Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Fish Cake or Faux Crab Cake

Fish Cake or Faux Crab Cake

Where have I been? Eating my way around Vancouver, B.C. the past few days. I love that city so much; the weather was beautiful, the people were nice, and oh the food. It almost feels like home away from home but Seattle will always hold a special place in my heart. I'm still a little tired so just a short recipe today of something I made before I left for my trip. Actually there are so many photos and recipes in my "to post" folder, I call it my "blog clog." One of these days I'm going to have to sit down and publish everything *gulp*.

Anyway onto these yummy fish cakes. Steven said, "Hmm... these cakes remind me of something." Couldn't quite put his finger on it but eventually we figured out that the texture of pollock was reminiscent of crab leg meat. These fish cakes are essentially faux crab cakes! (Faux crab cake sounds a lot better than imitation crab cake, which sounds distressingly fake and rubbery with a hint of artificial pink.) You can substitute another white fish for pollock, like cod or tilapia, but the texture won't be the same.

First the fish is cooked through by steaming with salt, pepper, lemon juice and white wine. You can also poach or roast the fish but I chose to steam it because I felt like it would prevent the fish from drying out without leeching out flavor. When making Chinese steamed whole fish, I add a little rice wine to cut the fishiness, so this is why I added a little white wine to the fish in this recipe. I love the airy crunchiness of panko bread crumbs so much that they have replaced regular dried bread crumbs in every application. So in goes some panko. Only the green parts of the scallions are used because the green top is milder and can be used more like an herb, whereas the white bottom is more like an onion, and the stronger flavor would be too overwhelming. After adding the rest of the ingredients, the cakes are chilled to prevent them from falling apart while cooking. Finally, they are dredged in flour and pan fried to a beautifully browned and crisp crust.

Fish Cake or Faux Crab Cake
1 lb pollock (or another white fish)
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp lemon juice (juice from half a lemon)
2 tbsp white wine
1/4 C chopped scallions (green part only)
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 egg, beaten
1/4 C mayo
1/4 C panko, or more if needed
1/2 tsp Old Bay seasoning (optional)
1/4 C flour
3 Tbsp vegetable oil

Tartar sauce for serving (optional)

Salt and pepper the fish, drizzle with lemon juice and steam until the fish is throughly cooked and flakes easily, about 5 - 10 minutes.

Drain the liquid. Break up the fish, leaving some large clumps and wait for the fish to cool to room temperature. Meanwhile in a small bowl mix the egg and mayo.

Once the fish has cooled, add the chopped scallion and parsley, panko, Old Bay (if using) and the mayo-egg mixture, and gently fold everything together. If the mixture looks too wet, add a little more panko.

Divide the mix into 4 portions and form into thick cakes. Cover and chill for 30 minutes or overnight.

After the chill, add the flour to a plate and dredge both sides of the cakes with flour. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Cook the cakes until the outsides are crisp and browned, about 4 - 5 minutes per side.

Serve with tartar sauce if you'd like.

Replace the fish for lump crab meat and voila! you have a (real) crab cake.


Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

These faux crab cakes look delicious. I might even try the recipe with (gasp!) real lump crab meat!

Meeta K. Wolff said...

I love fish cakes / crab cakes etc. and find that many types of fish taste great - I have not tried it with this particular type but you've got my curious now!

Deborah said...

I have never tried pollock before, but I do have a few different types of white fish in my freezer right now. I want to try this!

Mandy said...

Your faux crab cake reminds me of one I made from Everyfood/cookinglight. They were real good, but I think I lost the recipe. ;p
I will try your version soon.:D
Thanks for the recipe.

Peabody said...

I substitute pollock all the time and my husband never is the wiser. :)

Anh said...

Your fish cake looks delicious! I made some the other day, too. But doesn't taste much like crab cake at all. :D

Anonymous said...

Makes me wanna try making after experiencing with fish in my wontons/dumplings. I know this fish cakes are goin' to delicious.

Wandering Chopsticks said...

This looks marvelous! Actually, it looks eerily like my crab cake recipe. ;)

"Blog clog" is a great phrase! I'm slowly slogging through my pile as well.

Anonymous said...

oooh...this looks so yummy. I'll have to try it one day.

test it comm said...

That fish cake (or maybe a burger?) looks great! And the recipe sounds tasty. Bookmarked to try later.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That's a great recipes/idea! Your fish cake look gorgeous! I'll have to try that one day...

Unknown said...

Well it reminded me of a crab cake when I ate it.

Amy said...

This recipe is actually based on my crab cake recipe.

I love fish too, I wonder if I can make a salmon version.

Using another white fish is totally okay, it will be more fish-cake-like than crab-cake-like.

I think I may have seen a fish cake in Everyday Food a while back. I can look for it and email you if you'd like.

Shh... hehe let's hope he doesn't find out. ;)

Thank you! Maybe it's just Steven and I that think it was like crab cake.

Fish in wontons sound good!

We're on the same wavelength again. ;) "Slogging through the blog clog" I wonder if that phrase will catch on.

Thanks! I hope you do.

This would make a great burger! Might have to make them a little bigger.

Thank you! Let me know how you like it.


Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

I finally found Old Bay Seasoning in a seafood store in my area. I will have to give your "faux" crab cakes a try.

Anonymous said...

Can't Wait to Try Out This Crab Cake Recipe. I have been sampling crab cakes and crab cake recipes from across the web and offering up reviews on my site. Thanks for the great post and stop by sometime. http://www.crabcakeguy.com

Anonymous said...

Hey! I made a variation on your recipe tonight with leftover cod that I had baked in a salt crust. The cakes were YUMMY! TY!

Amanda said...

I also made this recipe and the cakes were awesome! We had them on toasted buns--kinda like mini fish sliders :) Thanks so much for this recipe. I'm not sure I would have known what to do with the pollock otherwise! The only thing I changed was cilantro instead of parsley and added some green chillies for kick. Oh, and I wasn't sure where/when to use the wine, so I omitted it.


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