It’s the only time I can remember when having halibut for dinner sounded awful.
We were on vacation with Keith’s parents, staying in a campground just outside of Homer, Alaska. A kind, fellow camper offered us a bag of freshly caught halibut fillets. The problem was that we’d spent half the day on a halibut fishing trip, turning various shades of green as the boat rode ocean swells, up and down, up and down, up and down. Keith and I caught our limit and then stood at the rail, eyes fixed on the horizon, eating saltine crackers as fast as we could swallow them. All I wanted for dinner that night was a saltine cracker encore.
Of course, it was all worth it when a 50 pound box of frozen halibut fillets was delivered to our door the day after we returned from our trip. We ate every bit of it that year and I remember opening each flash frozen package and the fish smelling of nothing but the sea.
Halibut is such a versatile fish, you can sear it, bake it, barbecue it, or add it to chowders or curries. And if you end up with leftovers, these crispy fish cakes are the perfect way to use them.
Crispy Fish Cakes for Two
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/2 pound cooked halibut or other firm white fish flaked into small pieces with a fork
- 2 tablespoons whole milk sour cream
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- 1 rib celery very finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon chopped capers
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
- several grinds black pepper
- large pinch of kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil for frying
- fresh lemon wedges optional
- Set out two plates and pour panko breadcrumbs onto one of them.
- Add next 8 ingredients (fish through salt) to medium bowl; stir to combine. Scoop out 1/4 of the mixture and tightly pack into a patty. Place on plate with panko crumbs and gently coat all sides with crumbs. Transfer to second plate. Repeat with remaining mixture.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat until hot. Place fish cakes in skillet and cook until crumbs are golden brown, about 5 minutes per side (turn gently).
- Divide fish cakes between two plates and serve with lemon wedges if desired.