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Keftes de Pescada (Sephardic Fish Patties)
Keftes de Pescada (Sephardic Fish Patties) Gil Marks | Pareve

Fish cakes, a tasty way to use and stretch leftovers, are popular in many Ashkenazic and Sephardic communities.  Some Sephardim serve these patties at the Passover Seder.

<I>Gil Marks is the author of the James Beard Award finalist The World of Jewish Cooking, The World of Jewish Entertaining, and the recently released The World of Jewish Desserts.</I>

  • 2 cups boned, skinned, and flaked cooked cod
  • ¾ cup fresh breadcrumbs or 1 cup matza meal
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • About 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 small onion, minced (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (optional)

  • About ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten with 1½ teaspoons vegetable oil and 1½ teaspoons water
  • ¾ cup breadcrumbs or matza meal
  • Vegetable oil for frying

  1. Combine all the patty ingredients.  Chill for about 2 hours.
  2. Shape into 2½- to 3-inch long and 1-inch wide patties about ¾-inch thick.
  3. Dredge lightly in flour, dip in the eggs, then coat with the breadcrumbs.
  4. Heat a thin layer of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the patties, turning, until golden brown on both sides (about 2 minutes per side).  Drain on paper towels. If desired, serve with lemon wedges, horseradish sauce, mayonnaise, or tomato sauce.
  5. Variations:
    • Substitute haddock for the cod and grind in a food processor or substitute a 15- to 16-oz. can of salmon for the cod.
    • Fish Balls: Shape the fish mixture into 1-inch balls and deep-fry in several inches vegetable oil heated to about 375°F (190°C) until golden brown.
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