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This is a fish cake recipe I love to coo

Johnstone Fish Cakes

I have made these fish cakes for a quite a few years and they are a real crowd pleaser!  I have named them after my great great grandfather who is Indian by birth and has passed on to me a love of fragrant food.

Handy Hints and Tips:

  • This recipe works well as finger food, making about 40 canapés sized bites. 

  • For a meal it makes up 12 substantial burgers.

  • The cooked fish cakes can be consumed straight out of the pan or at room temperature.  

  • The tasty ingredients combined in the fish cake tick the flavour boxes and taste delicious with just a squeeze of lime or lemon to serve.  

  • This recipe does appear to have a lot of greenery but is well balanced. You can adjust to your preference for a greater proportion of fish to vegetable if desired. 

  • Cook in a flat fry pan not a grill. The grill tends to lift pieces off the fish cake.

Ingredients and Method:


1kg White Fish Fillets - we favour Spanish Mackerel, Parrot fish, Tusk fish, Coral Trout, or                                                            Barramundi 

                                               - skin and bones removed and cut to small pieces.

1  bunch Fresh Coriander - stems and leaves finely chopped

A large handful of Fresh Mint chopped

4 Shallots white and green bits finely chopped

1 Onion finely chopped

1 tablespoon Ginger grated

1 Carrot grated

1/2 Red Capsicum chopped

4 Snake Beans chopped

1 Chilli to taste finely chopped

3 Garlic Cloves finely chopped

3 Kaffir Lime Leaves very finely chopped

Zest of 1 Lime

1/2 cup Desiccated Coconut

1/2 cup Rice Flour or Polenta

2 Eggs

1/2 teaspoon each Ground Coriander, Cumin, Fennel seedsSumac 



1 tablespoon Fish Sauce

2 tablespoons Tamari 

1 teaspoon Sesame Oil

Juice of 1 Lime (zested from before)


  • In a large bowl mix all the ingredients thoroughly, it is best by hand.

  • Smell the mix - it should be fresh and zingy.

  • Adjust seasoning to your liking


  • Take approx 1/4 to 1/3 of this mix place in a food processor and pulse it a few times to get a fine consistency (this step really helps the fish cakes to bind. It may be temping to do everything in the processor but it give a very dense consistency to your fish cake)


  • Return this mix to the large bowl with hand chopped mix, again mix thoroughly - a little bit of squeeze and knead will create a nice consistency and yummy mix without breaking down the remaining chucks of fish.


  • Make up fish cakes to your preferred size, cook in a fry pan over medium heat- use coconut, peanut, macadamia or rice bran oil.  Allow space between the cakes as you place them in the pan; wait a moment then give them a little shift so they don’t stick.  Cook for about 3 to 4 min on each side; with the larger deeper burgers use tongs to hold on their edge to cook the sides and if necessary finish off in oven.  Be careful not to over cook as the fish cake should be firm but moist and juicy to eat.

  • Serve with a squeeze of lemon or lime.

Entertaining Tip:

  • Uncooked fish cakes can be frozen and defrosted in the fridge - great way to prepare in advance for a party


Cheers, Jo

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