Crisp Passover Fish Cakes



1 pound firm white fish (cod or haddock) or salmon 

Pinch of cayenne pepper 


2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest

1 tbsp. finely minced fresh parsley leaves

1 tsp.coarse kosher salt, or more to taste 

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste 

1 tsp. toasted cumin seeds, ground

1 large egg 

1/3 cup matzah meal

To assemble and fry

2 large eggs

1 cup matzah meal

1/2 tsp. coarse kosher salt

1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper 

3 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine 

2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil 

Tahini sauce for serving 

(optional, kids may prefer catsup)

1/2 cup sesame seed paste mixed with 1/3 cup cold water, 1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1 small peeled, finely minced garlic clove, and salt to taste


Combine all fish cake ingredients in the bowl of a food processor; pulse until coarsely chopped and thoroughly combined (do not puree). 

Line a baking sheet with plastic wrap and set aside.

Wet hands with cold water and form fish mixture into 3- to 4-inch patties. Set patties onto prepared baking sheet. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. (Patties can be formed six hours in advance of frying.) 

Whisk eggs in a wide shallow bowl; set aside. In another wide shallow bowl, whisk together matzah meal, salt and pepper.

Heat oil and butter together in a large skillet over medium heat until hot. Dip both sides of fish cakes, one at a time, into egg mixture and then into matzah meal mixture, making sure to coat all sides. 

Arrange cakes, an inch apart, in a hot skillet; fry until cakes are brown and crisp, turning once to crisp other side, five to seven minutes total. Transfer cakes to an unlined baking sheet and set into a 200 degree oven to keep warm and crisp until serving, but no longer than 15 minutes.

Place each fish cake on a small plate and drizzle with tahini sauce (or serve with a catsup dip).

Makes 10-12 fish cakes.