Maryland Pike Cakes?


As somebody who likes to target pike and pickerel as well as eat them on occasion, one of the questions that arises is what to do with those extra scraps and meaty wedges that have those annoying “Y” bones in them.  I don’t like to waste good meat but at the same time I want my dining experience to be pleasurable.  Chomping on a plethora of bones doesn’t sound like fun to me, not to mention that they can get caught in your throat.  Those aren’t my kind of thrills!

There are boatloads of pickerel in Cayuga Lake as well as Oneida Lake.  They are superb eating.  Boneless toothies are right up there with walleyes, as my client Bill mentioned to me a few days ago – and I wholeheartedly agree.   Over the years we have played around with a lot of fish cake recipes.  I’ve tried ones from “In-Fishermen” magazine as well as others online.  They are all good.  I had a bunch of frozen scraps and it dawned on me that substituting pike or pickerel (or walleye, trout, crappie, rock bass et al) might be worth a shot in a crab cake recipe.  After all, who doesn’t like crab cakes?  Non-seafood eaters are the only people I know that don’t love crab cakes.

I tried a recipe last week and without a doubt, they are the best fish cakes I’ve ever had bar none.  This recipe came from    

You can check out the link online.

You would take a pound of so of fish scraps – I would run them through a grinder or food processor.  Mix with one egg, 1 tsp lemon juice, 1/4 cup mayo, 2 tsp dried or fresh parsley, 2 tsp Dijon mustard, 2/3 rds cup cracker crumbs (I used good oyster crackers and ground them coarsely) 1 1/2 tsp Old Bay seasoning (gotta have the Old Bay!)  and 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce.

Blend together.  I heated up a couple large skillets and used some bacon grease.  I like to use a large ice-cream scoop to portion out the fish cakes.  I place the scoops in the pan then use a spatula to flatten them out.  I cooked them around 4 minutes per side using medium heat.   They came out FANTASTICALLY!   The cracker crumbs – especially if left very coarse give the cakes a nice airier texture than you would get by using potato buds, mashed potatoes or bread crumbs.  Great breakfast food or good for lunch/dinner.  Give them a try and see what you think.