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Sardine Fish Cakes in a stack with sauce on the serving tray
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4.98 from 46 votes

A Canned Sardine Recipe: Mini Fish Cakes

These mini Sardine Fish Cakes are served with a Spicy Yogurt Sauce, and are perfect to serve as Tapas or Hors D’Oeuvres.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Chilling Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Servings: 15 people
Calories: 24kcal


Sardine Fish Cakes:

Spicy Yogurt Sauce:

  • ½ cup plain yogurt (whole milk)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1 tablespoon capers brine (from capers jar)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • teaspoon cayenne powder, to taste (optional)
  • pinch salt, to taste


  • Remove sardines from tin, reserving oil, and place fish in a mixing bowl.  Add remaining fish cake ingredients, along with the oil from one tin (about 2 TB) to the bowl.
    Gently mix all the ingredients together with a fork.  Mix until incorporated, and then stop.  (Do not use a blender or food processor for this step, because you don't want to purée the fish.)
    Fish cake Ingredients in a Mixing Bowl
  • Use a 1 TB measuring spoon (or another small scoop) and scoop the fish cake mix into small balls.  
    One by one, roll the balls in your hands, and then flatten into small patties 2" across, and about ½" thick. You should end up with 15 - 18 patties, depending on the size of your scoop.
    Set patties on a rimmed baking sheet, large cast iron pan, or casserole dish.  
    (Note: We've added oil to an oily fish.  While cooking, oil from the fish will drain out of the fish, and the fish will fry in the oil under the broiler.  Avoid using a rimless baking sheet, because the oil will drip all over your oven.)
    Refrigerate patties for about 30 minutes.  
    Unbaked sardine fish cakes on a baking sheet with a scoop.
  • While fish cakes chill, mix together all the ingredients for the yogurt sauce.  Make sure to taste as you add the cayenne and salt-- use more or less as desired.  Put sauce in the refrigerator until it's time to serve.
    Move oven rack to the top 3rd of the oven (or about 6" from the broiler).  Broil 5 minutes, flip, and broil 3-5 minutes more, until fish cakes are dark and golden.
    Remove cakes from pan (and residual oil) immediately.  Serve while still hot with the yogurt sauce.
    Store leftover patties in the fridge, and use within 1-2 days. Use the sauce within a week.
    Make Ahead + Freeze: 
    Let sardine cakes cool, and then wrap individually and tightly with wax paper, plastic wrap, or foil.  Store in an air-tight container in the freezer, and use within three months.  To reheat, simply unwrap and cook again.  Cook until golden.  Patties may take 2-3 minutes longer to cook from frozen.
    Sauce should not be frozen.
    Sardine Fish Cakes in a stack with sauce on the serving tray



This recipe makes approximately 15-18 mini 2" fish cakes.  Serving size for nutrition calculations is 1 fish cake per person.
Alternately, make larger 4" patties and serve as a main course.
Sardine Options: Can't find sardines packed with chili?  Try one of these combinations:
  • (Unflavored) Sardines, plus 2 TB chili-infused oil used INSTEAD of the oil in the tin
  • (Unflavored) Sardines packed in olive oil.  Use the oil in the tin (as directed in the recipe) PLUS 1 tsp red chili flakes


Calories: 24kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 213mg | Potassium: 36mg | Vitamin A: 35IU | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 0.3mg