Cod Fish Cakes

Preparation time: 40 minutes. Here is a delicious way to use up leftover fish or mashed potatoes. I made my first cod fish cakes after catching my first lingcod (which isn’t actually cod by the way, but it still worked fine).

Follow on Pinterest

Cod Fish Cakes Recipe

  • Yield: Makes 12 fish cakes. Serves 4-6.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb of cod fillets
  • 2 medium-sized russett potatoes
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Grapeseed oil, or other high smoke point oil such as canola oil, for frying

Method

1 Boil and mash the potatoes, set them aside.

2 Boil the codfish until it flakes easkly. Drain and flake the fish with a fork. Be sure to remove all bones.

3 Mix the flaked fish, the potatoes and the rest of the ingredients together well by hand. If the mixture is too crumbly, add another egg. If too sticky, add some more bread crumbs.

4 Form the mixture into cakes and fry them on medium high heat in a skillet coated with oil, until nice browned on one side, then flip them over and continue to cook until well browned on the other side.

Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to the source recipe here on Simply Recipes. Thank you!

Follow on Pinterest

78 Comments

  1. Teresa Neff

    This is the most similar recipe to my grandmothers that I have found. I have been looking for quite some time now. Thank you for posting it!

  2. Sandy Litvin

    I made the codfish cakes tonight. I have to tell you that my husband dislikes fishcakes, but when he tasted this recipe, he said it was the best thing he’s ever eaten. They are so delicious. Much better than any I’ve made from cookbooks. They are light and fluffy and sooooo tasty.
    Thanks for a great dinner!

  3. elaine

    Please tell me were to purches cod fish flakes in the can. please it have been a long time eating them. please tell me a store or a web were to go,it would be well appreciated.

    Thank You

    Elaine

  4. elise

    Sorry Elaine, I have no idea where to purchase cod fish flakes in a can. Perhaps someone else reading this recipe does and can let us know.

  5. Rocky

    Good…..made these tonight for dinner. When I was a kid, my mom and her friends always made tons of a similar fish cake to sell for fund raising events. They always sold out.
    I hate to change original recipes before I try them, but I had fresh salmon- so I used it instead of the cod. Different but good and very attractive.
    Served with horseradishy tartar sauce.
    Thanks for reminding me about these.

  6. lewis weber

    Before w.w.-2 If I remenber correctly.Gortons or some one like them.Marketed a commercial cod fish cakes in a box.I am82 years old and some times I get things confused.But those cod fishcakes were delicious.Any body got any clues.as to where I can get cod fish cakes today?

  7. Naomi

    I am also looking for cod fish flakes in a can. My mom bought them when I was a kid.
    Anyone know how to get these or if they are even sold anymore??

  8. mel

    I make a similar recipe — but instead of potatoes, I use cooked wild rice, and add a few more spices. It is our favorite meal!

  9. Elise

    Hi Mel,
    Sounds intriguing. Care to share the recipe?

  10. marangely

    Codfish Fritters (Goya style/Puerto Rican Recipe)

    1 pound codfish fillets 0.045kg
    7 teaspoons flour 105 ml
    2 cups of water 480ml
    Salt,pepper and garlic,to taste
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder 2 1/2 ml
    Lard or vegetable oil

    Soak fish in water overnight. Cut into small pieces. Mix with flour,seasoning and water. Drop by tablespoonfuls into hot lard or vegetable oild and fry until golden brown . Drain on absorbent paper. Serves 24

    PREMADE DRY RECIPE IN BRAND NAME GOYA FOUND AT HISPANIC SHOPS OR WALMART GROCERY INTERNATIONAL ISLE

    VERY OLD TRADIONAL RECIPE IN THE HISPANIC CULTURE HOPE ANYONE WHO DOES THE RECIPE ENJOYS IT.

