Homemade tuna fishcakes

Tuna fishcakes

Flavoursome, time saving, convenient and, dare I say it, frugal. Tuna is all of these things and more.

As well as the aforementioned reasons, tuna is also extremely nutritious: a single can of tinned tuna packs has about 22g of lean protein and barely any fat. As a member of the mackerel family they also contain a high proportion of healthy fish oil (Omega-3).

For me, tinned tuna it’s an essential store cupboard ingredient. My ideal dish?

There are several:

…Homemade tuna sandwiches with a good dollop of real mayonnaise, horseradish sauce, crunchy gem lettuce and a few capers;

…Tuna pasta bake; with a good tomato base, olives, capers, garlic and linguine.

….and the ultimate decadence: the ‘tuna melt’; a toasted tuna sandwich with tuna and cheese as a filling (with the cheese nearly, but not quite, melted).

By contrast, tuna steaks (or fresh tuna) are somewhat pricier than the tinned variety and come with a denser, meatier flavour not unlike chicken or pork. The distinctly “fishy” smell which you find in tinned tuna is completely missing too. If your supermarket or fishmonger have tuna steaks in stock, and they are sustainably sourced, I’d encourage you to bag a couple and sear them on a hot griddle pan. They are excellent served alongside boiled new potatoes and a lemony butter sauce.

For the recipes below I’ve offered up two altogether adventurous uses of tinned tuna. For a great tuna salad see my earlier post for Salade Nicoise recipe.

Recipe 1: How to make… homemade tuna fishcakes


  • 3-4 spring onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 200g oats
  • 200g canned tuna chunks or flakes in Brine (drained)
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley


  • Pre-heat the oven to 200C
  • Place all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl

Tuna fish cakes ingredients bowl

  • Mix thoroughly using a wooden spoon

Tuna fish cakes ingredients mixed

  • Place on a baking sheet (below)
  • Bake for 25 – 30 minutes

Tuna fishcakes on baking sheet

  • Remove from the oven and serve

Tuna fishcakes

Recipe 2: Tuna “pastry slice” with green beans

I’ve scoured the internet and cannot find anything remotely similar to this dish. I admit the plate looks a bit sparse but the don’t be dissuaded; the tuna mayonnaise and the buttery pastry are a fantastic pairing.


Tuna pastry bake with green beans


  • 2 x tablespoons of shop-bought Real mayonnaise or homemade mayonnaise
  • 200g canned tuna chunks or flakes in Brine (drained)
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 125g puff pastry, rolled to 0.5 cm think and cut into a 8cm/15cm rectangle
  • 100g green beans
  • 1 egg yolk (for egg wash)


  • Preheat the oven to 200C for at least 15 minutes
  • Place the pastry on a baking sheet, brush with egg wash and bake for 15-20 minutes or until well risen.
  • Place the green beans into a pan of gently simmering water for around 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, to make the tuna mayonnaise, start by thoroughly draining the whole can of tuna, pushing the fully opened lid down hard into the can.
  • Empty the fully drained canned tuna into a bowl and, using the back of a fork, grind the tuna chunks down in to smaller flakes to make the tuna mashed and spreadable.
  • Add two tablespoons of mayonnaise into the tuna and mix the tuna and mayonnaise together thoroughly.
  • Add the chopped red onion and stir to combine.
  • Lift the cooked green beans out of the boiling water and serve on a plate.
  • Place the pastry alongside the green beans and top with the tuna mayonnaise.

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