My husband used to go out on Lake Erie and furnish us with lots of walleye every year, but he got tired of that type of fishing (trolling) and mostly of cleaning fish. Luckily, we still have a friend who gives us a few each year, and I’m ready for them with a collection of good walleye recipes. Another thing about my husband is that he doesn’t like the taste of fish, although walleye are very mild, so I found a number of recipes that distract him from the main ingredient. Of them all, he likes fish cakes the best.
This recipe is a version of Martha Stewart’s Codfish Cakes, but I use walleye and parsley instead of cod and tarragon, and my hot sauce is Huy Fong© Vietnamese Chili Garlic Sauce. Stewart’s recipe is online, but I found it first in the paperback What To Have For Dinner (1995), a useful book that organizes meals by season. The Codfish Cakes are in the spring section.
Lake Erie Walleye Cakes
Although I made 4 inch patties, they would be great in a smaller appetizer size—just more browning time.
Preheat oven to 200°; it’s a good idea to keep the finished cakes warm while browning the rest.
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 lbs walleye, cut into chunks then pulsed to a small dice
1 onion, minced, cooked in olive oil until translucent
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon Huy Fong© Vietnamese Chili Garlic Sauce
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
Olive oil for sweating onions and browning cakes
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs—I used Progresso™ Garlic Herb Bread Crumbs
- Saute the minced onion in about 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat until translucent, but not browned. Set aside to cool.
- Cut skinned and boned fish into large chunks, then pulse in a food processor to a small dice, without turning into a paste. Note: we cut out any red muscle in fish, which has an unpleasantly strong taste.
- Mix fish with remaining ingredients, except bread crumbs—do not use bread crumbs as a binder, just for coating. Mixture will be soft and moist.
- Form fish mixture into 4 inch patties no more than 1/2 inch thick. Wetting your hands will make the mixture a little easier to work with. Coat each cake with breadcrumbs and set aside until all are made. The cakes will still be soft and will not stand up to a lot of handling, so just plan to be careful. They will hold together on cooking.
- Heat 2-4 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-low heat until hot. Lift cakes with a spatula and place in skillet, about 3-4 depending on the size of your pan.
- Cook for about 5 minutes on each side. Remove to ovenproof plate in warm oven.
- Add more oil, if necessary, and brown the rest of the cakes.
These would be great with a colorful vegetable slaw, but we had macaroni salad and peas.