Tuna Fish Cutlets/Cakes with Curry-Ketchup Mayonnaise

A good Fish Cake/Fish Cutlet should be light, flaky, moist and simple. I focus more on the construction part than too much about complicating flavors as you know fish is the hero of the dish and needs very few ingredients to accentuate it. While the tuna you get in the southern coast of India (it is a variety called Albacore) is not sashimi grade, but I think it is perfect for fish cakes as it is flaky, light and has a great flavor. One of the most important step to get this right is the way you poach tuna, how you flake it, how you mix the rest of the ingredients and how you construct it either for baking or for shallow frying it.

Tuna tends to get dry very fast while cooking and thus it is normally seared rare to medium and served. In this recipe, tuna has to be cooked through-n-through carefully without it becoming dry. So I decided to use my mother’s simple recipe to create this winner.

Tuna Fish Cutlets/Cakes with Curry-Ketchup Mayonnaise

700 grams of tuna
150 grams of boiled potato
2 medium onion chopped very fine
5 green chillies chopped very fine
2 tablespoon gineger chopped very fine
2 tablespoon of garlic chopped very fine
1 tablespoon coarsely ground pepper
1 large egg
2 tablespoon coriander leaves chopped fine
1 sprig of curry leaves fried to crisp
Salt to taste

For baking/frying
2 Egg white beaten
5 tablespoon bread crumps


Poaching and flaking Tuna

Wash thoroughly from outside and fillet the tuna. Do not remove the skin. Take a deep pan and place the tuna fillet, with water just enough to cover tuna and add 1 teaspoon of turmeric. Bring it just to boil in the lowest heat. As soon as you see the bubbles, it indicates that it is just about there to boil and then turn off the heat. Take the pot away from the heat and let the tuna remain for another 10 mins. Carefully take it out and wrap it in a cloth, place it in a food container with a lid and leave it to cool.

Once the tuna is cooled down (it should be warm) remove the darker part of the meat, which is usually found in between the fillet. Use a fork to carefully flake in to bite size and leave it in the closed container.

Adding ingredients and mixing

In a pan add 2 tablespoon of oil and add onion, ginger, garlic and chillies and saute for just 1 min max. this step if to ensure that the water doesn’t seep out of raw ingredients and at the same time you don’t want to cook it through to take away that freshness it would impart in to the cutlets. Add the sautéed mixture in to the flaked tuna, add salt and fold it in carefully without mincing the flakes more. Mash the potatoes, not too mushy, and then add in to the mixture and again fold it using a fork. Please remember, the potatoes are added not to impart its flavor, but to bind the mixture with its starch and it will also help retain the moisture. After the potatoes are added and folded in add I large egg beaten and fold it in to the mixture and now it is ready to be molded for baking of frying.

I baked my fish cake as shown in the pic. Mold the cakes using a cylinder without compacting too much, lace it with oil, glaze some egg white all over with a brush, sprinkle bread crumbs and repeat the process one more time to get a nice a crispy coating. Bake it at 220 degree centigrade for 15 mins and its ready to serve. Garnish with the fried curry leaves and biting the crispy curry leaves with the fish cakes takes the flavor to another dimension.

You can also shallow fry them by making it to patty. I baked them not because it is healthier, but for the fact that it is fluffier when you bake

Categories: Travel Cuisine


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