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Best Spicy Fish Cakes Recipes with Herbs, Chillies, Citrus

Updated on November 15, 2016
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John applies his scientific & research skills (PhD) to develop recipes, food guides, reviews of healthy whole foods, ingredients & cooking

Most fish cakes can be boring and rather stodgy, though salmon and potato cakes are a classic comfort food. However, there are some delightful spicy and tangy fish cake recipes that make them much more interesting and appealing. Another trick to enhance the flavor is to fry or grill the fish first, with chillies and garlic to enhance its flavor before adding to the mashed potato and other ingredients.

Choose firm fleshed fish that has plenty of flavor. Select fresh fish rather than canned varieties to enhance the flavor of the fish cakes.

Adding fragrant fresh herbs, lime and other citrus zest and juice, increases the acidity of the taste, that complements the taste of the chillies and spices.

The fish cake recipes shown below will change your attitude to fish cakes and make them exciting and full of flavor. Enjoy!

Fish cakes can be improved using fresh chillies, herbs, lime and wonderful fresh fish
Fish cakes can be improved using fresh chillies, herbs, lime and wonderful fresh fish | Source
Fish cakes can be delightful. See the collection of the best ever spicy fish cakes
Fish cakes can be delightful. See the collection of the best ever spicy fish cakes | Source
Fish cakes can be grilled and barbecued as well as shallow fried. See the great recipes in this article
Fish cakes can be grilled and barbecued as well as shallow fried. See the great recipes in this article | Source
Fish cakes can be boring. See the fabulous recipes that are exciting and interesting using fresh herbs, spices and chillies. Fresh fish makes all the difference.
Fish cakes can be boring. See the fabulous recipes that are exciting and interesting using fresh herbs, spices and chillies. Fresh fish makes all the difference. | Source

Fish Cakes With Chillies and Fresh Herbs and Chiles


  • zest of 1 lime
  • 2 free range eggs
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • Lime wedges, for serving
  • 1 scallion, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons basil, chopped
  • 1/2 cup general purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup good quality mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons dry vermouth or white wine
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons lime pickle, marmalade or similar
  • 1 pound (500 g) firm white fish fillets or cutlets
  • 1 pound (500 g) russet potatoes (or similar), peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1-3 serrano chillies (or similar fresh chillies) seeded and finely chopped


Fry the garlic in a large skillet until beginning to brown at the edges (about 2 minutes). Add the fish to the pan, season with salt and pepper and fry for 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons water and the vermouth. Lower the heat and cook until the fish is almost cooked (8 to 10 minutes). Transfer the fish to a plate and set aside. Use the same skillet to simmer the potato slices, just covered with water, until they are just tender (about 15 minutes). Drain potatoes and garlic, transfer in a large bowl and mash the potatoes with a little butter and milk. Flake the fish and add the small pieces to the bowl together with the eggs, scallion, chile, cayenne, lime zest, cilantro, basil and panko bread crumbs. Mix with your hands to combine well, but leaving the fish pieces intact. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and set aside in the refrigerator for a minimum of 3 hours. To cook the fish cakes, form about 1/4 cup of the mixture into thick patties, lightly coating the outside with flour. Cook fish cakes until golden brown in a moderately hot skillet with a little olive oil (about 4 - 8 minutes for each side. Serve the fish cakes with the mayonnaise, lime pickles, marmalade and lime wedges.

Spicy Fish Cakes Recipe with Ginger, Chillies, Curry and Mustard, Served with Mango Sauce


  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • zest 1 lemon or a lime
  • 2 eggs, lightly whisked
  • 10 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 kg (2 lb) firm-fleshed fish
  • 2 teaspoons good quality mustard seeds
  • 2 red onions, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 red chillies, de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 50 g (large piece) fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoon curry leaves, fresh preferred, or dried
  • 1 kg (2 lb) medium-sized floury potatoes, suitable for mashing

For the fish cake coating

  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 200 g ( 7 oz) fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 6 tablespoons plain flour, seasoned with salt and freshly ground

For the mango sauce

  • juice of 2 limes or lemons
  • 4 tablespoon mango chutney
  • 2 tablespoon mint or coriander (cilantro) chopped


