I would be a pretty bad food writer if I wrote an entire chapter about leftover fish and didn’t include a recipe for fried cakes. Making little breaded cakes is probably the most popular way to use extra fish, and restaurants know that you can sell what are essentially leftovers at a premium. That’s because they are damn good. I can eat these for breakfast, lunch, or as an appetizer.

Be gentle with the cakes as you shape and fry them. You want them to stay light and flaky. This is a recipe that is easily adaptable to other kinds of fish. Any flaky white fish would work just as well in these cakes.

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 scallions
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill
  • 12 ounces (2 cups) flaked cooked salmon
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon old Bay seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs
  • ¼ vegetable oil, for frying
  • Greek yogurt, garnish
  • fresh dill, garnish

Method

  1. Mince scallions (whites and greens), garlic, and dill very finely. Stir together with flaked salmon in a medium bowl. Try to keep the salmon in chunks. Don’t stir it into a mush.
  2. Stir in red pepper flakes, flour, Old Bay seasoning, and kosher salt.
  3. Crack in an egg and mix it into the cake mixture. Then add bread crumbs and stir to combine.
  4. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Measure out about ¼-cup cakes and press them into disks. They should be on the small side and just barely stick together.
  5. Fry the cakes until they are lightly browned, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Try to flip them only once, and don’t fuss with them too much or they might break apart. If your pan isn’t large enough to fit all the cakes, work in batches to make sure they brown nicely. (You can keep cooked cakes warm in a 200°F oven if you are working in batches.)
  6. Remove cakes and let them drain on a few paper towels. Serve immediately with Greek yogurt and fresh dill.
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