Fish Cakes with Spinach

fish cakes

Fish Cakes with Spinach

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From Stonesoup

Enough for: 2
takes: 15 minutes
1 large tin tuna in oil (425g / 15oz), drained
1 can chickpeas (400g / 14oz), drained
1 egg
1 bag baby spinach
mayonnaise, natural yoghurt or lemon juice, to serve

1. Preheat an overhead grill or broiler.

2. Mash tuna and chickpeas together in a bowl using a fork or your hands. It’s OK to leave a few chickpeas whole. Or just whizz it all together in your food processor.

3. Stir in egg and form mixture into fish cakes about the size of a golf ball.

4. Place fish cakes on a heat proof tray and drizzle with a little oil.

5. Cook under the grill (broiler) for about 5 minutes or until browned. Turn carefully, they can be partial to falling apart, and cook for another 3-5 minutes.

6. Meanwhile heat a little oil in a large pot and cook spinach, stirring, until just starting to wilt.

7. Serve fish cakes topped with mayo / yoghurt / lemon and serve spinach ‘sea weed’ on the side.


spicy – serve with your favourite hot sauce like sriracha or Tabasco.

vegetarian – replace tuna with an extra can of chickpeas or a can of cooked lentils and an extra egg and call them chickpea cakes.

more summery – don’t wilt the spinach!

different fish – replace tuna with other canned fish such as salmon or use fresh fish that has been steamed or pan fried until just cooked and flaked into pieces.

carb lovers / more substantial – serve with home made fries or burger buns.

tiny person friendly – change the name to ‘pirate food’ with seaweed.

paleo (gluten, grain + dairy-free)
– replace chickpeas with extra tuna.

low carb – replace chickpeas with extra tuna.

more veg – serve with cherry tomatoes or chopped red capsicum (bell pepper).

Waste Avoidance Strategy

tuna, chickpeas – pantry.

egg – will keep in the fridge for weeks. Or use for another meal.

baby spinach – use for another meal or freeze.

mayonnaise, natural yoghurt – will keep in the fridge for weeks. Or use for another meal as neither freezes well.

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  • I put an extra egg in, because the mixture looked dry, and a tablespoon of coconut flour which I hoped might help glue them together, but even with a few hours in the fridge to firm up, they were extremely fragile, made worse by the way that they glued themselves to the foil that I’d lined the tray with. In the end they were a bit dry.

    • Oh Mark!

      So sorry to hear that they didn’t work that well for you.

      Adding the coconut flour would have made them more crumbly as it would absorb any extra moisture from the extra egg. Coconut flour doesn’t bind in the same way as other flours. If I was going to add something to bind I’d use ground linseeds (flax). But it shouldn’t need it.

      Did you use tuna in oil? Or brine / springwater? That would make a big difference to the texture.

      You’ve inspired me to try this again!

      And foil has a habit of sticking to things. I always use parchment paper / baking paper these days for that reason. 🙂

        • So it wasn’t the tuna…

          Look forward to hearing how you go the second time Mark.

          They will look really fragile before you cook them but as the egg cooks and sets they come together.

          I’m going to make them on friday. Thanks for the idea!

    • So reporting back! Mark!

      First thanks for giving me the inspiration to make these again. I’d forgotten how good they are. My boys gobbled them up and Fergal even agreed they would be fab in his school lunchbox when he goes back.

      I was thinking about the fragility. And you really need to mash the chickpeas so you get ancohesive glue. I was using a new brand of chickpeas in a jar which are smaller and firmer that my usual brand and I really had to squash them with
      My hands to break them up enough.

      Do you think that would help you need time? You can alaways give them a whirl in the food processor if you aren’t into handling food.

      And I also made a sardine version for me replacing the chickpeas with almknd meal. Also super delicious (actually I liked the sardines better)

      So thank you for inspiring all of this!

      I hope you try them again and report back 🙂

  • Oh my goodness! I love this idea and I really love the idea of making it with sardines! I’m nervous about tuna and mercury content so having an option for a much loved fish is terrific!

  • I used canned salmon (and some extra olive oil), baked them at 350 F and totally forgot to add the egg. Luckily I made some homemade mayonnaise to go with them and all was not lost!

    • Hi Kate

      You could pan fry them in a little oil. Just make sure you cook well on the first side before trying to turn so they don’t fall apart. And be generous with the oil. Really you just want them browned on both sides.

      The other option is to pop them in the oven. Should take about 20 minutes at 180C (350F). Less risk of them falling apart if you use the oven.


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