  11. carole

    Please tell me where I can order gortons fish cakes in a can. Had them when I was a child. in Massachusetts

    Now in California and cant find the can. I ordered them once but lost the address.

    thanks,
    carole

  12. payal

    Thanks for posting this recipe. My husband and I attempted to make something similar last weekend. Although they tasted good, they didn’t quite keep their form. They were too moist – not enough breadcrumbs I think. Also, we used olive oil and I think we’ll try canola or grapeseed next time so we can cook them a bit longer.

    Did you happen to use a sauce on the side or anything? I think someone here mentioned using a horseradish-type sauce. Recipe looks great and simple. Looking forward to trying it!

  13. JL

    Boy, these look yummy. Can’t wait to try them!

  14. HMC

    What is the freezability or shelf life of the fish cakes. They sound delicious…but a lot of time I am cooking for one…

  15. Banu

    I’ve never thought to use fish in this way. I’ll try it soon.

    Have a good weekend!
    Banu

  16. mb

    Well, for this Catholic, lent is about over. having played my best cards early I was out of non-meat things I thought the kids would like. I belive these will be gracing our table tonight. If they are half as good as the rest of your reviews indicate – we will be having them a lot more. YUM! The horseradish tarter sounds divine too!
    Thanks
    mb

  17. Scott

    I have been looking all over for NEPTUNE canned cod fish. All the stop&shop super markets and Shaws use to carry it now they don’t. I have been looking on line to try to find the Neptune company that makes it to see if they still do and where i could buy these cans of codfish but have had no luck. Could you help? Thank You!

  18. karlette

    Do you think you could salted cod (Bacalao) for the cod cakes if you soaked the cod very well to get the salt out?

  19. Randall Blanchard

    Neptune-brand canned-codfish is no longer available, according to the HometownFavorites website.
    Gorton’s frozen codfish is made from a complete recipe (NOT the Gorton’s/Neptune original canned recipe).
    Some Portuguese-specialty companies may offer codfish-in-a-can.

  20. BOB DAVIS

    I have looked all over for a recipe for cod fish cakes and I just ant to thank you for having posted one. My mother used to take dry salt cod and boil the salt out in about eight or ten minutes by puting one ince of water in an iron pan with the cod to make gravy or fish cakes.

  21. Doug Adams

    This is a great recipe. As all New Englandahs know, cod cakes go best with brown bread and baked beans (both of which still DO come in a can!) Thanks!

  22. jeanne hart

    Please, please, please, Doug Adams, we southerners need your help!!!!!! There is nowhere south of the Mason-Dixon line to purchase codfisn cakes or codfish flakes in a can. We are feeling deprived!!!!!! Any help would be greatly appreciated. Somewhere that we can call or write or e-mail that still offers this wonderful product. Any lead would be appreciated.

    Thank you and y’all have a merry Christmas up there.

  23. Nova Scotia Mom

    We’ve always made Fish Cakes with Salt cod which must be soaked overnight in cold water (change the water 2 times during this time). Next day, drain the fish again, and add fresh water. Bring to a simmer and then let cool off. Drain, and flake into a bowl with your fingers, removing bones as you find them. Be careful to look for the bones! Add the rest of the ingredients as the recipe on this website states. Shape into small cakes, and then roll in flour. Fry as usual. (Or they can be frozen before frying.)
    Variation: to make them ‘go” farther, mom used to add either a tin of salmon or crab meat to her fish cake recipe.
    I think we use a bit more potatoes, probably 3-4 cups.

  24. audrey

    Can you tell me if you can use fresh water cod for these recipes?

  25. Millie

    Where can I buy flaked cod fish (like it used to be sold by Beardsley, in a box) or even salt cod? I see folks asking where to get it, but I haven’t seen any sites to connect to other than possibly Gortons. I’ll try them. Thank You

  26. gerald ceasar

    I have been searching for years for a recipe for NYC’s Horn and Hardart’s automat’s fish cakes. I suspect that they used dried cod in the cakes. I still remember how good they tasted. Does anyone have their recipe?
    Jerry Ceasar

  27. jerry ceasar

    To payal who asked about sauces with fish cakes, we use to use catsup at the Automat in NYC.Goes good with the potatoes and fish combination. By the way the Automat baked bean were out of this world!

