Makes:8 fish cakes
Fish cakes are a classic weeknight supper, but they can sometimes be dry and tough. When chopping the fish for the cod cakes we left some of it in large pieces, some medium, and some smaller, which gave the cakes the juiciest texture. We also found that using matzo meal instead of breadcrumbs makes these fish cakes very tender but not crumbly—perfect for dipping in tangy tartar sauce.
For the sauce:
1 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons finely chopped capers
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons finely chopped dill pickle
1 tablespoon finely chopped scallion
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the fish cakes:
2 large eggs
1 medium shallot, medium dice
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped Italian parsley leaves
Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and stir until fully incorporated. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
For the fish cakes:
Heat the oven to 200°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
Combine the eggs, shallot, parsley, salt, pepper, and celery seeds in a food processor fitted with a blade attachment and pulse just until combined, about 5 pulses. Add about a third of the fish and pulse 5 times until most of the large pieces are slightly chopped. Add another third of the fish, pulse 5 more times, then add the last third and pulse 5 times more until there are equal amounts of very small, medium, and large chunks. (Do not overprocess, as it will lead to tough, dry cakes.)
Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in the matzo until thoroughly combined. Divide evenly into 8 (3-inch) patties about 1/2 inch thick (they will be about 1/3 to 1/2 cup each).
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat until shimmering, about 3 minutes. Place 4 cakes in the pan and cook until browned and crispy on one side, about 5 to 7 minutes. Flip and brown on the other side, about 5 to 7 minutes more.
Remove the cakes to a baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan; once it’s hot, place the remaining 4 cakes in the pan and cook until browned and crispy on both sides, as before. Serve immediately with the tartar sauce.