Galley Recipe: Fabulous Fish Cakes

Whip up this galley-friendly fish cake recipe for a tasty appetizer or lunch.

February 18, 2021
fish cakes
Fabulous fish cakes Lynda Morris Childress

We spend winters cruising in Mexico aboard our Westsail 42, Outrider. Much of our time is spent in the Sea of Cortez, visiting the Baja Peninsula and offshore islands from La Paz north to Santa Rosalia. We love fishing and usually troll a line astern when underway, or try our luck from the dinghy when anchored. As such, we always have a good supply of fresh or frozen fish on board. One year, when my sister, Gill, joined us from France, we took turns cooking dinner; one of mine was freshly caught triggerfish with mashed potatoes and coleslaw. Leftovers went into the fridge. The next evening, Gill put those leftovers to good use by turning them into fish cakes—a first for us. She served them with a squeeze of ­lemon, a tasty mayonnaise-and-curry-powder dip, and a lovely green salad. Dinner was delicious and a definite hit aboard Outrider. I’ve since made them numerous times, and they always satisfy the palate!

Gill’s Fish Croquettes

  • 1 large potato (about 1 heaping cup, peeled and diced)
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 lb. fish fillets (any firm white fish, such as flounder, halibut or cod)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced finely
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Pinch of fresh or dried dill weed
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, in a zipper-lock bag
  • 1 egg, beaten in a bowl
  • 1 cup bread crumbs, spread on a plate
  • 3-4 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lemon, sliced

Serves 2 to 3, depending on appetite.

Boil water in a medium saucepan, add diced potatoes and a pinch of salt, cover, bring back to a boil, then simmer for 10-12 minutes or until tender. Drain water; mash potatoes with a fork or masher. Let cool.


In a large frying pan, heat butter and 1 tablespoon of oil on medium heat, add garlic, saute 3 to 4 minutes, then add fish fillets. Cook fish approximately 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until opaque. Remove to a plate; let cool. Once cool, flake fish with a fork, then add to mashed potato. Add salt, pepper and dill weed to fish-cake mix. Using your hands or a wooden spoon (mixture will be gooey), gently mix everything together. Divide fish-cake mixture into 4 or 5 balls. Flatten each ball to an approximately 1-inch-thick cake. One at a time, carefully place each cake in the bag of flour and gently shake to coat. Remove cake from flour and dip in egg, coating well, then dredge in crumbs to coat top, bottom and sides. Place prepared cakes on a plate, lightly cover, and chill for 1 hour to firm up. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan. Fry cakes on medium heat until golden and crisp, about 4 to 5 minutes per side—do not overcrowd pan. Serve with a squeeze of lemon, a tasty mayonnaise-and-curry-powder dip, and a green salad. Garnish with ­parsley sprigs, if available.

Preparation: At Anchor

Time: 2 hours, including chill times


Difficulty: Medium

Cook’s Notes

To save time, cook fish and potatoes in advance. For curry dip: Mix 4 to 5 tablespoons of mayonnaise with curry powder, to taste. Chill briefly before serving.


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