Nom Nom Paleo

Spicy Tuna Cakes

Pin It

Spicy Tuna Cakes by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Now that I’ve quit my job, I should’ve spent the past week developing and writing up a brand-spankin’ new recipe for y’all, but you know how it is: the mountain of crumpled-up laundry on the couch is keeping me from doing ALL THE THINGS. I’ll admit it: I’m terrible at keeping our house in order. But don’t you worry your pretty little heads; as soon as I emerge from this bottomless pile of mismatched socks and pillowcases, I’ll get back to cooking. After all, there’s nothing I love more than messing up the kitchen.

Spicy Tuna Cakes by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

In the meantime, how ’bout I share one of the most popular recipes from our cookbook and iPad app? (You’re nodding, right?) Ready or not, it’s time for Spicy Tuna Cakes! 

Spicy Tuna Cakes by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

I make these portable savory cakes about once a month ’cause I aways have the ingredients on hand. You may not normally associate canned fish with sweet potatoes and jalapeño peppers, but trust me on this one: they’re tender and subtly sweet, with a wickedly peppery bite that sneaks up on you. The heat levels can be adjusted to your taste; amp it up by subbing serrano peppers in place of jalapeño, or turn it down by cutting down on the red pepper flakes. Serve these spicy cakes for breakfast, lunch, or dinner—or whip up an extra-big batch for your next dinner party!

Here’s what to gather to make 12 cakes:

  • 3 tablespoons melted ghee, divided
  • 10 ounces canned albacore tuna packed in water, drained
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced (about ⅓ cup)
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced fresh cilantro
  • 1⅓ cup mashed baked sweet potato
  • finely grated zest from ½ medium lemon
  • 1 tablespoon minced jalapeño pepper 
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 medium lemons, cut into wedges (optional)

Here’s what you do:

Preheat the oven to 350°F, and use a brush to grease a 12-cup regular sized muffin tin with one tablespoon of melted ghee.

Spicy Tuna Cakes by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

In a large bowl, mix together the tuna, scallions, and cilantro. Add the mashed sweet potato to the tuna mixture, and gently combine.

Spicy Tuna Cakes by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Then, mix in the lemon zest, jalapeño, the remaining two tablespoons of ghee, eggs, and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Spicy Tuna Cakes by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

(Not sure if you’ve added enough S&P? Take a small portion and fry up a little pancake to see if the seasoning is right!)

I use my hands to mix everything together because that way I can make sure that the fish chunks aren’t overly broken up.

Spicy Tuna Cakes by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Scoop a quarter cup of the mixture into each greased muffin tin cup…

Spicy Tuna Cakes by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…and flatten with the back of a spoon.

Spicy Tuna Cakes by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Bake the tuna cakes for 20-25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out cleanly.

Spicy Tuna Cakes by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Transfer the cakes to a wire rack to cool. The easiest way I’ve found to get them out is to put the wire rack on top of the muffin tin…

Spicy Tuna Cakes by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…flip everything upside-down, and tap them gently on the counter. Voilà!

Spicy Tuna Cakes by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Grab a lemon wedge and squeeze some juice on your tuna cake before your pop it in your mouth. They’re fantastic right out of the oven. Alternatively, store them in the fridge, and when you’re ready to eat, skillet-fry the cakes in some melted fat over medium heat. Crisp the edges, and you’re good to go.

Spicy Tuna Cakes by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Spicy Tuna Cakes are one of my favorite forms of emergency protein (plus good fat and healthy carbs)! They’ll keep for about a week in a sealed container in the fridge.

Now go make a mess in your kitchen!


Looking for more recipes? Head on over to my Recipe Index! You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPad® app, and in my New York Times bestselling cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel 2013).