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Lenten Fishcakes: From Fasting to Fabulous

February 18, 2009

This year, February 25 marks the beginning of Lent, which
for many Christians means a Lenten sacrifice, designated days for fasting and of course, no eating red
meat, at least on Fridays. With all these food restrictions, the season of Lent has never been particularly known for interesting, innovative cuisine that also fulfills the faithfuls’ fasting obligations. However, one beloved exception is the classic Friday night fish fry, embraced by Wisconsinites everywhere.


For many looking to add some spice to the age-old Lenten practice of fish-on-Fridays, look no further than the savory seafood tradition of Nova Scotian fishcakes. Eaten by many in Nova Scotia as a customary breakfast with brown beans and smoked salmon, fishcakes make a delicious, hearty meal during the last cold wintery weeks before Easter. Best of all, fishcakes can be tailored for many tastes simply by using different types of fish, spices or potatoes in the recipe. Many restaurants feature the traditional crab cake, but other tasty varieties can be prepared with salmon or tuna.


“Fishcakes are a fun twist on the long-standing tradition of a Wisconsin Friday night fish fry,” said Kim Wall, seafood expert and president of Baensch Food Products, the Milwaukee-based company that
makes the popular Ma Baensch herring brand. “In Nova Scotia, where the herring used exclusively by Ma
Baensch is caught, fishcakes are a popular tradition. You can find savory fishcakes of all varieties
served-up in pubs, buffets and community dinners during Lent and throughout the year. Fishcakes are
filling, full of flavor and make a great Lenten meal your whole family will enjoy!”


Think fishcakes are too tough for a weeknight dinner? Try this easy recipe from Wall – it’s a favorite at her house and will surely become one at yours too!




Ma Baensch Salmon Cakes
Makes 4 patties
6 oz. pouch pink salmon
1 T celery, minced
1 T green onion, minced
1 T mayo
3 T crispy bread crumbs
1 t tried dill weed
1 t lime zest
¼ t sea salt
¼ t pepper


Preheat oven to 425° F. In a bowl, combine all ingredients together. Form mixture into patties and place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 425° for seven minutes. Serve as a hors d’oeuvre, side dish or on buns with lettuce, tomatoes and tarter or remoulade sauce.