Fish Cutlets [Indian & Sri Lankan Croquettes]

Delicious fish cutlets for a taste of Sri Lankan and Indian cuisine. Made with white fish, salmon and potato filling, these tasty fish cakes and coated in breadcrumbs before deep-fried in oil for a crispy finish.

Fish Cutlets [Indian & Sri Lankan Croquettes]

Fish cutlets are a type of party food made of fish, vegetables, and seasoning, dipped in egg, covered in breadcrumbs, and deep-fried. They are also known as fish cutlets or fish patties. They are often served as appetizers or as starters.

They are crispy and have a crunchy exterior and a soft, flavorful, fishy inside, depending on the seasoning. It can be found in various cuisines across the world, including Sri Lankan, British, Italian, French, and Indian cuisines, to name a few. But its roots are predominantly in India and Sri Lanka.

pan fried fish cutlets served with herbs

Quick Tips

How to store leftovers

Fish cakes can be very delicate, so it’s essential to make sure that the cakes are laid down flat on a tray and not stacked one on top of the other. Then place the tray on baking and in an airtight container. Place in the fridge for about 3 or 4 days. After this, they may not be good to eat.

Can you freeze fish cutlets?

Freezing fish cakes is an excellent way to get more shelf life. The problem with freezing fish is that it can get soggy, and the texture changes when you thaw out the fish cakes. To keep them in the freezer, lay the cakes on a lined baking tray. Once they freeze, transfer them to an airtight container, then put them in the freezer. It helps to label the packet or container to know what’s in it and when you freeze it so that you don’t keep them in the freezer past their date.

How to reheat leftover fish cutlets

Reheating leftover fried fish requires that you let it defrost, preferably overnight. You can do this by removing the fish from the freezer and letting it thaw overnight in the fridge. It will take about 6 hours to defrost each pound of the fish. Then put a piece of parchment paper on a baking tray and lay the fishcakes on it.

Place the baking tray in the oven at 350˚F. Reheat the cakes until they are golden brown. This entire process should take about 8 to 10 minutes.

pan fried fish cutlets served in stainless serving dish

How to stop the cutlets from breaking

One of the most common hazards to deal with when cooking fish is trying to make sure that it doesn’t break apart. The first port of call is to make sure that you choose the right fish. Make sure it doesn’t have any bones, which could cause the fish cake to break apart.

The other thing to do would be to make sure that the fish cakes are properly coated. In addition to breadcrumbs, you can also use flour. You could also coat the fish cakes in whipped egg and almonds.

Serving & Side Dish Ideas

  • Garden Salad: A fresh seasonal garden salad can bring some refreshing crunch to the table.
  • Dipping Sauce: You can serve them with a cheesy dipping sauce. It will be a delight to dip these crumbled fish cutlets in. The crunchy texture pairs well with the velvety texture of the cheese.
  • Tartar Sauce: It has a creamy, tangy taste and, as such, pairs well with fish. You can either buy or make your tartar sauce. It’s usually made with mayonnaise, sour cream, dill pickles, Dijon mustard, garlic, parsley, capers, onion powder, pepper, and lemon juice.
  • Mashed Potatoes: What better way to turn this into a proper dinner meal with a hearty helping of mashed potatoes?
pan fried fish cutlets in black serving dish
pan fried fish cutlets

Easy Fish Cutlets

Delicious fish cutlets for a taste of Sri Lankan and Indian cuisine. Made with white fish, salmon and potato filling, these tasty fish cakes and coated in breadcrumbs before deep-fried in oil for a crispy finish.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Sri Lankan
Servings 4


  • cast iron skillet
  • wire rack
  • potato masher


Fish Cutlet Filling

  • 2 russet potatoes washed and peeled
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 large white onion chopped
  • 1 inch fresh ginger grated
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 green chilies finely chopped
  • 3 curry leaves
  • ½ lb salmon fillets boneless and roughly chopped
  • ½ lb cod fillets boneless and roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • salt to taste

Breadcrumb Coating

  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs


  • Peel and wash potatoes. Add to pot of boiling water. Boil until potatoes are soft through, about 20 minutes.
  • Remove from water. Add to a large bowl and mash until light and fluffy.
  • Heat oil in a pan or skillet over medium-low heat. Add the green chilies and curry leaves and heat for 3-5 minutes.
  • Add onion, garlic, and ginger. Sauté until onions are aromatic and start to brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Increase heat to medium-high. Add chopped salmon and cod fillets, and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove from heat and leave to cool
  • In a large bowl, add the fish mixture, mashed potatoes, and garam masala. Combine well. Add salt to taste.
  • Form 20-30 small bowls from the cutlet mixture, pressing each one lightly to form round patties.
  • Crack and whisk the egg in a small bowl. Pour the breadcrumbs into another bowl.
  • Dip each patty into the egg mixture, covering evenly, and then roll in breadcrumbs. Place each coated patty on a wire rack or baking tray.
  • Heat cooking oil in a skillet or pan over medium-high heat. In small batches, place the cutlets in the oil and fry until golden, flipping halfway through.
  • When each cutlet is done, remove from the pan and place a wire rack to cool and drain
  • Serve immediately and enjoy