Fish cutlet

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I grew up loathing fish. I hold my nose whenever a fish recipe is cooked around me. My husband is a serious sea food lover. He took me to a restaurant after marriage and ordered fish cutlet for me. I made a smirk and was praying God not to vomit in front of him. But for the surprise I liked it. That was the first fish recipe I tasted and loved the most.

This dish is a time consuming one, yet worth the effort.  Fish cutlets can be served as a snack, a starter, can be sandwiched between breads or even served along with meal. It’s a refrigerator friendly recipe as you can freeze the coated cutlets for future use. Any fleshly fish can be used.

I used king fish today, a firm fish that holds up well.  You can either steam cook the fish. My favorite way to eat them is dipped in ketchup and mayo. You can make cutlets well in advance and freeze it and fry when needed.

To start with, boil, debone and shred the fish. A filling has to be prepared with mashed potatoes, onions and with some simple spices. Shape the cutlets to your desired shapes and finally coat in egg and roll in bread crumbs. Deep fry and enjoy the cutlets!

Reasons for the cutlet to break while frying:

  • Chop the onions very finely. If it is big it may break while frying.
  • Mash the potatoes without any lumps.
  • Never add a drop of water in the cutlet mixture.
  • Make sure the mixture is dry before forming cutlets. If not, the cutlets may break while frying.
  • You can saute the shredded fish and potato along with the onions to remove off the excess moisture if any.

Now it’s time for the recipe!

Fish cutlet
Serves 3
Freshly fried and crispy fish cutlets!
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
20 min
For onion mixture
  1. Large onion: 1 (medium sized finely chopped)
  2. Green chilies: 2 (chopped)
  3. Ginger garlic paste: 1 tsp
  4. Red chili powder: 1 tsp
  5. Garam masala: ½ tsp
  6. Pepper powder: 1 tsp
  7. Curry leaves: 1 sprig (finely chopped)
  8. Salt
  9. Oil
Other ingredients
  1. King fish: 250 gms (boiled, deboned and shredded)
  2. Potato: 2 (medium sized boiled and mashed)
  3. Egg: 1
  4. Bread crumbs: 1 cup
  5. Oil for frying.
  6. Coriander leaves (finely chopped)
  1. Clean the fish. In a saucepan add in the cleaned fish, turmeric powder and salt. Add little water just to cover the fish and boil it. Cook the fish and allow the water to dry up. If not, drain the water. Remove the fish from the bones and keep aside.
  1. Boil and peel the potatoes. Mash well without any lumps. Keep aside.
  1. Beat an egg and keep ready.
Bread crumbs
  1. Take some breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl and keep aside.
Onion mixture
  1. Heat a tsp of oil in a pan.
  2. Add curry leaves and allow it to splutter.
  3. Add green chilies and onions and saute translucent.
  4. Then add ginger garlic paste and raw till raw smell goes away.
  5. Add red chili powder, garam masala, pepper powder and mix well.
  6. Check for salt and switch off the flame. Cool well before forming cutlets.
  1. In a bowl, combine the shredded fish, mashed potatoes, onion mixture filling and some coriander leaves. Taste and adjust salt if needed and mix everything.
  2. Form small balls with the mixture and flatten it slightly to a smooth disk shape. Alternatively, you can make oval or cylindrical shapes as well.
  3. Dip the cutlets into the beaten egg and then roll in the breadcrumbs to cover on all sides. Shake off the excess. Repeat this for all cutlets.
  1. Heat enough oil for deep frying.
  2. When oil becomes hot, reduce the flame to medium high and drop 2 to 3 cutlets.
  3. Do not overcrowd the pan and fry till golden brown on both sides.
  4. Drain on a paper towel and repeat till all cutlets are done.
  1. • Use fresh fish with fewer bones instead of frozen.
  2. • Steam cook the fish instead of boiling it.
  3. • Adjust the spice powders as per your spice preference.
  4. • You can refrigerate the coated cutlets to firm up before frying. It can be frozen in an airtight freezer bags for a couple of weeks.
  5. • If you don’t have breadcrumbs, coat the cutlets with rava/semolina.
  6. • You can shallow fry the cutlets by skipping egg and bread crumbs.
  7. • You can even bake the cutlets (@ preheated 180 F for 10 to 15 minutes).
Step wise cooking:

List of ingredients for the fish cutlets.

Boil the fish along with turmeric powder and salt. Cook till soft and all the water has dried completely. Shred the fish with your fingers and set aside.

Pressure cook the potatoes till soft. Mash it well without any lumps and keep aside.

For the onion mixture, heat a tsp of oil in a pan.

Once the oil is hot, add curry leaves.

Add green chilies.

Add onions and saute till transparent.

Add in red chili powder.

Add garam masala.

Add some pepper powder.

And salt. Switch off the flame and set aside.

Get ready with the preparations.

Combine the shredded fish, mashed potato, onion mixture and some coriander leaves. Check for salt. 

Form into small balls and flatten into round shaped cutlets with your hands. 

Take a cutlet, dip in the beaten egg.

And roll it on the bread crumbs. Coat it evenly on all the sides and shake off the excess.

Heat enough oil for deep frying. Once the oil is hot reduce the flame to medium and drop the cutlets one by one. 

Do not overcrowd the pan. Fry till golden brown.

Drain on a kitchen towel.

Yummy fish cutlets are ready!

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