    Also to HMC I have frozen fried fish cakes and then reheated in the microwave. They tasted pretty good.

  28. Elly Dixon

    I remember my grandma buying the dry cod flakes in a box not a can. Mixing them with mashed potatoes, and I guess something to moisten the cod for fishcakes.

  29. Josh

    I used the the above recipe to make mini smoked haddock cakes with corn. I poached the Smoked Haddock in sauteed onions/butter and whole milk and then flaked it and added it to the above recipe of mashed potatoes and fresh break crumbs ! Wow I had friends over and they went wild…

  30. June

    Has anyone found a place to buy the Neptune
    cod fish in a can, or the Beardsley flakes in
    a box? My dad is 78 and would be thrilled to
    have either one.

  31. Scott

    Great recipe. I made these a couple weeks ago substituting sweet potatoes for the russets and cilantro instead of parsley. They were delicious and my girlfriend is begging me to make more, so I am going to try again tonight. I did have to add quite a bit more bread crumbs than the recipe calls for, but once I played with the proportions a little the consistency was excellent.

    Thanks!

  32. Denise

    For cod fish in a can – you can buy “fin n’ haddie” for about $5.00 a can – cannot get it any longer here in Alberta,Canada BUT you can call an IGA food store in Nova Scotia, Canada and they have them. I did find them at the IGA in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Fortunately, I have a friend who lives there and she sends it to me when I request it. No bones, just open the can and you’re ready to go.

  33. Mandy

    Just made this and my husband loved them. He said the best thing was the texture. I tried to keep them nice and lumpy. I made homemade parsley sauce to go with them and served them with greenbeans. Thanks.

  34. Evangeline Ames

    If anyone finds out about any company that manufactures the dried flaked codfish in a box please let me know. They were the best thing for dinner on a Friday night. My mom soaked the flakes, squeezed and strained out the water and whatever bone fragments, mixed it with home made mashed potatoes, made patties, dipped in flour, fried them and they were some kind of good. I never thought they would be so hard to find 40 years later. So does anyone out there want to solicit any of these fish companies to start this good old tradition. Real food. not all kids of fillers and fake fish byproducts. I may not be able to get back to this website so if anyone knows anything please email me at my email address. amese AT rbha {dot] org Thanks.

  35. Darryl

    I’ll be trying your recipe tomorrow with some Mako shark. I catch them every year and just landed a 170 pound one last week. The meat is excellent- white with zero bones. Great on the grill, in a seafood stew, or in fish tacos, but I wanted to try something new, so fish cakes it is. When you catch a couple of “fish” this big every year you need to look for new ways to do it up… My buddy uses it in fish cakes and says it’s outstanding. Thanks for the recipe.

  36. Mr. Nat

    http://www.qualityfreshseafood.com/sacodsbypocf.html

    While Gortons sells some for a premium. The link above goes to a good looking box. Lucca is the brand on the west coast that we see at Safeway and Albertson’s.

  37. Mehreen Khalid

    For the Cod Fish cakes recipe, is it necessary to use cod fish? IF we really have to use some other fish, can someone pls recommend a good substitute. thanks.

    Note from Elise: You can use this technique with pretty much any soft fleshed fish I imagine. Don’t think it would work that well on halibut or swordfish, but then I’ve never tried it on those fish either.

  38. Ms. M Harris

    Stavis Seafoods Inc in Boston, Ma sells dried cod flakes in a white box. This is what my grandmother used back in the 1940’s and ’50’s.

