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Cod Fish Cakes without Potato

Cod fish cakes or patties can be fried or cooked in your air fryer to crispy lightly breaded with cornmeal but tender inside. Healthy dinner or seafood snack. Homemade and similar to our Air Fryer Crab Cakes except with your favorite fillet instead of shellfish.

tilapia fish cake

Fish patties are a versatile and delicious dish made from minced or flaked fish, often combined with various ingredients such as potatoes, breadcrumbs, herbs, and seasonings. Formed into patties or cakes and then cooked by frying, baking, steaming or air fry in this case. Enjoyed in many cuisines around the world these can be served as appetizers, main dishes, or even sandwich fillings. (affiliate links present)

How to Cook Fish Cakes in Air Fryer

Frozen Fish Cakes in Air Fryer can be cooked this way too. Those are ready made found in the frozen section of your grocery store and delicious but not homemade. We made these from scratch so they are even better. You can use a variety of fillets but cod is quite delicious and inexpensive.

We have used all different types of seafood to make these. Air Fryer Salmon Patties are made similarly as well with breading to make the outside nice and golden brown crispy. Just depends on which variety is your favorite and/or is on sale at the time.

Fried Fish Cake

How to Make Cod Fish Cakes

If you want to Cook Frozen Fish Fillets you will need to defrost them first. It won’t work starting out rock hard as you need to mince it into small bits so it mixes with the other ingredients into somewhat of a paste. Think of it as if you were making homemade meatballs basically with some breading as a binder.

How do you keep fish cakes from falling apart?

The Panko breadcrumbs will act as a binder. For the breading we used cornmeal because the flavor profile we like but you could use more Panko on outsides too. You could make this with leftover cornbread if you had muffins from the night before really. Just pulse to blend into a coarse sand like consistency and go with that. I hate wasting food so use what is on hand already.

How to make fish cakes stay together?

Make sure your fresh fish is dry before pulsing, add enough binder and breading on the outsides helps too. If you want to make a large batch I would prepare ahead of time. Set prepared on a baking sheet covered tightly with plastic wrap and it will keep in the fridge for several hours until you’re ready to bake. That will help them stay together too.

  • 1 lb fish fillet, skin removed, cut into small chunks
  • Diced shallots
  • Panko
  • Minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper
  • Egg
  • 1/2 c cornmeal used but Italian or Panko breadcrumbs would work
  • Parsley
  • Fresh lemon juice

Pan fried in a bit of oil or deep frying works. I would not suggest submerging entirely if possible as it will likely break down a bit more than you want. Instead I would just use 1/3 cup of oil in a cast iron skillet. There are many varieties of fillets out there whether you choose to use white fish or as a Coho Salmon Recipe.

How to Make Fish Cakes

How to Fry Fish Cakes

For a cheap and convenient way to make something like this, but with canned meats this is Air Fryer Tuna Patties as well! I suggest to air fry them for the best results but have fried and poached directions below as well.

  • Pulse the fish in a food processor until minced. Transfer to a bowl.
  • Add chopped diced scallions, garlic, salt, black pepper, parsley, Panko etc.
  • In a shallow bowl add cornmeal, Panko or breadcrumbs of choice and gently press cake so it sticks on all sides. You don’t have to bread but can.
  • Add into a preheated air fryer basket at 400 F. Spray top with olive oil spray.
  • Air fry for 12-15 minutes total, turning over halfway thru and spraying other side with olive oil too when flipped until as golden browned as you’d like.

Pan fried you would instead add about 1/4 cup of oil and fry on both sides and the insides reach 145 degrees F in the middle. Season with salt and pepper when done and enjoy.

How to Poach Fish Cakes

You would use a wide and shallow pan or skillet for this method. Bring the poaching liquid of your choice (broth, white wine, or water) to a gentle simmer to begin with.

  • Carefully place the prepared cod or Japanese fish cakes you made into the simmering liquid, ensuring they are not overcrowded.
    • You may need to poach them in batches.
  • Cover the pan and poach them over low to medium-low heat for about 6-8 minutes.
  • The exact cooking time will depend on the thickness of the fish cakes. They are done when they are firm to the touch and cooked through.

Poached fish cakes are a healthier option compared to fried ones, and they retain the delicate flavors of the fish and other ingredients. This method allows you to enjoy the natural taste of the fish while being light and satisfying.

Air Fryer Fish Cakes

What Fish Should You Use to Make Fish Cakes?

