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Legal Seafood Fish Cakes

Fish cakes made with salted codfish were standard New England fare for generations. This version uses cooked fresh fish for cakes that make a good breakfast dish or a light Sunday supper. Handle them gently, and use freshly mashed potatoes for best results.


  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup chopped scallions, white parts only
  • 6 large potatoes, cut in half
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 6 ounces flaked cooked white-fleshed fish, such as cod, haddock, pollock, halibut or flounder
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons minced parsley
  • Dried bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter and sauté the scallions in it for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Do not allow the scallions to brown. Set them aside.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the potatoes, and when they are soft, drain and mash them with 1 tablespoon of the butter and the sour cream. Combine them with the fish and set aside.
  3. Beat the egg, adding the mustard, a generous amount of salt, and black pepper.
  4. Stir in the scallions and parsley. Combine this mixture with the potatoes and fish. (A spatula works well. Do not use a mixer, or the potatoes will become gummy.)
  5. Form the fish mixture into 8 cakes about 2 1/2 inches in diameter and dip each cake into the bread crumbs.
  6. Heat the remaining butter and the oil in a large frying pan, and sauté the fish cakes slowly for about 3 minutes on each side, or until they are lightly browned and cooked through.
  7. Serve with ketchup on the side.

Serves 4.

Source: The Legal Sea Foods Cookbook by George Berkowitz and Jane Doerfer