Fadda's Fishcakes

Mizz V 2 You


If you read my introduction in the Welcome Wagon, then you'd know that the women in my family were a very big influence in my life. I don't know the real origin of this simple and very cheap to make, recipe. But I do know who perfected it... my Mom! Her birth name was Ruth, but she came to be called Ruby, but to all of her nieces and nephews (biological and adopted), she was known as Fadda! Us ladies would meet every Friday to discuss whatever was going on in our worlds that week. The group included not only me and my Mom, but also, my Aunt Linda, Grandmother Viola, and my cousins Amanda (known as Mandy), and Mary (known as Penny). They both are married with kids and so the children would also be there. I also have three Uncles who were no strangers to our little gathering. It made for some very heated & hilarious discussions whenever we were having "man" issues. Lol!

We would all meet up in Grandma's kitchen, every Friday, at 10am. By noon, us girls would beg my Mom to make us her delicious fishcakes. And she would, thus our little tradition came to be known as Fishcake Fridays! The saddest part of this story is that this was also the very last thing that my Mom made for us the very afternoon that she passed away... on a Thursday. Since her passing, a lot of things have changed within my family, and we gather around Grandma's kitchen table whenever we can, but it's very few and far between, and not like it used to be. Over the last year and a half since her passing, I have been perfecting and if I may be so bold, improving upon, her fishcake recipe. Mainly, because I'm still hoping to keep our Friday tradition going...wish me luck!

Anyway, thanks for reading and I hope you all will give this a try (not everyone appreciates mackerel), and I hope you will enjoy it as much as my family and I do!


★★★★☆ 3 votes

About 6 to 8. Depending upon how big you shape your fishcake patty.
Pan Fry



  • 1 can(s)
    jack mackerel
  • 1
  • 2 or 3
    capfuls of white vinegar (i usually eyeball it, use your best judgement).
  • 1
    a few splashes of texas pete brand hot sauce (optional)
  • 1/2 c
    stone ground cornmeal (use more or less)
  • 1/2 c
    all purpose flour (use more or less)
  • 1 small
    onion (chopped) use more or less depending upon your preference
  • 2 or 3 Tbsp
    ro-tel brand (or similar) chunky style tomatoes & chilies
  • 1 bottle
    vegetable oil (for frying, use about as much as you would to make crabcakes or something similar, use your best judgement)

How to Make Fadda's Fishcakes


  1. Heat vegetable oil in your frying pan of choice.
  2. In a small/medium sized mixing bowl, empty can of Jack Mackerel (including canning broth) into bowl.
  3. Split mackerel open and remove the spines. Although they are edible, I've never liked having them in. (My Mom's recipe left them in.)
  4. Using a fork, flake mackerel into the broth. (Should look like a flaked can of tuna fish.)
  5. Add onion, using as much as you'd like to.
  6. Add Ro-tel tomatoes and chilies, using as much as you'd like to. (I usually add about 2 or 3 spoonfuls because I don't mind the heat and I love tomatoes.)
  7. Add in your 2-3 splashes of vinegar, followed by your slashes of hot sauce. (I use Texas Pete or Franks Louisiana style hot sauce.) Again, both of these items are to be used to your liking. You can even leave them out if you choose to do so.
  8. Here's the part where you can do as you like, but I usually add in equal parts flour and cornmeal (eyeballing of course). I have had this with all cornmeal, and with all flour as the breading/binding agent. My preference is to use a bit of both. Sometimes I use a little more cornmeal than flour, but use your best judgement, here.
  9. Add egg and begin to combine all the ingredients. If mixture is too runny, add more flour-cornmeal. The idea is to be able to get the mixture stiff enough to make a patty. (Think crab cake texture.)
  10. Using your hands, (yes, it's a bit messy), begin to form & shape your patties. Placing them on a plate until you have used up the entire mixture. ***NOTE*** This is the point, at which, you can freeze the patties, and save them for frying at a later date & time, should you choose to do so.
  11. Add the patties to the heated vegetable oil and fry. Turning only once, until the fishcakes are crispy and golden brown on both sides.
  12. When done frying, remove fishcakes from oil, and place them on top of a paper towel.
  13. Enjoy! ***NOTE*** My family just ate them like a sandwich most of the time, other times we'd have them with some southern-style grits, or with some home fries! (YUM!!!) Other people like to dip them in ketchup or BBQ sauce. Me? Well, I like them on bread with a bit of mayo, or some thousand island dressing... did I mention they were YUMMMMMMMY?!!! Lol!

Printable Recipe Card

About Fadda's Fishcakes

Course/Dish: Fish
Main Ingredient: Fish
Regional Style: Southern
Other Tags: Quick & Easy Heirloom

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