Trout Cakes

4.97 from 53 votes
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trout cakes on a plate with lemon
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Fish cakes rank right up there with meatballs in my book: Comforting. Easy. Tasty without pretension.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to cook fancy food, too. But you can’t do that every day. Some days are for trout cakes. Specifically, those days after you catch lots of trout. Or kokanee. Or salmon, or whatever.

I use trout or kokanee because I like the play of mild, slightly oily trout with all the herbs. Salmon is just as good, especially a pink or chum salmon. But bluefish, mackerel, or another oily fish would work, too. And I won’t get mad at you if make this with bass, catfish, crappie, etc.

While it’s not specifically necessary, I find that the best fish cakes are made with “spoon meat,” which is meat scraped off the carcass of fish before they are cooked. You can get quite a lot of meat off carcasses this way — more than a pound on a big chinook salmon. The fish will cook perfectly well in the pan. Of course, you can also use leftover fish, too.

What separates this trout cake recipe from my salmon patties or my other fish cake recipe is herbs. Lots of herbs. They are a great counterpoint to the fish, and brighten things up quite a lot. A squeeze of lemon is all you need on them.

close-up of the trout cakes recipe
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

I like eating these as-is, or with a green salad. Any leftover cakes can be reheated gently in a pan or a 300°F oven and used as a great sandwich filling with some lettuce, tomato and mayo.

These trout cakes freeze well, too. Cook them first, then freeze, tightly wrapped, for up to 6 months.

trout cakes recipe
4.97 from 53 votes

Trout Cakes

Clearly this recipe can be done with salmon, kokanee, char or really any fish you want. I just like it with trout. The herbs are also open to improvisation; the combination I use is what I like. Serve these with a green salad or as the filling in a sandwich. 
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 people
Author: Hank Shaw
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes


  • 1 pound trout meat, skinless and boneless
  • 1 cup minced onion
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives
  • 1/4 cup chopped tarragon or dill
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil, for frying


  • Cook the minced onion with the butter in a small pan over medium heat until translucent, but not browned. Remove from the pan and let cool.
  • Chop the trout meat with a knife into bits. You can chop very roughly and then pulse a couple times in a food processor, but you want the trout in little pieces, not as a paste. 
  • Mix all the remaining ingredients (except the frying oil) together in a large bowl. Form cakes with your hands. I like them about the width of my palm. You will need to wash your hands a couple times to remove debris; this helps you make cleaner, nicer cakes. 
  • Let the cakes sit in the fridge for 20 minutes or so -- this lets the breadcrumbs absorb moisture, which helps your cakes hold together. 
  • Heat the frying oil in a large, wide pan over medium-high heat. Fry as many cakes as will fit in one layer without touching. Cook them until each side is golden brown, about 4 to 6 minutes per side. Serve hot. 


Calories: 585kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Cholesterol: 166mg | Sodium: 1041mg | Potassium: 618mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1010IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 134mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe? Tag me today!Mention @huntgathercook or tag #hankshaw!

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About Hank Shaw

Hey there. Welcome to Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, the internet’s largest source of recipes and know-how for wild foods. I am a chef, author, and yes, hunter, angler, gardener, forager and cook. Follow me on Instagram and on Facebook.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Wow, these were the best! Caught some trout yesterday, smoked it today and came across this recipe – definite do-over and saving this to make again and again! I added the zest of 1/2 lemon and chopped up some capers to add my own twist to it and served with a garlic lemon aoli – super yummy!

  2. Hank another phenomenal recipe!! I don’t know how you do it but I’m glad you do! Thank you

  3. is it possible to make the fish cakes with panko? or even panko and mashed potatoes in the same recipe?

  4. Excellent! I should have weighed my fish better as I used too much but that didn’t take away from the awesome fish cakes flavor. Printed this one off to use again and again. Anxious to try the cakes using the mashed potatoes next.

  5. These turned out so good! I used leftover trout that I already had cooked. I used a little less fresh herbs than the recipe called for and still it had so much flavour. I was a bit worried that the cakes wouldn’t hold together because they seemed very wet when I formed them. but they surprisingly held together pretty well Everyone liked them and my husband said they were restaurant quality.

  6. These are great! I use leftover lake trout that was baked. My son likes more than crab cakes!