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Keftes de Pescada (Sephardic Fish Patties)

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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.



2 cups boned, skinned, and flaked cooked cod
¾ cup fresh bread crumbs or 1 cup
matza meal
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsleyAbout 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 bread crumbs 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.  Dredge lightly in flour, dip in the eggs, then coat with the bread crumbs.

3.  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.


Substitute haddock for the cod and grind in a food processor.  Or substitute a 15- to 16-ounce 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 degrees (190 C) until golden brown.

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.  If you have a special request for a future recipe, forward them to
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