Monday, August 2, 2010

Tuna Cakes

My grandma used to make something similar to this when I was a kid, but out of canned salmon. I'm not a big fan of canned salmon, and I'm a big fan of adding herbs to things, so I revamped her "recipe" to use tuna and fresh herbs. You can make them small and serve with veggies and potatoes or rice, or make them larger and serve on a hamburger bun. A single can of tuna and 1 egg combine to feed 2 people, and it really is a good way to "fancy up" canned tuna. I bought this can on sale for $.79, and the fresh herbs are from my little herb garden, so this recipe really is cheap.

What you'll need:

This time around I used fresh basil, fresh thyme, and green onion, but you can also use fresh or dried dill and green or red onion. I have tried dried basil and thyme and they really take away from the fresh flavour of the tuna cakes. You can use fresh lemon juice or bottled. If you have some pieces of stale bread or crackers, you can crush them up instead of buying bread crumbs. The mayo you see there is "light" mayo that I mistakenly bought while high on morphine. It's fine for things like this, but kind of icky in sandwiches. Go for the real thing or disguise the flavour with herbs.

Drain your tuna well, and then combine in a bowl with the egg, green onion, basil, and thyme. Squeeze in the juice of 1/4 of the lemon (about 2 teaspoons) and add pepper to taste. Kitchen scissors make quick work of the green onion and basil (roll it up into a cigar shape, then slice). Mix well, but don't break the tuna up too much. You want pieces of tuna, not some weird paste.

Once you have everything mixed, add about 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs and a tablespoon of mayo. Mix well.

Roll into balls and flatten. Coat in breadcrumbs.If you aren't going to eat all of the mixture tonight, store the leftovers in the fridge, unshaped, for a maximum of a day and a half. Don't let it sit longer than that. Trust me.

Fry the tuna cakes over medium heat in a frying pan, with a little bit of oil or butter, until golden brown on both sides


This recipe will make enough for 2 people


  • 1 can of tuna, packed in water, drained
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • fresh basil and thyme or dill, or dried dill
  • black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 egg
  • juice of 1/4 of a lemon, or 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of mayo
  • 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs, plus extra to coat
  • 1/2 tablespoon of oil or butter, for frying

  • In a bowl, combine tuna, green onion, herbs, egg, and lemon juice. Mix to combine, but don't make a paste.
  • Add breadcrumbs and mayo, stir to combine
  • Shape into patties and fry in oil or butter over medium heat until golden brown
  • Store any unused mixture in fridge for a maximum of 1 1/2 days
Serves 2


  1. ah a tuna version of salmon patties. sounds like something my husband and inlaws would eat.