The best fish for fish cakes depends on your personal taste preferences and what’s readily available in your area. However, certain types are commonly used because of their flavor, texture, and availability. Here are some popular options;

  1. Cod is a mild-flavored white fish with a firm and flaky texture. It’s a classic choice for this and works well with various seasonings and herbs.
  2. Haddock is similar to cod in flavor and texture, making it another excellent option for fish cakes. It’s slightly sweeter than cod, which can add a pleasant flavor dimension.
  3. Air Fryer Tilapia cakes are mild and versatile type with a delicate texture. It’s a budget-friendly choice and readily available in many regions.
  4. Salmon provides a richer flavor compared to white fish and offers a beautiful pink color. Use salmon for a more robust and distinct taste in your fish cakes.
  5. Trout has a delicate, slightly nutty flavor and is often used in fish cakes for a unique taste. It’s an excellent choice if you enjoy a slightly earthy note in your fish cakes.
  6. Mackerel raw and cooked fish has a rich and intense flavor that can add depth of this dish. It’s often used in combination with other seafood for a more complex taste.
  7. Pollock is an affordable and mild-flavored white fish. It’s frequently used in commercial types and fish sticks.
  8. Sardines have a strong and distinctive flavor. While they might not be the first choice for everyone, they can add a unique and bold taste to fish cakes.
  9. Mahi-Mahi is a firm selection with a slightly sweet taste. It’s a less common choice but can be used if you prefer its flavor and texture.

This is how to Reheat Fried Fish in Air Fryer if you made more than you could eat fresh. To save initially wait until cooled, wrap each in saran wrap and store in a freezer bag in the fridge. Heat again next day, serve with a sweet potato, as fish and chips, or mashed potatoes and serve with tartar sauce. Jump to recipe and get started.

Fish Cakes Recipe

How do you cook fish cakes in the oven?

We share How Long to Cook Cod at 400 here if it is left in a fillet. I would follow the same directions, temperature and timing with this too. As with everything else, the size and thickness will vary how long they will take to be 145 inside.

What do you normally serve with fish cakes?

I mean many times these are served as an appetizer. If served as a main dish I do like to pair them with a salad, vegetable and some type of grain like rice. Tartar sauce is popular to add a bit to the outside or used as a dip too.

Can I make fish cakes with raw fish?

Absolutely, we share the recipe here for that. It is how to make homemade from scratch using cod, tilapia or salmon. A fun way to eat seafood and add a lot of flavor. Form into patties or balls, can bread the outside or leave naked. You can air fry, deep fry or poach.

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Cod Fish Cakes

How to make cod fish cakes deep fried, poached or in air fryer crispy breaded with cornmeal and tender inside. Healthy seafood dinner.
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine American, korean
Keyword air fryer, cod, fish cakes, ninja foodi, tilapia
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 129kcal
Author The Typical Mom


Breaded Fish Cakes

  • 2 eggs beaten for breading to stick
  • 1/2 c cornmeal season to your liking, can use Italian breadcrumbs, Pano or skip entirely for non breaded
  • 2 wedges lemon for serving


  • Pat fillets with paper towels to remove as much moisture as possible. Pulse the fish in a food processor until minced but not so much that it turns into a paste. Pour into a bowl and add all other ingredients MINUS the eggs. Shape into patties with hands.
  • * If breading – In a shallow bowl add cornmeal, Panko or Italian breadcrumbs. Brush the outside of your patty with beaten egg on the outside and gently press cake into breading so it sticks on all sides.
  • Air Fryer fish cakes – (can add parchment paper once preheated to bottom to flip easier) Add into a preheated Air Fryer at 400 F. Spray top lightly with olive oil spray. Air fry for 12-15 minutes total, turning over halfway thru and spraying other side with olive oil too when flipped until as golden browned as you'd like.
  • Pan fried fish cakes – Add about 1/4 cup of of oil into a pan over medium high heat until sizzling and cook until golden brown on both sides and middle reaches 145 degrees F.
  • Poached fish cakes – Do not coat these with cornmeal. In a wide and shallow pan or skillet, bring 2" of poaching liquid of your choice (broth, white wine, or water) to a gentle simmer. Use enough to submerge them. Carefully place them into the simmering liquid, ensuring they are not overcrowded. Cover the pan and poach them for about 6-8 minutes.
  • The exact cooking time will depend on the thickness of each one. They are done when they are firm to the touch, white in color and cooked through. Use a slotted spoon to remove and set on a plate. Can saute butter and garlic in pan over medium high heat and add to cook 1 more minute on each side to make buttered and brown outsides if you'd like.
Nutrition Facts
Cod Fish Cakes
Amount Per Serving (1 oz)
Calories 129 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 38mg13%
Sodium 138mg6%
Potassium 297mg8%
Carbohydrates 11g4%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 17g34%
Vitamin A 113IU2%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Calcium 13mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Cod Fish Cakes
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