Israeli-Style Fish Cakes


  • 1/4 cup pinenuts
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless fish fillets (white or mild fish like whitefish, trout or tilapia)
  • 1/2 cup minced onion (about 1 medium onion)
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or more to taste (I usually use about 3/4 tsp)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne, or more to taste (very spicy)
  • 1/3 cup grapeseed or olive oil for frying
  • 1/2 cup tahini sauce for dipping
  1. Pour the pine nuts into a small skillet and toast them over medium heat for 6-8 minutes till golden and fragrant, stirring constantly. They will go from brown to burned very quickly, so keep a close eye on them. When they are golden, pour them immediately into a large mixing bowl and reserve.
  2. Cut the fish fillet into large chunks and place it into a food processor. Pulse just a few times until the fish chunks are coarsely chopped. Do not overprocess or you'll end up with fish mush-- just a few pulses should do the trick. Alternatively, you can chop the fish into small pieces with a sharp knife.
  3. Place the chopped fish into the mixing bowl with the pine nuts. Add the onion, breadcrumbs, chopped cilantro, egg, salt, cumin, and cayenne. Stir till all ingredients are well blended.
  4. Heat your oil over medium till hot enough for frying. Form 2 tablespoons of fish batter into a small disk and place it into the hot oil. Let it fry till golden on both sides-- if your oil is at the proper temperature, it will take 2-3 minutes per side to become dark golden brown. Start by cooking one fish cake, then taste it after it has cooled slightly. Adjust seasonings in the batter if desired, adding more salt or cayenne if needed (cayenne is very spicy, add with care). Once the batter is seasoned to your liking, continue frying in batches of 4-5 patties at a time.
  5. Place cooked patties onto a paper towel to drain.
  6. Serve hot. I like to serve these with tahini sauce for dipping (recipe can be found on my website). It would also pair well with aioli, tartar sauce, cocktail sauce, or ketchup for the kids. Try it with sriracha if you're in the mood for something spicy.

1 comment:

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