Sweet Potato Fish Cakes with Lime, Cilantro, and Jalapeño

I like ‘refrigerator cooking’ and I like blogging what I’ve just prepared and eaten. This post hits the spot both ways, as I had some leftover sweet potato, lettuce, cilantro, lime, and jalapeño, and decided to pick up some fish from my fish monger to make these tasty fish cakes. The sweetness of the potato is balanced out by the lime, cilantro, and jalapeño. You could use just about any type of fish fillets for these. Here’s what I did…


Makes 3 fish cakes, as an appetizer for 3 or a main course for 1

150 grams (.33 lb) fish fillets, I used tub gurnard (rode poon in Dutch, gallinella in Italian, grondin or galline in French, Roter Knurrhahn in German)

150 grams (1 cup) peeled and diced sweet potato

2 Tbsp minced jalapeño, divided

2 Tbsp minced cilantro leaves, divided

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

zest and juice of 1 lime



vegetable oil for frying

flour for dusting


Boil the sweet potato until tender, about 15 minutes.

In the meantime, chop the fish.

Put the fish in a bowl and add 1 tablespoon of minced cilantro, 1 tablespoon of minced jalapeño, the grated zest of a lime, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

It’s up to you to include or leave out the seeds and white inner part of the jalapeño, which is where most of the heat is.

Stir to mix, then cover and refrigerate.

When the sweet potato is tender, drain and mash it. Allow to cool.

Once the sweet potato has cooled to room temperature, add it to the fish mixture…

…and stir to mix.

Shape the fish and sweet potato mixture into 3 round patties of about 8 centimeters (3 inches).

Refrigerate them for half an hour or so to firm up a little.

In the meantime, make the dressing by putting the remaining tablespoon of cilantro and tablespoon of jalapeño in a blender together with the juice of 1 lime, 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.

Blend to pulverize the cilantro and jalapeño, as well as to emulsify the lime juice and olive oil.

Dust both sides of the fish cakes with flour.

Use a thin spatula to lift and flip them.

Fry the fish cakes in a non stick pan with vegetable oil…

…for 2 minutes per side, or until browned and just cooked through.

Meanwhile, arrange some lettuce on a plate, and drizzle with some of the dressing.

When the fish cakes are done, allow them to drain on paper towels and pat them with paper towels to remove any excess oil.

Arrange the fish cakes on the lettuce, and serve…

…with the remaining dressing on the side.

Wine pairing

Because of the zing in the dressing the wine should also have some zing, like a Sauvignon Blanc, Rueda, or Albariño. However, if you included the seeds of the jalapeño you should take care the acidity of the wine is not too high, as such acidity would accentuate the hotness of the jalapeño.



These caramelized fennel and gorgonzola tartlets are a wonderful appetizer.


13 thoughts on “Sweet Potato Fish Cakes with Lime, Cilantro, and Jalapeño

  1. Refrigerater cooking is also my favorite thing. I love to make fridge soup to use up leftovers. I also saute up three or four veggies in the morning and use them as a base for an egg – imaginatively known in our house as “eggs and veg.” When I make fish cakes, though,
    I usually have to go shopping. Your leftovers have come up looking beautiful, Stefan!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This looks appetizing enough to go shopping to get your fridge leftovers 🙂 ! Sweet potato I love and fish should be on more of my menus ! Am hugely amused at languages: oh ‘gurnard’ I know but ‘Roter Knurrhahn’ does translate into ‘Red purring chicken’ in English . . . !! Who named that one . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, this fish is actually known for the purring/growling sound it makes! And it is called a chicken in Italian and French as well because of the flaps below its beak, just like a chicken.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love that you blog about what you have just prepare and eaten because it makes all your recipe much more authentic and appealing! This one sounds fabulous and I was wondering if according to you I could substitute gallinella with “cod fish”…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks and you could definitely use cod. Or haddock. Or halibut. Or grouper. Or salmon. Or sea bass. Almost any fish. I wouldn’t use an expensive fish like turbot, sole, or hamachi. Or a fish that overcooks easily like tuna or swordfish.

      Liked by 1 person

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