Tuna Cakes

When I go out for lunch during the work day, I tend to eat a good amount and am sometimes not terribly hungry for dinner.  There are days that despite this, I make a big dinner, eat a big dinner, and then feel sort of full and crummy afterwards.  And then there are better days where I make something light and delicious that perfectly fits the bill.  This is a recipe that helps me get to the better days!  The tuna cakes are crab cake-esque and get all nice and crispy on the outside.   And they make great leftovers the next day for lunch.

The tuna in olive oil does give a better flavor to the cakes, but tuna in water works as well.  This recipe makes about 5 small/medium cakes, so it’s not that much food, especially for two people.  Feel free to double.  The original recipe suggested serving these with salsa, but we didn’t care for that.  We liked them plain, but I think a tartar or aioli sauce would work well.  I usually make my tomato, corn, and pepper salad as a side, as well as some nice french bread.


4 (5-ounce) cans tuna in olive oil, drained and flaked
1 large egg, lightly beaten
½ cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped, plus sprigs for garnish
⅓ cup plain breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons light mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 jalapeno chile (ribs and seeds removed), finely chopped
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil


In a large bowl, stir together tuna, egg, cilantro, breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, lemon juice, and jalapeno.  Mix gently until ingredients just hold together.  Shape into 5 cakes.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium.  Working in batches if necessary, cook cakes until golden brown and crisp on the outside, about 2 minutes per side.  Serve hot, with sauce of desired, and garnish with cilantro sprigs.

Adapted from marthastewart.com


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by The Teenage Taste on August 8, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    These look delicious! Canned tuna is such a pantry staple. I love finding new, exciting ways to use it. Thanks for sharing. 🙂


  2. What a great way to dress up canned tuna!


  3. I made these today for lunch! thank you for posting on foodgawker. quick and delish 🙂


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