Tuna cakes are a great way to prepare canned tuna. It's a tasty alternative to the usual tuna salad. I love having these for a refuel after the gym as a grab and go protein. They're also budget-friendly and so flavorful. Hard to believe you're eating canned fish! The recipe is easy and it comes together in about 25 minutes. I love that I can use ingredients from my pantry and dried seasonings if I don't have fresh herbs and aromatics on hand.
What goes well with tuna cakes?
I've served these multiple ways. Here are some ideas to pair this easy protein:
- Make them thicker and serve as a burger
- Make them smaller for an appetizer
- Top over a salad
- Serve over chow mein or fried rice
- Serve as a sandwich or in a pita
- I prefer to rinse tuna before adding ingredients. Place tuna in a mesh strainer, run a little water over it then press firmly with the back of a spoon to get the liquid out. When the tuna is squeezed dry, the seasonings stick better to it and doesn't have too much of a fishy taste.
- You can bake these fish cakes instead at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes (flipping halfway).
- Add mashed potatoes, red and green peppers or corn for variety.
- For this specific recipe, tuna patties do not need to be breaded or dipped in egg wash before frying, just shape them and go straight to skillet.
I like to make these tuna cakes flat and thin. The thinner they are the more surface space for a crust. Making them thinner takes no extra time. Alternatively you can make them thicker and more plump- nice for a tuna burger!
Serve with your favorite side!
- 3 5oz cans tuna (in water)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp dried parsley or thyme
- ¼ cup onion, grated or finely diced
- 1 hot pepper (jalapeno, scotch bonnet, or wiri wiri), minced
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 stems scallions, finely chopped
- 2-3 tbsp mayonnaise
- 6 tbsp plain breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs, beaten
- Oil for cooking
- Drain the liquid from the tuna cans. Place tuna in mesh strainer. Run a little water over tuna to quickly rinse. Using a spoon, press tuna into strainer until most liquid is drained and tuna is dry.
- Place tuna in a mixing bowl.
- Add all ingredients except breadcrumbs and eggs. Mix thoroughly. Taste the mixture before adding eggs. Adjust the seasonings to suit your taste. Now mix in eggs and breadcrumbs.
- Divide the mixture into 9 parts. Form a ball with each and flatten to make a patty. Flatten to desired thickness. Place on a large plate or tray lined with parchment paper.
- Heat a skillet to medium-high heat, add enough oil for a shallow pan fry.
- Gently place tuna patties in skillet. Let it fry 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove onto tray lined with paper towels.
Rinsing tuna is a personal preference so this step is optional. Bake instead of pan fry at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes (flipping halfway).