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Fish Cakes - {Polpette Di Pesce}

Fish cakes are a frequent meal at our house during Lent. You can vary the type of fish, but I like using monkfish, which is very firm. Other choices include haddock and cod or even leftover cooked fish.

Cuisine: Italian
Type: Fish
Courses: Main Course
Serves: 4 people

Recipe Ingredients

1 1/2 cups 219g / 7.7ozSoft fresh bread crumbs
1/4 cup 59mlMilk
3 cups 594g / 20ozEggs (large)
1/2 teaspoon 2.5mlCoarsely-ground black pepper
2 tablespoons 30mlMinced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons 30mlGrated Pecorino Romano cheese
1 lb 454g / 16ozFresh monkfish, haddock, swordfish, or
  Cod fillets
3 cups 711mlWater
1/4 teaspoon 1.3mlCoarse salt
1 teaspoon 5mlCarrot - peeled (small)
1 teaspoon 5mlOnion - peeled, quartered (small)
1/4 cup 15g / 0.5ozUnbleached all-purpose flour - (to 1/3)
3/4 cup 109g / 3.8ozFine bread crumbs
2 cups 474mlVegetable oil - (to 3) - for frying
  Lemon wedges - for serving

Recipe Instructions

In a bowl, moisten the fresh bread crumbs with the milk. Mix in 1 egg, sea salt, pepper, parsley, and cheese. Set aside.

Place the fish in a shallow pan with the water, coarse salt, carrot, and onion; simmer until fish easily flakes, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Carefully lift the fish out of the water with a strainer, place in a bowl, and cool to room temperature. Dice the carrot and add to the bread crumb mixture. Discard the water and onion. Flake the fish with a fork, then add it to the bread crumb mixture and mix well.

Have ready a plate with the flour, and one with the fine bread crumbs. In a small bowl, beat the remaining eggs.

Divide the fish mixture evenly into 8 balls, forming them with your hands. Roll each ball in the flour and shake off the excess. Coat the balls in the beaten egg, then roll them in the bread crumbs, coating them evenly. Place the balls on a plate and press down slightly with your hand to flatten a little.

In a deep skillet or deep-fryer, heat the vegetable oil to 375 degrees. Fry the fish cakes in the oil until golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain on brown paper and serve hot, accompanied by lemon wedges.

This recipe yields 4 servings.

Ciao Italia at


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