It helps if you make them into patties an hour ahead and let them rest in the fridge before sauteeing.

                          Funny food history. Salmon was the first fish that was commercially canned in the US. When tuna was first in stores, it sold poorly until the marketers hit on an advertising campaign that worked: Tuna! It doesn't turn pink in the can! Tuna sales soared as salmon sales dropped.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: MakingSense

                            Salmon Cakes

                            1 large or 2 small tins salmon
                            1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
                            1 large egg
                            1/4 cup mayonnaise
                            1/2 teaspoon salt
                            1/4 teaspoon pepper
                            2 teaspoons dried dill weed
                            1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
                            1 teaspoon dry mustard
                            Optional - Margarine, butter or oil for frying

                            1. In a bowl, mix bread crumbs, eggs, mayonnaise and seasonings.
                            3. Add Salmon and mix gently by thoroughly. If mixture is too dry, add a little more mayonnaise. Shape into 6 cakes.
                            4 a) Cook cakes in a frying pan, in just enough fat to prevent sticking, until they are browned (about 5 minutes on each side).
                            4 b) Bake on a greased sheet at 375* for 20 minutes)

                          2. Paula Deen has a recipe for what she calls 'tuna burgers' that looks pretty good. I'm sure you can find it on http://www.foodnetwork.com.

                            1. My mother used to make codfish cakes with salt cod from a can, which I cannot find anymore. She mixed it with mashed potatoes, formed the patties, then fried them in a pan, using a little oil or bacon fat. She probably seasoned them a bit, too. This is not a recipe that will help you, but perhaps knowing that leftover mashed potatoes would be a good 'binder' for fish cakes will help you out some day.

                              1. these are incredibly easy & quite good: 1-14.75oz. can pink salmon; drained; 1/3 cup Italian bread crumbs; 2 scallions, thinly sliced (or, 1/4 cup chopped red onion); 1/4 cup Hellman's mayo; 1 egg, beaten; butter to saute with. Combine; shape into 4 patties. Saute with butter. Serve with tartar sauce.

                                1. I'm not sure what brand is available to you, but I often make Salmon Croquettes using canned salmon and the recipe on the can as a guide. I think the brand is Demmings.

                                  It is labeled as a "Light" recipe, calling for "lite mayo", green onions, bread crumbs, seasoned salt, parsley, and an egg white. I usually vary this. I like using Panko bread crumbs, add garlic, use Old Bay instead of Lawry's, add Tabasco or cayenne pepper, etc. I really like them. I use a disher (or ice cream scoop) to portion them out and flatten with the back of a spatula. Saute in butter or olive oil. I make a lemon butter with parsley to drizzle over the cakes.

                                  When I made them for my husband the first time, I didn't think he would enjoy them, but he thought they were pretty good. It's in regular rotation at our house...quick and satisfying with Brown Rice and a veg or salad.

                                  Also, other than tuna, this was my first experience with canned fish. So, I spend a few minutes cleaning the salmon, removing the skin and some of the bone. Do others do this, or just mix it all together? The skin is kind of slimy and I'm not interested in eating too many of the bones. Just wondering what others do.