We are lucky enough to have a neighbor who loves to fish, but doesn’t like fish. Whenever he catches anything he brings it over for us to have. Who can say no to free freshly caught fish? Not me! Except for the gutting and cleaning. I’m not a huge fan. Usually I get my husband to do it, but there was a time when he was away and I had to do it. Not so fun, I don’t think I was as grateful to my neighbor for bringing us the fish that time as I usually am.
At times though he has brought us lots of fish, too many for us to eat and store uncooked in the freezer. I started baking them all at once and making them into fish cakes. Then we store the fishcakes in the freezer for lunches or a quick dinner. They are great on their own or on top of a spinach salad. These are a great way to introduce fish to your baby because they are easy to hold and stay together pretty well. Our older boys love them too!
Cooking the fish is easier than it seems, I just turn up the oven to 350 degrees F (175 C), wrap the fish in a tin foil envelope, and toss it in for about 45 minutes (for a larger fish) until flesh is opaque and flakey. Sometimes I salt and pepper the inside and line it with sliced lemons, but this morning I didn’t have time. It turns out great either way.
After its baked, let it cool a bit before you begin the tedious process of deboning. This isn’t my favourite part, but this morning I decided to invite my little ones in to help. They pulled the spine out and enjoyed examining it. The stickiness of the flesh put them off to helping more, but they enjoyed watching.
I’ve made many different variations of fish cake, but the base is always the same. I have a lemon mustard base to the fish cake and then you can add whatever additions that you are in the mood for or have to hand.
A lot of fish cake recipes I’ve seen have bread crumbs or rice in them to soak up the excess liquid, I’ve used chia seed instead. The chia seed when it comes in contact with liquid swells up and become sticky which aids to bind these cakes together. I’ve used egg for that as well but have found the cakes to be a bit on the runny side and I like the way the chia seed binds.
Lemon Mustard Fish Cakes
2 1/2 cups cooked fish flaked (trout, salmon, etc)
2 1/2 tablespoons chia seed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1/2 tablespoon mustard (Dijon or plain)
2 limes (juiced)
- Whisk all the ingredients (including any variations) except the fish together in a bowl.
- Fold the flaked fish into the other ingredients in the bowl until all combined.
- Form into 2 inch diameter cakes.
- Place as many cakes that will fit in a hot frying pan flatten a bit with a spatula.
- Cook under medium heat until golden brown on the back side, usually about 3-5 minutes.
- Flip the fish cakes and flatten a bit. Cook on this side until firm and golden brown another 3-5 minutes.
- Check that it is cooked through, if not let it cook another minute or two.
- Enjoy by themselves or on a bed of spinach or rocket (arugula).
- Chopped Cilantro (Coriander)
- Chopped Parsley
- Diced Green Onion (Spring Onion)