Easy Greek Fish Cakes
These tender and delicious Greek cod cakes or fish cakes are potato-less, and so easy make. Fish cakes made with fresh cod or your favorite white fish ( I have even made them with salmon) are perfect for lunch, dinner, as an appetizer or a snack. Delightfully crispy on the outside, tender, moist and flaky on the inside, this fish cakes recipe is the perfect way to enjoy fish even for those who are picky about eating seafood! I’ve simplified it, with simple ingredients to make these cod cakes a more realistic option for weeknight dinners and last minute get-togethers. Fish cakes a great alternative to crab cakes – especially if you’re on a budget. They’d also be a great way to use up leftover fish, if you have it. Every country has its own variation, this is my Greek style version that I’m sharing today.
Why you are going to love these Greek fish cakes:
- They are easy to prepare
- They are so tender and delicious without requiring mashed potatoes in them
- You can either pan fry them, bake them or broil them in the oven, or even air fry them - all directions below in recipe notes
- They are full of delicious lemony herby flavours
- They are made with fresh fish not canned which always makes them that more delicious
- You can use leftover cooked fish in these
Ingredients to make these Greek fish cakes:
- Fresh cod - not a fan of cod no problem. You can use any other flaky white fish, halibut, grouper, pollack or haddock. I have made these with king fish filet and even salmon and they were just as fabulous.
- Breadcrumbs - feel free to use fresh or dried, regular or seasoned, gluten free or panko.
- Green onions - they add just the right type of fresh flavour in these.
- Eggs - they act as a binder
- Fresh herbs - I love to do dill parsley and often add some mint too - signature Greek herb combo
- Lemon zest - adds the perfect lemony flavour.
- Capers - I love the briny flavour they add to fish cakes
- Mayo & mustard - I like to use Dijon but any prepared mustard will work. I like to use Real mayonnaise not miracle whip. They both add flavour to the cakes and add moisture.
- Fresh red chili & Paprika - both add flavour. If you don’t have fresh red chili you can add dried chili powder or cayenne
How to make these delicious fish cakes:
- Start by cooking your cod. You can prepare it anyway you want, as long as it’s cooked through. If you have enough leftovers from another meal, that’s even better. I prefer to bake the fish until just cooked through.
- Let it cool 10 min then refrigerate it until completely cool while your prep the rest of the ingredients.
- Flake fish, then mix it with all the rest of the ingredients until combined
- Shape into 8-10 (2 ½ to 3-ounce) cakes. Chill them for 15 min.
- Coat with panko or regular bread crumbs before pan frying them until golden.
- Serve with lemon wedges and your favourite creamy dip or sauce. I served mine with my skordalia dip.
Make Ahead Fish Cakes
You can make all the components of these fish cakes up the day before you plan to assemble them - and mix and shape the patties ahead of time. Once the patties are shaped they will keep for at least one day in the refrigerator before needing to be cooked.
Can You Freeze Fish Cakes?
Yes, they’re perfect for freezing! Fully assemble the fish cakes, place them in a single layer on a lined baking sheet and freeze them. Once frozen you can put them in a freezer container with greaseproof paper between each layer. To cook them, simply thaw and cook and instructed. You’ll have an easy dinner in a hurry! These will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer.
Can Fish Cakes Be Reheated?
Yes. They’re crispiest when they’re straight out of the frying pan but if you have leftover cooked fish cakes you can reheat them in the oven. They can also be microwaved but they’ll be soggier that way.
What to serve fish cakes with
I love to serve them with salad or as an appetizer with a creamy dip or sauce like my skordalia (Greek garlic sauce) or my whipped feta, my creamy tzatziki, my Greek green goddess dip or even my creamy Greek fava recipe.
Tips for making delicious fish cakes:
- Use forks to flake your leftover fish into small pieces (smaller flakes hold together better when forming the cakes).
- You can make your cakes any size you want, but I prefer mine a bit smaller. I used a two tablespoon cookie scoop to measure them evenly, and then pressed them flat into the shape I wanted. The larger your cakes are, the longer they will take to cook.
- Have a clean plate or baking sheet lined with parchment paper ready before you form your fish cakes.
- Be gentle when forming them and take care to coat all sides thoroughly with panko breadcrumbs before pan frying them.
- When you transfer the fish cakes to the skillet, make sure that the oil is hot and that each cake has space all the way around for even browning.
- Before attempting to flip the cakes, press down firmly on the top and sides to set their form. Then gently flip. Don’t worry if a fish fragment or two falls off, you can use your spatula to press it back into the cake.
- Serve this dish alongside lemon wedges and a cream-based sauce for the perfect snack and sprinkle some fresh parsley or green onions over the tops for an extra pop of color.
Other fish recipe you will love:
- 450 g white-fleshed fish fillet 1 lb
- 1 rib celery finely chopped
- Small red chili, seeds removed and minced - or ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- 2 green onions coarsely chopped
- 1 tsp capers drained and finely chopped
- ¼ cup fresh parsley and dill
- 3/4 cups fresh or dried bread crumbs (about 1 slice bread) or panko, more for coating after
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- ½ cup Mayo
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon Paprika
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil plus more if needed
- Roast fish at 350 for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven, cover with foil and let rest 10 min then chill until cold in fridge while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- In a large bowl flake the fish and add the bread crumbs, mustard, Mayo, and eggs then all the chopped veggies, herbs and all the rest of the ingredients except the oil. Mix until cohesive.
- Scoop up (I used a two tablespoon cookie scoop to measure them evenly) a heaping helping of the mixture and form it into a small puck, placing them on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. You should end up with 8-10 cakes. When done, transfer them to the fridge and let them sit for 15 minutes to help them firm up so they don’t fall apart.
- Once the cakes have set, remove them from the fridge. Fill a small bowl or pie plate with approx ½-1 cup bread crumbs or panko. Carefully press and coat each puck in the panko bread crumbs on all sides; set aside on a plate.
- Cover the bottom of a small to medium (10-12 inch) frying pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and heat over medium until the oil starts to lightly smoke.
- Carefully transfer the cakes to the pan and saute for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until they’re golden brown in color. When done drain fish cakes on paper towel or on cooling rack. Serve hot with your choice of sauce.
- To bake: Pre-heat oven to 400°F. Bake for 20 minutes until golden-brown and crisp. Midway through, turn over and brush tops with a little more olive oil.
- To broil: Pre-heat broiler. Place baking sheet about 4 inches below the heating element. Broil for 5 to 6 mins each side until nicely brown on both sides and hot through. After flipping, brush top with more olive oil.
- To air fry: Turn your air fryer on to 425º F. Place them in the cooking basket of your air fryer. Depending on your model, you may have to cook these in 2 batches if they don’t all fit in the basket. Spray them lightly with cooking spray on both sides. Place in the air fryer and cook for 10-15 minutes (or until golden brown). I turned the patties over around the ½ way mark.
- Make Ahead Fish Cakes: You can make all the components of these fish cakes up the day before you plan to assemble them - and mix and shape the patties ahead of time. Once the patties are shaped they will keep for at least one day in the refrigerator before needing to be cooked.
- Can You Freeze Fish Cakes?Yes, they’re perfect for freezing! Fully assemble the fish cakes, place them in a single layer on a lined baking sheet and freeze them. Once frozen you can put them in a freezer container with greaseproof paper between each layer. To cook them, simply thaw and cook and instructed. You’ll have an easy dinner in a hurry! These will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer.
- Can Fish Cakes Be Reheated?Yes. They’re crispiest when they’re straight out of the frying pan but if you have leftover cooked fish cakes you can reheat them in the oven. They can also be microwaved but they’ll be soggier that way.