There’s no question about just how good invasive carp, now known as Copi, are to eat. They are firm, flaky, mild and delicious. But they have a lot of bones, which is a turn off to most American consumers. Luckily, these bones are large and easy to pick from the cooked meat. That makes these fish cakes the perfect way to introduce Copi to your friends and family at your next get-together.
The recipe starts with cooked fish. I love to grill it for the smoky flavor, but baking works as well. Season the fish the same way with either cooking method and grill or bake until the fish is cooked through and easily flakes apart. While we used bighead carp for this batch, any flaky white fish will work. Bass, hybrids, stripers, and even panfish like bluegill or crappie have all worked well in the past for these fish cakes.
For the Fish
1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
1 tablespoon lemon pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 pound grilled or baked Copi (invasive carp) or other white fish, flaked
½ bell pepper, diced, plus 1 shallot, diced, sautéed in butter and cooled
2 eggs large or extra large
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
½-¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
Start by brushing the raw fish with melted butter. Mix the Old Bay, lemon pepper, and granulated garlic together and sprinkle evenly over the fish.
Grill or bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until the fish is cooked through and easily flakes apart. Allow the fish to cool. Then remove the bones and flake the fish into small bits.
While the fish cooks on the grill, saute the diced peppers and shallot.
Allow the grilled fish to cool. Flake it apart and remove any bones.
In a large bowl, mix the fish with the remaining ingredients. Start with ½ cup of bread crumbs and mix. If the mixture is still too wet to stick together, add an additional ¼ cup of panko bread crumbs.
Roll the fish cakes into golf-ball-sized balls. Then press into cakes about ¾-inches thick. Place the cakes on a parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Heat ¼-inch inch of vegetable oil until it shimmers. Fry the cakes in batches for 2-3 minutes per side until they are cooked through and golden brown and crisp. Serve with tarter sauce.
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