Fishing & Boating in the Northwoods


Fish Cakes Recipe

Kab Cakes in pan

This fish cakes recipe is a great way to use any single fish or combination of fish. We’ve actually dubbed this recipe “Kab” Cakes since they were first made with fresh fish from Lake Kabetogama, in MN. They are very similar to crab cakes but make use of freshwater fish instead of crab. The cakes have an outstanding flavor and are very easy to make. The best part is that the recipe can be made in advance and then assembled at the last minute!  Make them with fresh fish from your favorite fishing spot! My favorite fish to use? Bluegills! (Not sure how to clean or fillet bluegills? Follow my step-by-step instructions.)

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Fish cakes with Hollandaise sauce


  • 1 lb. uncooked fresh fish, chopped*
    (blue gill works best, but any fresh fish will work well)
  • 1 cup canned corn (or fresh sweet corn cut off the cob
  • ½ cup finely diced onion*
  • ½ cup finely diced green pepper*
  • ½ cup finely diced celery*
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ tsp. dry mustard
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 ¼ cups plain breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 1 package Hollandaise sauce mix

Fish Cake Instructions

*To speed up the prep time at home, we sometimes use our KitchenAid mixer using the meat grinder attachment with the coarse blade to grind the fish, onion, green pepper and celery together. The fish and vegetables will be chopped/ground to a uniform size very quickly!

If you do not have a meat / food grinder (or maybe you’re in a cabin with just the basics available), simply combine the chopped fish, onions, green peppers, corn and celery in mixing bowl and toss well.

In another bowl, combine mayonnaise with mustard and cayenne. Stir into fish mixture. Add salt and pepper. Use rubber spatula and gently fold in egg and approx. 1/3 cup of the breadcrumbs. Chill (covered) the fish mixture for about an hour.

Note: Fish mixture may be “soupy”. Add more breadcrumbs as needed or cut down on the mayonnaise from the ingredients section).

fish cakes uncooked

Form the fish mixture into 6-10 patties (size is your preference) and carefully cover patties with remainder of the crumbs.

Heat a non-stick, heavy aluminum or cast-iron skillet over med-high heat; then add 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 tablespoon of butter. Cook patties over medium heat (about 3 minutes per side). Add more oil or butter if necessary.

Sauce: Although I started by making homemade Hollandaise, the time taken to do it right was excessive. Therefore, I started using the package version. It’s faster and just as good. Also, I learned to add things like a bit of Worcestershire to “dial up” the flavor a bit. Just follow the directions on the package. Spoon onto cakes when ready to serve.

fish cakes shore lunch

I sometimes like to make the cakes up the night before, and store them in the freezer, uncooked. In the morning, I pack them in my cooler and bring them with me. After a few hours of fishing, I pull my boat up to an island and take out my gas grill and Kab Cakes and have a gourmet breakfast right there on the rocks! Can’t beat it with a stick! Hope to see you on the lake!


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R. Karl

Angler, Author & Epicure

Fishing since the age of eight.  Seriously writing since the age of 16. Chef and foodie from the age of 22 years… and counting. So much to learn and so little time. I have enjoyed every minute of it all.  Whether on the water (where I like it best), in the kitchen, or at the keyboard, churning out content, I feel like I have found my place.  I am sharing it with you in the hope that some of what I love to do will rub off on you. I hope to see you On the Lake!

R. Karl