  39. Doug Cassie

    My wife made fishcakes with fresh cod last night. They were very good but needed that extra lift from the salted, dried cod.We bought some dried, salted cod (bacala) and will try that! The fish market said to soak it several times and then poach it and shred it.The recipe looks about like she made them. I bet it would be good with smoked haddock (finnan haddie) which also must be poached and flaked. Our fish market carries it frozen from Canada. We eat it in a cream sauce over mashed potatoes. Yum ! We both grew up on Beardsley’s.

  40. yholac

    You can use canned salmon instead of cod! I learned it from my mother, same ingriedients except for the fish. You can try a different kind of fish, but canned salmon is the best.

    Indeed. If you like salmon, check out our recipe for salmon patties. Same idea. ~Elise

  41. Pamela Young

    My mother made cod fish cakes when I was a kid and I loved them. She used to add onions to hers. I asked her the other day why she doesn’t make them anymore and she told me they don’t sell the canned version any longer. I found this recipe and the picture looks exactly like hers minus the brown onions. I bet I know what she will be making for dinner on Friday night.

  42. Ex-Nova Scotia girl

    In the Maritimes, fish cakes are always made with salt cod fillets, as Nova Scotia Mom says, above. At home, any supermarket carries the salt cod fillets, usually in the fish section of the store. It’s sold in bags, though, not boxes. The brand that my mother-in-law sends me is Shoal Water Seafoods of Digby, N.S. You may be able to order it from them. If you follow Nova Scotia Mom’s recipe for the fish cakes, above, you’ll not go wrong! Fish cakes like these are made all over the Maritimes and in Newfoundland. They are traditionally served with baked beans (Boston baked beans) and green chow. Yummy!

  43. erin

    And that begs the question, what’s green chow?!

    I was wondering the same thing. Perhaps green chow chow? ~Elise

  44. Wendy

    I love your site, and this is the first recipe I think I’ve made. It was just fantastic. The potato as a binder is just genius!

  45. John DM

    Green chow is what you call chow chow, Elise, and it is almost a necessity with fish cakes here in Nova Scotia. Since I live in Digby, I must go check ex-Nova Scotia girl’s recommendation about Shoal Water Seafoods.

  46. Bill H

    I found these comments while looking for what everyone else is looking for. Dried cod in a box. However several people mentioned finnan haddie. My mother used to make what she called finnan haddie with chunked potatoes in a cream sauce. I’ve tried it by scant memory but it wasn’t the same. A little help would be appreciated.

  47. Hydee

    A friend gave me a bunch of cod. I cooked it for dinner Friday night. I used up the last bit for dinner tonight in this recipe. Thank you for posting a wonderful recipe.

  48. Jessy Fay

    How large and thick of fish cakes do I make?
    The ones I made were not cooked all the way through.
    Thanks

    I would say about 3 inches wide and about 3/4 inch thick. It really depends. If they aren’t cooked all the way through, lower the heat and cook them longer. ~Elise

  49. Sherihan

    Sounds so delicious but I was wondering if I can bake these cakes instead of frying them, is it possible?

    If you try it, please let us know how it turns out. ~Elise

  50. mary ann leggio cole

    I cant believe all the people looking for codfish in a can ME TOOOO Im from New Orleans We had the same thing mixed with potatoes I always thought my Mother was trying to stretch the fish to feed us Same receipe I also would buy it in the can when I got married but its been years at least 25years since ive seen it. MY Mother is 88 now & she still misses it also We often use another type of fish but not the same I Just told my husband last night I was going to GOOGLE Codfish to see what I could find Came across this site GOOD LUCK EVERYONE
    MARY ANN

  51. Pat

    I’ve made fish cakes for my husband now for 37 years. We used to buy the fish flakes directly from Gorton’s until they discontinued them. I now make them from canned pink salmon and it tastes almost exactly the same. The pink salmon is mild and we still love our fish cakes. I found a label in my mother-in-law’s recipes and it had the ingredients on it, they actually had cod, sole & whiting. Try the salmon, but use the pink. I believe it is by Bumble Bee.

