Fish,  Seafood and Fish

Baked Cod Fish Cakes

Fish and potatoes. Perfect mates. And when you can taste both in one bite of a fish cake, what could be better? Especially when it’s cod, the Mighty White Fish that made New England famous. These easy baked fish cakes let the sweet flavor of the cod shine through. Plus you get the crunch of a spicy crumb topping studded with bacon bits. If you can’t find the world-renowned North Atlantic cod, or it’s way too expensive, substitute your favorite white fish or something local recommended by an expert at the fish counter. These cakes will still taste delicious.

Got frozen fish fillets you wish you could cook right away? Turn those rock-hard slabs into tender fish cakes in a little over an hour. Zap fillets briefly in the microwave to defrost just enough to cut into chunks. Shredding may take an extra pulse or two in the food processor, but otherwise frozen will work as well as fresh.

Speaking of cod, it reminds me of the poem “Boston,” by optometrist John Collins Bossidy, spoken at a Holy Cross College alumni Dinner in held in Boston in 1910. The Springfield Republican published it in 1924, and it went viral.

“And this is good old Boston,
The home of the bean and the cod,
Where the Lowells talk to the Cabots
And the Cabots talk only to God.”

These days, the names Lowell and Cabot are mostly seen on hospital wings, endowments and street signs. But cod and baked beans still define Boston cuisine. And stay tuned—one day we’ll get around to posting Dan’s Aunt Lorraine’s recipe for classic, molasses-laced Boston Baked Beans.  

Baked Cod Fish Cakes

Adapted from The Boston Globe

Makes 6 cakes.

For fish cakes:

  • 1 medium yellow or golden potato
  • ¾-1 pound boneless skinless cod, cut into chunks
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley

For crumb topping:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ cup panko or dried bread crumbs
  • Splash of hot sauce
  • 3 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  1. Wash, prick, and cook potato in microwave until tender, about 7 minutes. Cool.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the cod 5 times. Add 2 tablespoon butter and pulse 3 more times to shred fish.
  3. Peel potato and mash briefly with a fork in a large bowl with the salt and pepper, leaving small chunks.
  4. Add fish, scallions, 1 tablespoon of parsley and hot sauce. Combine well using your hands, and form into six fish cakes. Place on a plate and refrigerate 15 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 425°.
  6. Using your fingers, combine 1 tablespoon butter, bread crumbs, crumbled bacon, hot sauce, and remaining parsley. Season with salt and pepper if desired.
  7. Remove cakes from plate and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Top each cake with crumb mixture.
  8. Bake 20 minutes or until golden.
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