Low Carb Perfect Keto Fishcakes: learn how easy it is to make them and you’ll never buy packaged ones again.
I must admit that, when my children were small and a very long time before I woke up to the ketogenic diet and healthier foods, I used to buy frozen fishcakes and chips for them once a week or so. I thought what I did was healthier for my kids than McD or other take away rubbish. What a gross misconception that was!
When they were at school, my son and daughter had a habit of regularly telling me all about the wonderful ‘golden foods’ that mums ‘cooked’ for their school friends. They made me feel guilty for feeding them home cooked Mediterrenean style foods all the time. You know the kind: pizza, pasta, rice, fresh vegetables, meat, fish…all lovingly made from scratch after working long hours and all totally unappreciated! So once in a while I showed them ‘I cared’ by treating them to fishcakes (or chicken nuggets) and chips from the frozen section of my local supermarket. There was me convinced that these ‘treats’ were healthier than offerings from fast food chains.
I know. I am utterly ashamed. But then I really did believe I was doing the right thing. As many mums sadly still do today. I was also young, naive and brainwashed by the media and advertising. Today, nothing in the world would make me buy that stuff. And not just because it’s full of carbs.
What’s wrong with frozen fishcakes if you don’t care about low carb?
Where do I start! First and foremost there’s sugar, flour, additives, preservatives and so on. Secondly…not a lot of ‘fish’. Even the ‘healthy’ or ‘luxury’ varieties only contain 40-45% ‘fish’. Thirdly there is a question about what ‘fish’ really means. We all know that the food industry has a canning ability to disguise and mislead. Have you ever opened a packet of fishcakes and actually smelled fish? I haven’t. Still not convinced? Ask yourself this: If you can charge £1-2 for 10 fishcakes at retail outlets, after paying for ingredients, production, packaging, shipping, distribution and taxes, how can there be a profit? The only possible answer is that the ‘fish’ listed under ingredients is not really fish flesh but crushed bones, heads, fins, guts, bowel contents…. Yes. Revolting. I’ll leave you to ponder about that one.
Why my low carb perfect keto fishcakes make perfect money sense.
Cost is always what people are concerned about when I talk to them about eating ketogenic and home cooking. My recipe makes 6-7 medium fishcakes. They don’t contain rubbish ingredients so they are very filling. I am pretty certain that 2 fishcakes is the most you’ll be able to eat, especially with a side dish. The fish I used came from the fresh counter at my local supermarket and cost me just over £8. The same fish has previously cost me £6 on offer. Adding vegetables on the side, like cauliflower cheese, or some buttered courgettes, will add £2-4 to the overall cost. Divide that by 3 minimum portions and you’ll find that you’ve spent up to £4 per person. I call that a bargain, but further savings could be made by buying fish when on offer and freezing it, or buying it from the frozen section.
I must admit I do not understand the misconception that home cooked meals must be more expensive than ready meals. Ready meal portions are quite small, so if you have to buy 4 ready meals for a family of 4, it surely will be more expensive. Ready meals are also usually low in fat / high in sugar, so will leave you feeling hungry again very soon after devouring them, and you will be looking for something more to eat. At more cost. And I’m sorry if this offends anyone, but if you eat ‘value’ ready meals to ‘save’ money – the kind of super cheap packaged stuff sold in many supermarkets – you are eating utter rubbish and on your way to a health disaster!
Are you ready to make low carb perfect keto fishcakes?
Out with the garbage. In with the real, healthy stuff. You’ll need some fish, an egg, some Parmesan, a handful of fresh herbs, some garlic, a little coconut flour and flaxseed, salt and spices, oil and butter and hey presto… low carb perfect keto fishcakes so delicious you’ll be drooling as they cook.
Just put everything into a large bowl and get mixing with your hands. The hardest part of this recipe, if you can call it ‘hard’, is skinning the fillets and cutting them into little chunks. To avoid my hands smelling fishy, I wear food-grade disposable gloves throughout. If you prefer a smoother texture, just cut the fish roughly, put it in the grinder attachment of a hand blender or similar and blitz it by pulsing a few times until you reach the consistency you like. I don’t bother pre-cooking the fish, either. If you make them fairly flat-ish, the fishcakes will take just a few minutes of high heat pan-frying on each side, so pre-cooking the fish is really quite unnecessary.
Here is what my low carb perfect keto fishcakes looked like before being pan-fried:
Which fish is best for fishcakes?
It’s a matter of taste and/or budget. My preferred fish are smoked mackerel (full of omega-3 fatty acids), smocked haddock (high in proteins and B vitamins) and salmon (rich in omega-3 fats, B vitamins, selenium). Combining these 3 gives the best flavour result, in my opinion. However, you can choose whatever fish you fancy. Just don’t be tempted by canned fish, though, unless you want your fishcakes to be pretty tasteless.
If you are not too keen on handling fish, just make one big batch, shape your fishcakes and freeze them, ready for multiple dinners.
I served mine with a lovely fresh salad of avocado, goats cheese, lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes and olives, tossed with extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar. If you want something more substantial, try my delicious cauliflower mash or super-tasty cauliflower cheese.
So now you know how easy it is to make my low carb perfect keto fishcakes, there is really no excuse!
- Yield: 6-7
- Serving size: 1
- Calories: 195
- Fat: 14.8g
- Net Carbs: 0.5g
- Protein: 14g
- 120g smoked haddock fillet
- 180g smoked mackerel fillet
- 120g salmon fillet
- 1 garlic clove (finely chopped)
- 1 egg
- 4 tbsp fresh parsley (finely chopped)
- 4 tbsp fresh dill (coarsely chopped)
- 25g (3 tbsp) freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- 1 tsp fine Himalayan pink salt (U.S. option HERE)
- black pepper and paprika to taste (you can add chopped chillies or any other spice you like)
- 10g (1 tbsp) coconut flour (U.S. option HERE)
- 7g (1 tbsp) ground flaxseed (U.S. option HERE)
- a generous splash of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) (U.S. option HERE)
- 40g butter
- 15g (1 tbsp) coconut oil (U.S. option HERE)
- remove any skin and bones from the fish and cut the flesh into small chunks.
- toss all ingredients into a large bowl.
- blend well by repeatedly squeezing the mixture through your fingers and turning the mix over.
- add a little more coconut flour if the mixture feels too wet (depends on egg size).
- form round shapes and flatten to about 1 cm height.
- heat up olive oil, coconut oil and butter.
- pan fry fishcakes on high heat for about 3-4 mins each side (depending on size).
Metric kitchen scales are an inexpensive yet invaluable gadget to enable accurate measurement of ingredients. Store them upright in a cupboard or over your worktop and they'll only take up a tiny bit of space. Click HERE for the ones I use (UK Link). For U.S. option click HERE.