  52. Debra

    For those who are searching for canned fish cakes, I know of a source. The Vermont Country Store sells this in a 15 oz can. Ingredients: cod, potato, bread crumbs, eggs, butter, and spices. Availabe online at vermontcountrystore.com.

  53. csquare

    Great find, Debra!! $13 a can, makes 6 cakes, still steep, but 2 1/2 times cheaper than gortons ready made. I noticed it is made from pollock, which is a type of cod. I am sure pollock is easy to find in most folks supermarkets. here is the actual webpage, just copy and paste into the address bar:
    http://www.vermontcountrystore.com/browse/Home/Food-Candy/Food/Conveniently-Canned/Fish-Cakes/D/30100/P/1:100:1020:10270:100660/I/f12131?evar3=BROWSE

  54. Debra

    I just wanted to point out that the price is actually $13 for 2 cans of the canned fish cakes at Vermont Country Store, which makes it quite a bit more reasonable.

  55. Jovita

    I cooked the fish cakes tonight! I have to say its absolutely delicious! Best fish cakes I ever tried and sooo easy to prepare! Great 10 out of 10!!!

  56. Florence Holmes

    Mama always fixed Cod Fish cakes for breakfast and she would make a cream sauce to go over them and add chopped hard boiled eggs to the sauce. Yummy!

  57. Kerry

    I also remember Gorton’s fish cakes in the can.Boy were they good,had them a lot during Lent.I lived in Manhattan for 25 yrs.now down in NC and they don’t have any food from up there down here sure do miss the food!

  58. Bobby Joesa

    I am unable to find flaked cod fish in a can (as a lot of other people apparently. Do you know a source. Thanks

    I do not know of a source. ~Elise

  59. Babs

    Unbelievably good recipe! Even the grandkids had second helpings. I’ll make this more and more; they were absolutely delicious.

  60. Michael

    First of all, terrific site! I have so many cookbooks and yet I find myself coming back to this site more and more for inspiration. My favorite to date is the Irish beef stew. I’ve made it with and without the can of Guinness. Both taste great, but the Guinness does make a very obvious difference. Not that it’s that much better, but it is different. Anyway, both versions are phenomenal!

    Now I would imagine that once the cakes are formed, one can bake them in the oven rather than having to fry them in a skillet. Not so much an issue of what is healthier, but rather an easier method of cooking the cakes. In a skillet they would have to be prepared in batches because the skillet is not big enough to hold all of the cakes. Not to mention the mess that results from oil splattering all over the stove top.

    That being said, at what temperature would I set the oven and for how long would I cook the cakes?

  61. Greg

    In response to michael, I would use a temperature in the range between 500 and 600 degrees. I roast vegetables a lot and this temperature range provides both the crispy outside on potatoes and the caramelization of vegetables that have simpler sugars. You should also brush them lightly with oil or butter.

  62. Bonnie

    I tried this recipe I purchased salt cod fish in a wooden box @ Market Basket.I did not use the bread crumbs as my mother who is 90 years old said she never did. The cakes did not hold together well next time I will try dusting them in flour before frying any other suggestions are welcome my brother said this was the closest thing to mom’s my husband said they were to lumpt I will try again

  63. Carl

    Another very nice recipe.

    Anyway, this turned out great. I used Pangasuis fillets, not sure the English word for that, but it’s a mild white fish tasting similar to cod. I cooked them on a panini press instead of frying. I served them with a dill sour cream sauce, Greek style cabbage, and Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie.

    Next time I will pay the extra for the fresh cod.

    I am really enjoying this blog. It’s just a breath of fresh air to see recipes that don’t call for a can of cream of mushroom soup.

