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Lemon-Horseradish Fish Cakes

  • prep: 20 mins
    total time: 45 mins
  • servings: 8




  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds tilapia fillets (about 6)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, plus sprigs for garnish (optional)
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, (from about 2 lemons)
  • 3 tablespoons bottled white horseradish
  • 1 1/2 cups coarse saltine cracker crumbs, store-bought or homemade (see note)
  • Tartar sauce, for serving (optional)

Cook's Note

To make homemade cracker crumbs, place 36 saltine crackers in a food processor. Pulse until coarse crumbs form. Makes 1 1/2 cups.


  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush each of two rimmed baking sheets with 1/2 tablespoon oil. Place fillets on sheets; season with salt and pepper. Roast until cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool completely; pat dry with paper towels. With a fork, flake fish into small pieces.

  2. Step 2

    In a large bowl, combine eggs, mayonnaise, parsley, lemon juice, and horseradish. Fold in fish and 1/2 cup cracker crumbs; season with salt and pepper. Place remaining 1 cup crumbs on a plate. Form 16 cakes, using about 1/4 cup fish mixture for each. Gently dredge cakes in crumbs, pressing to help adhere. (To freeze, see below.)

  3. Step 3

    In a large skillet over medium-high, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Place 8 cakes in skillet; cook until golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining tablespoon oil and cakes. Serve with tartar sauce, if desired.

Everyday Food, October 2006



Reviews (10)

  • 19 May, 2012

    This is an amazing recipe! Perfect as a side during a cocktail hour. I've this twice, and both times the fish cakes came our very delicious. Super easy and filling, too.

  • 19 May, 2012

    This is an amazing recipe! Perfect as a side during a cocktail hour. I've this twice, and both times the fish cakes came our very delicious. Super easy and filling, too.

  • 14 Sep, 2011

    These cakes turned out great. Right now, our household has an overload of albacore tuna, so I substituted. The whitefish is nice and flaky, and has a great flavor, so I'm going to stick with tuna for this recipe. I'd even try using canned tuna. The lemon and parsley flavors worked well, and I thought the saltine cracker crumbs were a nice change from pre-made breadcrumbs. My significant other and I only ate 4 total (they're very filling) so I'm freezing the rest for our upcoming camping trip

  • 30 Aug, 2011

    My family loved these. We will be making again and again. It's a great way to get picky fish eaters to eat fish!

  • 28 Jul, 2011

    I did some substitutions based on what I had handy: cilantro for parsley, sriracha (hot) suace for horseradish, and multigrain crackers for the saltines. I also added lemon zest and seasoned the fillets with garlic, ginger and paprika powder. I will definitely make this again!.

  • 23 Apr, 2011

    These little fish cakes are totally addictive. Very fresh tasting with the lemon and horseradish. My husband and I loved them and will be making these again.

  • 21 Feb, 2011

    These are a family favorite. The kids devour them.

  • 3 Jun, 2010

    Made them last evening - AWESOME! I made 1/2 following the recipe

  • 22 Feb, 2010

    These are excellent. NB: Plain yogurt works well as an alternative to the mayo.

  • 14 Jul, 2009

    This recipe gives a very flavorful fish cake. I wish I had been a little more bold with some hot sauce or red pepper to give it a zip beyond the horseradish. They were almost easier to manage after freezing.