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Fish Cakes (Danish Fiske Frikadeller)


Often the first introduction a Scandinavian kid gets to fish is with a “fiske frikadelle.” When it is served with buttered potatoes and a cucumber salad a fish cake is a glorious thing — simple, tasty and the perfect beginning to a long love of seafood.

This recipe is old fashioned and a little naughty, adding a bit of bacon or smoked salmon to the mix, you of course can omit these on a weekday, but on weekends be Danish, live it up and throw it in!

You need:

2 pounds mild white fish, like pacific cod, halibut or tilapia (check to make sure your choices are good for both your family and the sea).
1 cup un-seasoned bread crumbs
¾ cup milk or water
2 eggs, lightly beaten
½ small onion
3 bacon slices, or 3 ounces smoked salmon (optional)
½ lemon, zested
A small handful fresh parsley and/or dill
1 teaspoon salt (less if you are using the bacon or salmon)
Pepper to taste
Grapeseed or canola oil

To make 4-6 servings

Put the bread crumbs, milk, eggs, salt and pepper in a small bowl and let soak.

In your food processor, put both onions, bacon or salmon, lemon zest and herbs and pulse until fine. Then add your fish and pulse until everything has the consistency of a coarse pudding. (If you don’t have a food processor you can finely chop everything by hand, it will only take a few minutes longer, but be diligent, it needs to stick together in the end). Fold the fish into the breadcrumb mixture.

Heat up a heavy skillet and drizzle in a thin layer of oil to cover the bottom. With wet hands gently form about 1 heaping soup spoon of the batter into a cake or quenelle (mini foot ball) and slide onto the pan, repeat with the remaining batter. Let the cakes sizzle over medium heat for about 4 minutes before you check if they are golden and release easily from the pan, if they do flip them, if not wait a bit longer … it is best not to flip them too early as they will stick to the pan. If you are making more than one batch keep the first ones warm in a 200℉ oven.

Quick remoulade sauce

You need:

1/4 cup mayonnaise
¼ cup Greek yoghurt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley and/or dill
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons finely chopped tart pickles
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon mild curry
pepper, to taste

To make 1 cup, mix everything together, put in a nice bowl, chill.


Join the Discussion

6 Responses

  1. ErinW. says:

    I love when you say, ‘put in a nice bowl.’ There’s an affection for  the people partaking and a respect for the ingredients implied in such descriptives. Always makes me smile.

  2. Thanks for this! Great recipe, especially for the remoulade. I’m impressed with how it tastes so similar to the condiment in Denmark (and even better.) I also love this blog– my mom has a food blog and she always made meal times the MOST important part of the day, so when I think of my childhood I think of food. 

  3. Chiasamson says:

    Thank you for this lovely recipe.  Can one make a large batch for a party and freeze?

    • Kirstin says:

      You are so welcome! You can freeze them, however they will be  much moister and tastier if made the same day. If I were to make them for a party I would make them the morning of, then gently reheat just before serving. 

  4. Ebonie says:

    Thank you for this recipe! It is now my go to for making fiske frikadelle. Also the remoulade is fantastic – no more relying on friends to give us some from Denmark :)

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