Fish cakes are packed with flavour, and as they are boneless they’re also easy to eat. It’s a great way to use leftover braaied fish. However, once you master this recipe you’ll probably find yourself running out of leftover fish, and you’ll have to braai fish from scratch to satisfy your fish cake craving. Serves 6.


  • 1 kg braaied/cooked hake or other white fish (about 2 cups flaked boneless fish)
  • 2 cups white bread crumbs
  • 1 onion (peeled and grated)
  • 1 tomato (watery seeds removed, then grated)
  • 1 tot parsley (finely chopped)
  • 1 tot fresh coriander (finely chopped)
  • 1 tot fresh dill (finely chopped)
  • 1 egg (lightly beaten)
  • 1 tsp salt(less if your fish was seasoned during the braai)
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 2 tots vegetable oil (for frying)
  • fresh lemon wedges (for serving)

For the serving sauce:

  • 1 cup (125 ml) mayonnaise
  • 1 tot wholegrain mustard
  • 1 tot capers, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped and crushed

For the salsa:

  • 500g mixed tomatoes chopped roughly
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 mielies (corn) charred on the fire and kernels cut off the cob
  • Olive oil, salt and pepper to taste


  1. If you are using raw fish, cook it first. The easiest way would be to quickly braai it over hot coals, or to pan fry it in a little oil. This should not take more than 15 minutes.
  2. With clean hands, flake the cooked fish (make sure you get rid of all the bones) and then combine with all the other ingredients (except the oil and lemon wedges) in a mixing bowl. Mix well.
  3. Shape the mixture into golf ball-size portions, flatten them slightly and put them on a tray. If you don’t want your tray to smell fishy afterwards, first cover it with a sheet of baking paper.
  4. Over a medium-hot fire, heat the oil in a large flat-bottomed cast-iron pot or fireproof pan. Fry the fish cakes in batches on both sides, turning each one only once. When they are golden brown on both sides, they are ready. This should take about 5–8 minutes. This is not a difficult task and can be outsourced to someone who asks ‘how can I help?’
  5. As you take them out of the pan, place the fish cakes on a couple of sheets of kitchen paper to absorb any extra oil.
  6. Mix all the ingredients together for the sauce and set aside. Mix all the ingredients together for the salsa and season with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  7. Then plate and serve your fish cakes on top of the salsa with mayonnaise sauce, and fresh lemon wedges.


You can use any edible fish for this recipe, and your choice of fish will obviously decide the flavour of the fish cakes. Hake works well, but if you’re feeling royal use salmon or trout. If you’re on a camping trip in the middle of Africa, tinned tuna is the way.