A tasty way to use leftover cooked fish that doesn’t taste like “leftovers!” These Southwest White Fish Cakes feature flaky white fish and mashed potatoes… the chipotle powder, fresh cilantro, and chives add a “kick” to the typical fish cake ingredients, while the cilantro avocado crema provides a creamy contrast in texture and flavor… Delicioso!
I must remember…
Turkey on Thanksgiving,
Pudding on Christmas,
Eggs on Easter,
Chicken on Sunday,
Fish on Friday,
But ah, me—I’m such a dunce.
I went and ate them all at once.~~ Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends
👩🏻🍳 Tamara Talks – Recipe Inspiration
Haha! 🙂 Shel Silverstein is one of my favorite authors of children’s literature, and this clever poem made me think of all the times I either didn’t use leftovers, or I served them with an apology. There is no need to apologize when you serve my southwest white fish cakes using last night’s leftover cooked fish!
I frequently cook dinner for my adult kids, and on a recent evening, I also entertained our close friends just staying the night in Las Cruces… 9 in all! We grilled fish for fish tacos, and as is so often the case, we made way too much fish!
We actually had over a pound of grilled cod that I really didn’t want to toss. One of my posts last summer was Green Chile Salmon Cakes With Black Bean and Corn Salad, and I borrowed from that recipe to create this one.
The salmon cakes use mashed sweet potatoes, but with the milder cod, I opted for yukon gold potatoes. These cod fish cakes have a bit of zip from chipotle powder, and lots of fresh herb flavor from the cilantro and chives. The cilantro avocado crema – also used on the salmon cakes – provides a nice textural and temperature contrast.
📋 Ingredients Notes
Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.
- 2 medium potatoes (about a pound)
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 lb. cooked fish, flaked coarsely*
- 3 scallions, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup cilantro, stems removed, finely chopped
- 2 tsp. fresh chives, finely chopped
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. chipotle powder
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- 1 tsp. sea salt*
- ground pepper
- 1 cup cornmeal
- cooking spray
Cilantro Avocado Crema
- 3/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt
- 1 avocado skin and pit removed
- 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 bunch cilantro, stems removed
- 1 lime juiced
- Mash the potatoes – Put a pot of water on to boil for your potatoes. Scrub them, and cut them in chunks. There is no reason to peel the unless you are averse to potato peels. Add a couple of teaspoons of salt to the water along with the potatoes.
- Make the cilantro avocado crema – Combine the crema ingredients in a food processor until smooth, and set aside.
- Make the fish cakes – while potatoes finish cooking, chop the scallions, cilantro, and chives. Add them with the flaked fish, eggs, chipotle powder, garlic, salt, and pepper to a large prep bowl. When potatoes are tender, drain, and mash. Add to the fish mixture. Gently combine the fish cake mixture ingredients using your hands. Do NOT overmix.
- Cook the fish cakes – Divide into 4 to 6 portions. Gently form into balls. Press the balls into a bowl with the cornmeal. Cook until golden brown on one side. Gently press with a spatula to slightly flatten them, then turn and cook until golden brown on the other side. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels.
- Finish the fish cakes – Serve the fish cake with a generous dollop of the cilantro avocado crema.
What kinds of fish can I use? The recipe specifies “cod,” but is not limited to cod! Any firm, flaky fish will work, including salmon. Tilapia, barramundi, sea bass, sheepshead, snapper are all good options.
I don’t have leftover fish. Can I still make fish cakes? Indeed. You will want to cook the fish first. While the potatoes boil, spray or lightly oil a skilled, then pan fry fish until opaque and cooked through.
Can I save leftover fish cakes? My preference is to cook just what I need for that meal. I’m usually cooking for 2, and this recipe makes 4-6, so if I make the full batch, I will store the remaining mixture in the refrigerator or freezer prior to cooking. Go ahead and make the patties, freeze flat, then add to a zip bag until ready to cook. They’re best freshly cooked, but if you need to reheat them, use the oven or gently on the stove. Microwaving them results in a soggy fish cake. 😢
What to Pair with Fish Cakes
I would suggest serving the Southwest Fish Cakes alongside grilled veggies or a garden salad with my homemade Cilantro-Jalapeño Ranch Dressing.
If you enjoy craft beers, this dish pairs well with a saison or a hefeweizen. A crisp, dry white wine such as a sauvignon blanc would be a nice option as well. The next time you have leftover cooked fish, give this one a try!
Do you have any fabulous dishes that you prepare from leftovers? If so, I’d love to hear about them… 🙂 Also, I have recently connected my blog to Yummly, and have added a “yum” button to my social sharing buttons at the bottom of the post! Yummly offers many convenient features including a personal recipe box. You can “yum” my post to add it to your recipe box. I hope you will take advantage of Yummly if you don’t already do so. 🙂 If this recipe looks delicious, don’t forget to “yum” it…
Movers come to pack us up Monday, and load us Tuesday. Life is getting crazy! I’m going to do my best to keep up with my blog until we get settled in late August. What’s a food blogging cook without her kitchen? Thanks in advance for your patience!