Boil the peeled potatoes until just cooked, cool and mash in a large bowl. Add 4 tablespoons of oil in a large pan and heat to moderate. Add the mustard seeds, onions, red chillies and ginger, half the curry leaves and fry for several minutes to release the flavors. Add this mixture to the mashed potato in a bowl. Add the lemon zest and gradually blend in the eggs. Add the fish to a pan. Sprinkle with curry leaves and add enough milk to cover the fish. Cover the pan and simmer the fish in the milk for several minutes. Then, turn the heat off and set the pan aside for 10 minutes to complete the cooking and to allow the fish to cool. Pour off the milk and break the fish into small pieces. Add the fish to the mashed potato. Mix with your hands and shape into thick round patties. Coat each fish cake by rolling in flour, dipping into beaten egg and coating with breadcrumbs. Set the patties aside and chill for 30-60 minutes. Mix all the dipping sauce ingredients in a small jug. To cook the fish cakes, heat the remainder of the oil in a frying pan to moderate temperature. Fry the fish cakes in small batches, for 6-8 minutes on each side. Drain on kitchen paper and serve with lime slices, fresh herbs and the mango sauce.

Spicy Fresh Tuna and Herbs Fish Cakes Recipe


  • Sea salt
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoon Thai fish sauce
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 3 tablespoon chopped coriander (cilantro)
  • 1 red chilli, seeds removed and finely chopped
  • 6 canned water chestnuts, drained and finely sliced
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped (or dried one soaked)
  • Vegetable oil, for frying (rice bran oil or grape seed oil)
  • Finger length piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 500 g (1 lb) good-quality fresh tuna or similar large fish cutlets or portions
  • Breadcrumbs or a little flour (optional - for binding the cakes if needed)

For the Dipping Sauce

  • Juice of one small lime
  • 1 teaspoon of caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoon Thai fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoon chopped coriander (cilantro)
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)


To make the dipping sauce, combine all the ingredients in the list above, mixing until all the sugar has dissolved. Taste and adjust the flavors of the sauce to your liking. Next, drain the tuna (or other fish) and place in a skillet. Add some garlic and chilli and stir fry the fish on high heat to enliven the flavor. When partly cooked, use your hands or a fork to separate the fish into small chunks. Allow to cool and then transfer the fish to a large bowl. Add the ginger, coriander, chilli, water chestnuts, spring onions, lime leaves and a sprinkling of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the beaten eggs and fish sauce and combine well. Using your hands and a slotted spoon, take balls of the mixture and squeeze to remove excess moisture and form into firm balls about the size of a golf ball. Flatten the balls slightly to form thick patties. Heat the cooking oil in a frying pan over a moderate heat, and shallow-fry the fish cakes on each side for 1–3 minutes until the fish cakes are golden brown in color on both sides. Serve the fish cakes with the dipping sauce.

Spicy Thai Fish Cakes Recipe with Herbs and Spices


  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup coconut cream
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
  • 3-5 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lime (or 1 lemon)
  • 1/4 cup coriander or mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 1-3 red chillies, seeds removed and finely chopped
  • 500 g (1 lb) boneless fresh white-fleshed fish, divided into small pieces

For the Thai- style dipping sauce

  • Juice of 1 small lime
  • 1/4 cup sweet-chilli sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoon coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, seeds removed and finely chopped


Blend all fish cake ingredients, except the fish, to a fine paste. Add about half the fish and blend once again until the mixture is smooth. Add the remainder of the fish gently so that the pieces remain intact. Using your hands, shape 1/4 cup portions of the mixture into golf ball size balls and flatten a little to form patties. Fry, barbecue or grill the fish cakes for about 2 minutes on each side until the fish cakes are lightly browned and feel bouncy to the touch (indicating that they are cooked through). Combine all the sauce recipes and serve with the fish cakes.

© 2014 Dr. John Anderson


Submit a Comment

  • choosetolive profile image

    Ravi and Swastha 2 years ago from London, Canada

    Anderson, this looks to be a unique recipe of its own. Thanks for sharing. Voted up & very useful and interesting information.

  • Eiddwen profile image

    Eiddwen 2 years ago from Wales

    Mmmmm a definite to save. Thank you for sharing and wishing you a great run up to the New year.


  • Carol McCullough profile image

    Success In Life 2 years ago from U.S.

    Good recipe ideas! Thank you for sharing.