Cookbook Profile

Catfish Cakes

Yield: Ten 3-ounce cakes


Catfish Cakes Catfish is about the easiest thing to catch in Texas rivers, and it was one of the most common fish in cowboy cooking. It's a little bland, which is why I like to turn it into something more exciting-like these spicy fish cakes.


3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 pounds boneless, skinless catfish fillets,
   cut into 1-inch dice
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1 jalapeño pepper,
   stemmed, seeded, and minced
1/4 cup finely diced red bell pepper
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup thinly sliced chives
1/2 cup minced cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1-1/2 cups fresh or dried white bread crumbs
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon lime zest
Kosher salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1-1/2 cups peanut oil
1/2 cup flour


Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat.

Add the catfish, onion, peppers, and garlic.

Sauté until the vegetables are wilted and the catfish is cooked through, about 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the cooked fish and vegetables, mayonnaise, chives, cilantro, mustard, crumbs, egg, zest, salt, and pepper.

Form the mixed ingredients into ten 3-ounce patties. Pack the mixture fairly tight so it will stay together while cooking. Set aside on a plate.

Heat the peanut oil in a pan until smoking slightly. Dust each cake with flour and gently slip it into the hot oil. Fry the cakes for approximately 2 minutes on each side, or until they are golden brown. Do not crowd the cakes; it is better to cook in batches. Remove the cakes and drain them on a paper towel-lined pan. Serve hot.


A Cowboy in the Kitchen:
Recipes from Reata and Texas West of the Pecos

By Grady Spears and Robb Walsh
Ten Speed Press
Cloth, $29.95
224 pages, full color
Publication Date: February 1999
ISBN: 1-58008-004-9
Recipe Reprinted by permission.


A Cowboy in the Kitchen



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This page created May 1999