Adapted from Pat Conroy’s Baby Crab Cakes, as told in Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking
by Natalie Dupree
These are much lighter than traditional fish cakes and require a gentle touch.
Makes 12 small cakes
1 pound Sablefish (or any moist Seaforager filet really)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tbsp flour
2 tbsp herbed panko, plus more for coating to cook
2 scallions – thinly sliced
2 t fresh black pepper
pinch ground hot pepper (or cayenne)
1 t coarse salt, divided
3 tbsp oil (olive or canola)
3 tbsp butter
lemon wedges and Louisiana hot sauce for serving
Prep fish – remove skin and bones if necessary. Slice into small cubes (about . - .”) and transfer to a mixing bowl.
Gently stir in egg, then sprinkle flour, panko, scallions, . t salt & peppers over fish and stir.
Scoop out roughly 1/4 cup fish mixture and use your hands to form into cakes. Transfer to a small sheet pan or plate. Sprinkle with another . t salt. Cover w saran and refrigerate for an hour.
Heat a heavy pan over medium-high heat, melt in half the butter and oil. Pour some panko onto a small plate. Use a thing spatula to move a fish cake to the panko, sprinkle some panko on the top too (they fall apart too easily to flip to coat).
Transfer the cake to the hot oil, repeat with half the cakes. Cook about 2-3 minutes per side, until golden and the fish is just cooked through.
Wipe out pan and repeat with rest of butter, oil and cakes.
Serve immediately with lemon wedges and hot sauce.
Herbed panko = quart of panko mixed with a couple of tablespoons of mixed dried herbs of
choice (thyme, Herbs de Provence, oregano, a little cayenne…) Use plain if you don’t have.