When I lived in Florida I had a friend who was a native Floridian. (Which might sound like an odd thing to say, but in the three years I spent in Florida, I found that a native Floridian living in Florida was a rare find…most people I came across were either from much colder states or from south of the border.) Anyway, as such, my friend was familiar with ocean fun of all sorts, including crabbing.
He took me crabbing a few different times…I’m not sure what we did wrong, but we never caught a single thing! It’s ok, it was a fun distraction (I was in law school at the time) and we always ended up with a delicious meal, despite not having caught it ourselves. Most times we would stop at a local seafood store selling live crab to satiate our cravings, but sometimes we made mock crab cakes with canned tuna.
For crab cake-style tuna cakes, you can use any veggies you like. I used onion and red bell pepper in these, but in the past I’ve used just about anything you can think of – green bell pepper, carrot, celery, and/or corn are all great. I like to wrap and freeze them individually so they’re easy to pull out and defrost for a quick meal; they make a great lunch on a bed of lettuce.
Tuna Cakes with Red Pepper & Quick Remoulade Sauce
Serves 4 as an appetizer or 2 as a meal along with some veggies and perhaps some crusty bread
Tuna Cakes with Red Pepper:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
1/2 medium red bell pepper, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large egg, beaten
1 (6 oz) can tuna, drained
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Canola oil, for shallow frying
Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat; add onion and red pepper and cook until softened and starting to brown, about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently; cool.
Mix together the onion mixture, egg, tuna, breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper.
Form the mixture into 4 patties. Add canola oil to lightly coat the bottom of a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the patties and fry until golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil.
Serve with Quick Remoulade Sauce.
2 tablespoons mayo
2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
2 teaspoons ketchup
1 teaspoon whole-grain mustard
1 teaspoon hot sauce (more or less to taste)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Pinch salt and pepper
Stir together all ingredients; store refrigerated until serving.
My favorite refreshment (lol, that’s WATER, people). I get thirsty just looking at that.
These were SO DELICIOUS. My family and I are pescatarians so we try new tuna patty recipes frequently. This recipe is one I will be making over and over! I was in a rush as I prepared these so I dumped everything in a bowl and just cooked them on low (to give the bell pepper, onion and garlic time to cook) in a buttered cast iron pan. *I used green bell pepper instead of red b/c that’s what we prefer with tuna. Thank you for the recipe! Make a double batch you won’t regret it…my toddler even liked it and asked for MORE!
[email protected] says
They look completely awesome! Can you serve them cold, like at a picnic?
Sarah, I haven’t tried it that way, but it sounds delicious to me!
Thanks — that’s very helpful! I’ll give it a try this weekend! : )
These are so good! My new favorite! I had a hard time getting the cakes to stick together the first time (though they still tasted great) so added a second egg to my next batch. Any tips for getting the cakes to stick together in cake form? Thanks!
Tara, Thanks so much for your comment, I’m so glad you enjoyed these! If you’re having trouble getting them to stick together, be sure you’re not over-mixing. (I’ve noticed that mixes like this with egg and breadcrumbs tend to get gummy if they’re over-mixed.) If you want to be sure you’re not over-mixing it, you can mix together everything except the breadcrumbs, and then gradually stir them in at the end right before you fry the cakes. If they still aren’t holding together, you can add more breadcrumbs, 1 tablespoon at a time. Be sure to only add enough so that the cakes hold together though, since adding too much breadcrumbs will give them a much denser texture, instead of them being light and tender. Hope this helps!
Oooh, your recipe for tuna cakes and Remoulade sauce sound delicious, and your photos are superb as usual. Only you can make a simple glass of water look so refreshing. Thanks again for your wonderful recipes. I think I’mma go grab me a nice glass of water now too. Teehee.
Nutmeg Nanny says
These look great! I love crab cakes but never thought to sub out tuna. My dad does something similar with canned salmon but I think I would prefer the tuna. Delicious!
I can’t believe I’ve never tried making tuna cakes. I love tuna! My crabcake recipe calls for red pepper also. I love the little crunch it gives. This recipe has inspired me to try tuna cakes – they look delicious!
Michele | Cooking At Home says
Lovely recipe. Quick enough to whip up for lunch today.
nancy at good food matters says
Your tuna cakes look really tasty, Faith. Red pepper really adds a nice zing. I just posted a tuna recipe as well.
There are very few native Nashvillians anymore, too—I think it’s a testament to how mobile a society we’ve become.
Nicole, RD says
It’s funny to read this about Florida – we were just talking about who lives in FL yesterday at work and how few are from Florida. I know a few people there, and they were all born in the Midwest. :)
These tuna cakes look wonderful! And a remoulade is my favorite! Delicious! I love fancy ways to use canned tuna :)
That’s a lovely speedy remoulade, Faith. My mother’s recipe is rather more involved. Can’t wait to try yours as we use it a lot on seafood dishes.
My daughter is a native Floridian….although she lives in NYC now, she still makes that claim!
Floridians are very hard to find… in the 10 years I lived there I probably met 4 or 5!
I love this recipe. I’m alergic to crab, so a tuna cake is right up my alley.
[email protected] says
I love tuna. I dont eat it much though there are some people in my house that cant even stand the smell! These look simple and delicious, thanks for letting me dream about eating them
Angie's Recipes says
Love those tuna patties! The click of a glass of water makes me thirsty too.
Veronica Miller says
I love how the red pepper gave them a pinkish hue (or was your tuna just already nice and pink? most canned tuna I buy is more gray than pink, unfortunately), making them look so fresh! What a great sauce for them! These are leagues above any seafood patties (usually salmon) I’ve ever made.
I’ve never heard of tuna cakes before but I bet they are so good! Your photos are fabulous!
We have such great fresh fish available here that I rarely use can tuna for anything other than sandwiches. Your tuna cakes look great, I need to give them a try.
I make mine with salmon when I don’t feel like springing for the crab. There is something about spending a fortune for the crab meat to make a simple little dish that makes me flinch… must try with tuna next time!!
[email protected] says
A born and bread Floridian, who cant catch crab? No such thing ;-) I love this mock crab cake with tuna. Makes a nice healthy burger too! And remoulade is so good, especially with celeriac.
Blond Duck says
Il ove tuna cakes!
Hi Faith, too funny with the ice water, you know it does look really good, do you have a recipe for it?LOL!
I could live on tuna, just finished a tuna sandwich for lunch and these tuna cakes look really good to me, I’m thinking served on top of a green salad for dinner;-)
Carol @ There's Always Thyme to Cook says
This is so great, I am allergic to shellfish and I really miss crab cakes so the tuna, crab style would be perfect for me! Looks amazing!
Steve @ HPD says
that looks delish … crab and salmon jump to mind easily, but never thought of using tuna.
wonder … fresh tuna, fry for 2 mins per side then finish in the oven?
wow this looks fab ..though I dont eat tuna …love that dip too
Just like NYC is an international melting pot, I think that Florida is a national melting pot…full of people from just about every state!
I’ve never really come around to crab cakes, but I do really love tuna. These sound super tasty to me!
I so wish i liked tuna!! The cakes look pretty
The sauce pairs perfectly well with the salmon cakes! Yummy.
What a great idea! I love crab cakes…and sometimes I don’t eat them due to trying to be more thrifty on my food expenses—I can’t wait to try tuna cakes!
Faith @ For the Health of It says
You are so right about the native Floridian thing – I’m as close as most people ever find and I only moved here when I was seven!
Love tuna cakes, it’s such a great way of getting all the Omegas that are so good for us! The sauce looks delicious.
wat an inviting n tempting spread of platter..:P