Fish Cakes with Dipping Sauce

Fish Cakes Recipe with Simple Mayo Dipping Sauce

Crispy fish cakes are a delicious meal of flaky fish with seasonings fried to perfection. Add a homemade dipping sauce for an extra zing of flavor. 

Jump to Recipe

This recipe is almost straight from the 100 Days of Real Food book. It’s so simple, takes only about 30 minutes, and is a great way to eat fish. Over the years, I have learned to like more fish recipes. While I am not necessarily a huge fan of all things seafood, I will eat some recipes such as this one. 

Honestly, I was a little unsure about this recipe when I first read it. But Justin wanted to try it, so we did. I also like that the ingredients are simple ingredients that we almost always have on hand. So it’s a quick easy dinner to whip up if we forgot to take something out that day.

This is a meal that Justin always helps with because I am not great at making fish patties. We’ve made this recipe a few times when friends or family were over and they have all enjoyed it.

This easy recipe is perfect for busy weeknight dinners. It’s a perfect way to use up leftover fish and make something new out of it. 

The dipping sauce is what makes this so good. It’s so simple, yet adds a lot of flavor to the meal. It reminds me a little bit of the white sauce that you can get at hibachi restaurants. You can use any white fish, but I always prefer tilapia since it isn’t too strong of a fish. One day I will be adventurous and try it with another type of fish, such as a salmon fillet, but today is not that day.

A few notes about the ingredients:

  • ​You can use fresh fish or frozen fish since it is cooked in the first step. This is also a good recipe to use up leftover cooked fish. 
  • When we are out of whole-wheat breadcrumbs, I sub them with regular breadcrumbs or panko breadcrumbs.
  • If you are looking for this to be dairy-free, try making it with vegan sour cream.
  • You can replace the dried herbs with fresh herbs. 
  • Cayenne pepper can be replaced with Old Bay Seasoning if you prefer. 
  • Garnish with sliced green onion, lemon wedges, or fresh parsley. 

Fish Cakes with Dipping Sauce Step by Step


Fish Cakes:

  • 1 lb white fish fillets (such as tilapia)
  • 1 cup whole-wheat bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 1 tbsp fresh onion (minced)
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp yellow mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • olive oil (for cooking)

Dipping Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp yellow mustard


Start by cooking and shredding the fish. I usually put the fillets in a skillet with a little bit of oil or butter. Fry until they are cooked through. Then shred and place in a large bowl.

Meanwhile, prepare the dipping sauce by combining all of the ingredients in a small bowl with a whisk. Cover the bowl and refrigerate until you are ready to serve.

Once the fish has cooked, spread half of the breadcrumbs out on a plate. In a medium bowl, combine the shredded fish, eggs, onion, sour cream, lemon juice, mustard, salt, cayenne pepper, and the other half of the breadcrumbs.

To make the fish cakes, grab a golf-ball-sized handful of the fish mixture and squeeze it together. Slightly flatten it, like you would when making a hamburger patty. Coat it in the breadcrumbs and set it aside on a plate. 

Repeat this process until all of the fish mixture has been used.

In a large saute pan, over medium heat, add a layer of oil to the pan, enough to cover the fish cakes halfway. Place a single layer of fish cakes into the hot oil. Cook on each side until browned, about 3-5 minutes per side, until golden brown. Repeat with remaining fish cakes until all are cooked.

Serve the fish cakes warm with the dipping sauce either on the side or top of the cakes.

Woman's hand holding a piece of a fish cake dipping it in a small white bowl of white sauce with a white plate of fish cakes and a white and grey towel behind all on a wooden surface

Fish Cake Leftovers

Storage: Keep the leftover fish cakes separate from the dipping sauce when storing leftovers. Both should be in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. 

Reheating: The best way to reheat the fish cakes is in an air fryer or in a skillet until warmed through. 

Freezing: You can freeze the fish cakes by freezing them in individual layers separated by parchment paper and then moving them to a freezer bag when they are frozen. I do not recommend keeping the dipping sauce but making a new batch when you are ready to serve the frozen fish cakes. 


Originally Published On: November 6, 2016

Last Updated On: July 19, 2023

Fish Cakes with Dipping Sauce

Fish Cakes with Dipping Sauce

Fish cakes are easy to make, and use common ingredients. They are one of my favorite ways to eat fish, and the boys will eat it too!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Main Dish
Servings: 8 fish cakes
5 from 9 votes


Fish Cakes:
  • 1 lb white fish (such as tilapia)
  • 1 cup whole-wheat breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 1 tbsp fresh onion (minced)
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp yellow mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • olive oil (for cooking)
Dipping Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp yellow mustard


  • Cook the fish in a frying pan until white and flaky, then shred
  • Meanwhile, prepare the dipping sauce by combining all the ingredients then cover and refrigerate
  • Spread 1/2 cup of the breadcrumbs on a plate
  • In a large saute pan, over medium heat, add a thin layer of olive oil
  • Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl, combine the shredded fish, eggs, onion, sour cream, lemon juice, mustard, salt, cayenne pepper, and the other 1/2 cup of the breadcrumbs
  • To make the fish cakes, grab a golf ball-sized handful of the fish mixture and squeeze it together
  • Slightly flatten the fish cake and coat the outside with the breadcrumbs on the plate and place on an empty plate
  • Repeat with the rest of the fish mixture
  • When the oil is hot, cook the fish cakes until brown, about 3-5 minutes per side
  • Serve fish cakes warm with dipping sauce
Click the buttons below to share and print this recipe
Pin Recipe Print Recipe
Nutrition Facts
Fish Cakes with Dipping Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 161 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 2g10%
Cholesterol 78mg26%
Sodium 283mg12%
Potassium 206mg6%
Carbohydrates 11g4%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 14g28%
Vitamin A 170IU3%
Vitamin C 3.8mg5%
Calcium 31mg3%
Iron 1.5mg8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutrition content will vary based on brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes, and more.

Other Fish Recipes to try

40 thoughts on “Fish Cakes Recipe with Simple Mayo Dipping Sauce”

  1. Fish cakes are my favourite but I haven’t tried combining them with dipping sauce before. It looks like a fantastic mixture. I’ll serve myself a dish!

  2. I grew up in Wisconsin, where Friday night fish fries were a must. It’s just what everyone did, so I grew up loving fish. These look like a yummy twist on the classic. I’ll have to give it a try.

  3. We eat fish at least 2-4 times a month and so to have a new sauce for it is awesome. I will definitely be giving this one a try!

  4. 5 stars
    I love fish cakes and these look super simple. They are perfect for dipping, which my daughter loves!

    1. My boys don’t eat a lot of seafood either, but they will devour these. There are so many other flavors in the fish cakes that you don’t really taste the fish on it’s own.

  5. Although I am vegetarian, I like the layout of this recipe. It was easy to read, and I’m sure it would be easy to follow for those that decide to make the cakes!

  6. I love making new recipes and we make fish at least once a week. I’ve never tried to make a fish cake. This looks simple and delicious. I’ll have to try this next week.

  7. I love that your recipe uses ingredients that I always have on hand at home! I bet my kids would love these fish cakes, although they’d probably end up dipping them in ketchup lol

  8. I’m not a big fan of fish either, but my husband loves it lol. This looks like it wouldn’t be too fishy tasting with all those other flavors tossed in. I’ll have to try it!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating