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15 Tried-and-True Spices for Fish Cakes to Elevate Taste

Not sure what spices to use in your next batch of fish cakes?

Look no further!

This article highlights 15 tried-and-true spices that will take your seafood dish to the next level, giving a flavor and aroma that’s impossible to resist.

Whether you’re looking for something sweet, smoky, spicy, or savory, this list has got you covered.

Keep reading for my top picks in spices for fish cakes that’ll make a lasting impression on everyone at your table.

Read Also: What Salad Goes With Fish Cakes? (15 Best Salads)

Fish Cakes

1. Cumin

Ground Cumin

I love the flavor of Cumin. It has a rich and hearty taste, with Earthy and warm notes, complemented by an edge of citrus that adds instant depth to any dish!

When I’m using Cumin in recipes where I want the flavor to really disperse evenly throughout the dish, then ground cumin is my go-to choice.

For example, when making fish cakes I like to add 1 teaspoon of ground cumin for maximum flavor.

This way every bite will be packed with this unique and delicious spice!

2. Cilantro


When I think of cilantro’s flavor, I’d describe it as fresh and citrusy.

Some people also find it to have a soapy taste — a unique sensation that you may come across.

It is also commonly referred to as Chinese parsley.

Cilantro’s seeds, on the other hand, are known as coriander which has a nutty and spicy flavor.

So how much cilantro would you need for fish cakes?

Depending on personal preference, adding about 2 tablespoons should provide just the right balance for maximum flavor!

For a more intense or desired aroma, add up to 1/4 cup of freshly chopped cilantro leaves to your fish cakes.

3. Curry Powder

Curry powder

I’m always a fan of curry powder.

This unique flavor comes from its combination of both savory and sweet spices – cumin, turmeric, and bay leaf for the deep earthy notes; cinnamon, and clove for brightness.

Of course, the level of heat is determined by the type and amount of pepper used in the blend.

When adding it to fish cakes like tuna or salmon, I would usually use one teaspoon per two servings (1/4 tsp per portion).

Because this is quite an intense flavor when added in too high amounts, adding just enough will give you a full-bodied flavor without overpowering the dish itself.

Too much can make it taste bitter.

4. Dill


I love the bright, sweet flavor that dill gives a dish!

It has a gentle anise-like taste with notes of parsley and celery however when you use dried it is much more pungent.

Dill is most commonly known for its use in making American dill pickles.

When it comes to fish cakes I would recommend adding about 2 tablespoons of fresh (or 1 tablespoon if using dry) as its flavor really stands out wonderfully against any seafood dishes.

Too much however can easily overwhelm the nuances of your other ingredients, so remember to be mindful not to overdo it!

5. Basil


As someone who has cooked with basil for years, my favorite thing about it is the flavorful balance it brings to dishes.

It adds a slightly sweet yet savory aroma with hints of mint, anise, and pepper.

The taste of fresh basil will have prominent tones of black pepper initially, but ultimately add a subtle sweetness to whatever you’re cooking.

When making fish cakes, they always benefit from the flavor basil brings to round out the dish’s salty elements.

When I make them, I use at least 2 teaspoons of finely chopped or dried basil leaves per 4-ounce cake.

The subtle herb notes enhance other flavors without overwhelming them – so your guests can still taste each element distinctly in every bite!

6. Parsley


I love to use parsley because it has a very unique flavor that adds a lot of freshness to any dish.

Parsley is known for its clean, peppery taste with hints of earthiness, and these flavors become more prominent as the herb is cooked.

Some people also find that running through each leaf is a natural aromatic oil, which is responsible for its unmistakable flavor.

For fish cakes, I suggest adding one cup of finely chopped parsley to really bring out all the flavors.

This way you’ll get the maximum amount of flavor without overpowering the other ingredients!

The bright green color will also make your meal more appealing visually too!

7. Ginger

Ground Ginger

The flavor of ginger is somewhat hard to pinpoint.

I would say that its primary flavors are spicy and peppery (similar to a jalapeño pepper), either warm or hot depending on what you’re using.

For me, there is also a slight sweetness.

Younger ginger often has softer skins and more juicy flesh compared to mature ginger so it can be harder to tincture but the flavor is much mellower too!

It isn’t as astringent or puckering which makes them better suited for raw dishes like salads.

8. Garlic Powder

Garlic Powder

I find garlic powder to be a very useful ingredient as it has a different flavor profile than freshly-chopped garlic.

It’s made from dehydrated, ground-up garlic cloves and is much sweeter in taste and less assertive compared to fresh, raw garlic.

Roasted or sautéed garlic has more caramelly undertones added to the taste that you don’t get with powder.

When it comes to adding some flavor to fish cakes, I would recommend using around 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder for every 4-6 servings of fish cakes (1/4 tsp per 2-3 servings).

This should provide enough subtle garlicky notes without being too overwhelming for the intended flavors!

9. Onion Powder

Onion powder

Onion powder has an unmistakable aroma, distinct from fresh onions but with the same notes.

I love using onion powder in any recipe that calls for fresh garlic or shallots as well as fish cakes because then you get all those delicious flavors without having to chop any onions!

In fact, one tablespoon of onion powder is equivalent to about half a cup of chopped onions.

So if I’m making fish cakes for maximum flavor impact, I’ll add about two tablespoons of onion powder right into my mix before cooking them up.

10. Salt and Pepper

Salt and Pepper

No recipe is ever complete without salt and pepper!

The two staples of the kitchen go together like bread and butter; offering layer upon layer of intense flavor to all your favorite dishes.

Salt brings a savory, salty, and umami dimension that makes everything from chips to steak even more satisfying.

And pepper has its signature spicy kick but it’s also surprisingly gentle in adding floral and earthy tones too.

When used as an accompaniment, it can also be used to bring out the natural sweetness in food.

11. Thyme


Thyme has an amazing flavor – it’s generally sharp, almost minty with earthy and floral hints.

It also has a subtle sweetness and peppery undertones that make it truly special.

For fish cakes, start by adding about 1 teaspoon of freshly chopped thyme per cup of your fish cake mix.

This will add the perfect earthy hint while still bringing out the flavors of the other ingredients in your mix!

And if desired, you can always adjust to taste by adding more or less as needed.

12. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice

When I think of lemon juice, the first thing that comes to mind is tangy and sour.

This is because lemons are about 5% to 6% citric acid, which gives them their trademark taste.

Lemon juice has a juicy consistency with an acidic aftertaste.

Because of this tart flavor, it’s one of the key ingredients in drinks such as Margaritas and Lemonade, or even fish cakes!

In fact, for maximum flavor when making fish cakes you should use at least 2 teaspoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice – adding just enough so that you can enjoy its wonderful taste without it being too overwhelming.

13. Italian Seasoning

Italian Seasoning

Italian seasoning is a blend of popular Italian herbs and spices, including basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, marjoram, and garlic.

Together they create a unique flavor that can be described as savory and earthy with subtle notes of sweetness.

Personally, for fish cakes, I love to use about two teaspoons of Italian seasoning per two servings (approximately two cutlet-sized patties).

The result is flavorful and slightly aromatic!

14. Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper

I absolutely love the flavor of cayenne pepper!

The primary flavor is defined by a hot, fiery effect on the taste buds – it adds an extra kick to your dish.

Despite the heat contained in cayenne peppers, they have a fairly mild aroma which makes them quite versatile when cooking.

In terms of how much you should add to fish cakes, I’d suggest starting off with a light thimbleful.

It’s best to keep in mind that due to its high heat levels and concentrated spice, it’s best used in small amounts while cooking as too much can certainly overpower your dish!

15. Lemongrass


Lemongrass is often described as a mix of mild citrus and a hint of ginger.

There’s also a lemony aroma even though the herb itself doesn’t have the same oils found in lemons- instead, it’s used when people are looking for an alternative to its sour counterpart.

Additionally, those choosing the fresh version might taste some hints of bright floral scents with cooling mint sensations entering the palate.

As for how much should one add when making fish cakes; I recommend finely chopping up two stalks (using only the white part as that has the most flavor) and stirring them into your fish cake mixture before frying or baking them.


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Fish Cakes

15 Spices for Fish Cakes to Elevate Taste

Choosing the right spices for your fish cakes can make a big difference in the taste. That's why I'm here to share my top 15 tried-and-true spices for fish cakes that will elevate the taste of your dish. I'll talk about the different spices, their flavor profiles, and how to use them correctly to bring out the best in your fish cakes.
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 4 minutes
Course Spices
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 16 kcal


  • Cumin
  • Cilantro
  • Curry Powder
  • Dill
  • Basil
  • Parsley
  • Ginger
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Thyme
  • Lemon Juice
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Lemongrass


  • Pick your favorite spices from this collection to add to your fish cake recipe.
  • Prepare the rest of your delicious meal.
  • Enjoy in no time!
CEO at Happy Muncher | | Website | + posts

Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.