tuna cakes

09 May 2012

does 'tuna patties' sound any better? I thought not.

I know, I know, I know, I know. These sound gross. Why not just spend the extra $1.20 for canned crab meat and make the real deal? Because I already made my monthly trip to the small, unfriendly, expensive, and poorly laid out grocery store and have an abundance of canned tuna in the pantry. I wouldn't dare lead you fine readers astray. I promise these are good.

Ingredients (yields 9 silver dollar sized cakes - enough to feed me, Julia, Simon, and all of Julia's pet ants that she feeds on the daily)

two 5 oz. cans of tuna (any variety will do)
1/4 cup bread crumbs (I always forget to buy bread crumbs so I put snap pea crisps in the food processor)
one egg
one tablespoon condiment of your choosing (I vacillate between yellow mustard and ranch dressing but the possibilities are endless -- don't let my vanilla tastes limit yours)
1 tsp chopped garlic
3 tablespoons of finely chopped onions (again, I went the food processing route)
1 shake of salt and 1 shake/grind of pepper
2 tablespoons of oil (olive, vegetable, whatever) 1 for the mix, and 1 to cook the cakes

Okay! Now just combine everything. Don't worry about the order in which you add the fancy ingredients. We aren't making anything temperamental like cookies or bread. When everything is sufficiently blended you should have a bowl of what appears to be minced vomit ...
 just like that.

Now throw it in the refrigerator for ~10 minutes and clean up your mess, check on your young, tease your hair - whatev.

Retrieve your treasure and dig in and form little cakes. I made 9 cakes total but you don't have to copycat my every move. I would just make sure to make the cakes nice and thin, no thicker than a half inch. Otherwise, you might end up with soggy tuna cakes which would be repulsive to your eaters.

form, form, form ... now you have a plate looking something like this
1, 2, skip a few ... 9.

Now throw them back in the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes. I try to make these during nap time so that I can just pull them out when Simon is on his way home and try to appear as though I have some semblance of a handle on domesticity.

You can probably guess the next step -- simply pour the tablespoon of oil into a frying pan -- heat -- and place the cakes in the pan. Wait until they are a nice shade of golden brown before you flip them over. Wait until the other side is nice and golden before you remove and serve to your waiting customers.

You know the rest ...

 Simon likes to ruin them by dipping them in ketchup. Please don't tell me if you choose to follow suit.


  1. We used to make something very similar called salmon patties! Lol! We used canned salmon which is pretty close to tuna. I may have to try this sometime!

  2. Oh, and I used to dip my salmon patties in!

  3. hmmm i just might make these tonight. saanks!

  4. These look really good. I love making something from whatever the heck is in my fridge and I have A LOT of tuna hanging around. Gross and Yum.

  5. I made them, promptly after realizing I had nothing planned and I was reading your post at 5pm. Perf and delish. Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. We love tuna cakes, I make a fancy shmancy tartar sauce (miracle whip and relish) that is pretty good with them. We called them tuna cookies for a while to get the girls to eat them, worked wonders!

  7. Alaythea, we totally made salmon patties when I was a kid, too! Only we called them "salmon croquettes," because that made them sound fancier. (And yes, I would also then proceed to cover them in ketchup. Don't judge me.) These days I make a slightly more grown-up version -- Mark Bittman's salmon burgers ( -- though I still use (wild) canned salmon; the last thing I'm gonna do with a lovely salmon or tuna steak is grind it up for burgers.

    Anyway, point being: Tuna cakes totally take me back and hit a ton of nostalgia food buttons. Thanks!

  8. These actually look pretty good, and a lot more successful than the crab cakes I made a little while back. Those left something to be deliciousness.

  9. omg i'm totally trying this! i bet it'd be great for lunches too, with those thin buns..

  10. yup. ill make it. i love when someone finally tells me what to cook instead of saying, "whatever you want." cooking is the easy part. its using brain power to think of what to cook that kills me.

    also, dont tell my hubs, but i also run around while hes on his way home to make it look like im a good housewife. close the computer. put pants on the child. hide the dishes. hold something like an iron.



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