  64. john mcguire[scotland]

    Hey, good recipe. My family aint big on fish like me but they loved it. I work as a fisherman so find it easy to get my hands on good quality fresh fish. I suggest adding some wild Scottish salmon and some manx smoked haddock to the recipe. the 3 very different tasting fish really set it off. Gonna serve it as a starter on Xmas day for the in-laws(out-laws more like). LOL ty for recipe xjx

  65. TheMiddleMe

    We made these tonight and they turned out great, though I had to add more egg because my mashed potatoes were too dry. I think I will just add milk and make those a little more moist next time. They were so yummy and we all enjoyed them and will make them again. My mom used to buy cod fish flakes from a brand called Beardsley or something like that. We also used to get fish cakes by Mrs. Pauls which were frozen and really quite nice. I don’t think they make/sell either anymore. So happy to have this recipe, thank you very much, it made a great meal:) Can you recommend any sauce to put with these or anything? We had a side of mac n cheese with cooked tomatoes.

  66. jfoltz

    A very basic recipe. Add your own herbs and spices,(cilantro, basil…)to flavor. And cut the potato down to one and a half.. Two whole potatoes are just too much.. Otherwise thanks for the template

  67. mary

    Hi! I read everybody’s comments befor posting my question. I have frozen cod fillets from BJ’s. They come in individual vacuum packed bags. Do you think I could use them for the recipe? Everybody has mentioned canned or fresh.

    Yes, defrost them in the refrigerator, in their bags, and you should be fine. ~Elise

  68. Nancy

    Could canned red salmon be substituted for the cooked cod?

    I think your best bet is the salmon patties recipe. ~Elise

  69. vic

    Great Fish Cakes if ………………you don’t like fish.
    Followed the recipe, cakes did not have a fish taste. Were tasty but could not tell they were Fish Cakes..
    So if you don’t like the taste of fish, this ones for you.
    My sugestion is increase the fish, cut back on the crumbs.

  70. Anonymous

    delicious :) you can use any fish well we did and they were great. thanks for putting the recipe up

  71. tim croft

    hi

    i have found when we make fishcakes they tend to start looking grey/black after about 3 days in the fridage, now it maybe the egg wash going black or condensation from the fridge i dont know and ideas would be greatly recieved.

    The fish cakes should not be stored in the fridge. They should be cooked and eaten immediately. If you want to store them uncooked, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and freeze them. ~Elise

  72. Jessica Lea, RD

    Looks like tonight’s dinner! Do you think Tilapia would be a suitable substitute?

    You could try it. I have mixed results with tilapia. I think it can taste somewhat muddy. ~Elise

  73. P W

    OMG, didn’t realize I was the only one out there searching for the Beardsley’s cod in a box! It was a part of my childhood I would love to regain… But it looks like no luck!

  74. Dahina Loaiza

    My son is allergic to cod fish and doesn’t like salmon :S Any other fish substitute ideas? Thank you.

    Use any white fish. ~Elise

  75. louise

    How long do we need to fry the cakes for please?

    Until nicely browned. ~Elise

  76. Anju

    I made this recipe a second time tonight but changed things up a bit. Following the suggestion made by somebody else in the comments section, and using whatever ingredients I had in the kitchen, I substituted white roughy fish, sweet potato and cilantro. What I ended up with was the most amazing fish cakes I’ve ever tasted. Sweet, moist, not too fishy – just divine! Thank you!

  77. vernaide shelton

    The only state that sells real cod fish cakes, about six to a box is Boston Md., run about $29.96 + $5.00 shipping. I have been on this run for five days looking for cod cakes, be careful by finding it in canned, I run into cat food cod fish canned.I hope this help my sisters and brothers out there looking for this item.
    Good hunting.

  78. mrklaw

    Gorton’s doesn’t put their fish cakes in cans anymore. You can order them frozen though.

Post a comment

Your comment may need to be approved before it will appear on the site. Thanks for waiting. First time commenting? Please review the Comment Policy.

Some HTML is OK. URLs are automatically converted to links. Line breaks are automatically converted to paragraphs. The following HTML tags are allowed: a, abbr, acronym, b, blockquote, cite, code, del, em, i, q, strike, strong