Sri Lankan Fish Cutlets (the recipe)

Here is the recipe for Sri Lankan Fish Cutlets that I promised earlier.

I love these delicious fish cakes, or fish cutlets. This is the best way to use the humble tinned tuna, I promise! Serve them as snacks, or perhaps in sandwiches. I had them with thin slices of raw red onion, and it worked just great, though I must admit I usually really don’t like raw onion.

UPDATE 22 May 2010: I made the fish cakes with coriander, instead of curry leaves, and lemon instead of lime juice. I also add about a tbsp of dessicated coconut. It worked great!





Sri Lankan Fish Cutlets


SOURCE:  Jasmine

PREPARATION TIME: about 15 min


CUISINE: Sri Lankan

SERVES: 3 – 4 (makes about 14 – 15 6 cm wide fishcakes) 



2 medium potatoes, cubed

2 tins of tuna

½ medium red onion, chopped finely

2 – 3 green chillies, chopped finely, deseeded if you wish

A few springs of curry leaves, shredded (I used 4, but I like curry leaves a lot)

½ tsp black pepper, freshly ground (or coarsely ground cumin and black pepper mixture)

½ tsp or more Sri Lankan chili powder

2 tbsp breadcrumbs, plus extra for coating

Lime juice to taste (start with ½ lime, and add more if you want)


2 medium eggs, beaten (or one large, with a little bit of water stirred in)

Oil for deep frying





1.      Boil the potatoes until soft. When they’re done, drain the potatoes and leave to cool in the sieve. You want the water from the potatoes to evaporate, so do leave them for long enough.

2.      In the meanwhile, prepare the remaining ingredients except for the salt and lime juice, and mix them in a bowl. When the potatoes have cooled down, mash them and add to the mixture in the bowl. Add the lime juice and salt to taste.

3.      Time to shape the cutlets! Take about a golf-ball sized amount of mixture and roll it into a ball. Next, flatten the ball, dip into the egg, and then into bread crumbs. Do all the cutlets in this way.

4.      Pour oil into a deep pan, or a wok (which is what I used, and what Jasmine uses), and put on medium high. You’ll need enough oil for deep frying, a few centimeters, I’d say. The oil is hot enough when it sizzles when you insert a wooden spoon inside.

5.      Fry the cutlets for a few min on each side, until they’re heated through and the coating is cooked. Enjoy!



More Sri Lankan Food at Maninas:

 The aroma of curry leaves: Sri Lankan cooking (Introduction)

Sri Lankan spices (including recipes for Sri Lankan garam masala, curry powder and more!)

Varar – Sri Lankan cabbage and leek with coconut (V)

Sri Lankan coconut dhal (V)

Sri Lankan Pineapple Curry (V)



      This is my entry for this week’s WHB, hosted by Susan from

      The Well-Seasoned Cook.

Next Post
Leave a comment


  1. I love fish cutlets. This sounds like the ones we would make back in india:-) could have a few now for snacks.


    • They really are lovely, try them! 🙂
      Indian, esp. South Indian, and Sri Lankan cooking have many similarities.


  2. these fish cutlets look great! delicious!


    • Thanks. Do try them if you can get some curry leaves. If not, try replacing them with coriander leaves. It won’t taste the same, but the coriander will give you that refreshing herbal note.


  3. Čekala sam ovaj recept, jako mi je zanimljiva kombinacija. Definitivno nešto što treba isprobati. 🙂


  4. Gawd, I just love curry leaves. The aroma lights up the entire house – better than incense. : ) Thank you for your great WHB recipe!


    • I adore the aroma of curry leaves, too, and find their subtle fragrance almost addictive!
      I’m glad you like the entry, and welcome to my blog!


  5. Yum yum, nice and crunchy!


  6. i live near Thai stores and I can get curry leaves in a heartbeat; what a great recipe to try! I always have extra tins of tuna and very little inspiration on how to use them!
    Thanks for a great idea~


    • The first time I tried these, I thought wow. And the second thought was: ‘This is THE best way of using the humble tinned tuna!’ Let me know what you think if you try it.


  7. Oh, I’ve only had a bit of Sri Lankan food and I want to try more. Love the look of these fish cutlets – I can almost taste them already!


    • Last year I had the pleasure of cooking Sri Lankan food with a friend from Sri Lanka, and immediatelly fell in love with it. I will be posting a few more recipes here in the future.


  8. The spices, herbs and aromatics must be doing wonders to the tinned tuna.


  9. I love curry leaves too and I have my homemade tuna oil, I think I will try this tuna cutlets today!


  10. TIGERFISH, they certainly do! Welcome to my blog, btw!

    GRAZIANA, let me know how it went. Hope you like them.


  11. I haven’t seen tuna used to make patties like this, especially not ones with such flavor! They look delicious.


  12. Teena

     /  11 March, 2010

    I love the look of the tuna cutlets and I will try out the recipe.


  13. Maninas, thanks for this simple but absolutely delicious recipe. I made them and they were relished greatly.


  14. Gowrish

     /  15 April, 2012

    Awesome.. Post some tuna dry varieties !


  15. Najla

     /  3 August, 2012

    I am so glad I came across this method of making the cutlets. I was looking for a recipe that didn’t involve too many ingredients. I can now make these in my sleep!! Thank you very, very much. They are truly delicious!!


  16. Lynn

     /  25 June, 2014

    I had company this weekend and the woman is originally from Sri Lanka. She mentionned fish cutlets and I found this recipe. Therefore, I made these tonight and they were a hit with the family. I made one batch with tuna and baked in the oven, while the other batch made with canned salmon was fried in a bit of oïl in a pan. They were both awesome in their own way. One healthier and the other one, more crispy.


  17. Thanks to everyone who tried the recipe! Good to hear your comments.
    Interested to hear the oven method, Lynn. I shall try that myself!


  18. Lynn

     /  16 July, 2014

    Both methods worked well (oven and pan). I loved these so much that I kept eating them (in serving sizes) day after day. My husband preferred the fried ones, while I preferred the baked in the oven ones (as I am more healthy conscious). Next time, I will try to broil them at the end just to crisp them up a little bit.


  1. Coming soon: Sri Lankan Fish Cutlets « Maninas: Food Matters
  2. The aroma of curry leaves. Sri Lankan cooking « Maninas: Food Matters
  3. Sri Lankan Spices « Maninas: Food Matters
  4. Sri Lankan pineapple curry « Maninas: Food Matters
  5. Sri Lankan Fish Curry – Meen Kulambu « Maninas: Food Matters
  6. Sri Lankan-style chickpeas for Lisa « Maninas: Food Matters
  7. Sri Lankan Fish Cutlets with coriander « Maninas: Food Matters
  8. Top 10 | Maninas: Food Matters

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 159 other followers

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

    Maninas on For the winter blues: Sri Lank…
    Maninas on Rain and lunch in Harringay,…
    Drita on Andrea’s Gorgeous Tarka…
    Peggy D on Dalmatian Chard with garlic an…
    samudramarya on For the winter blues: Sri Lank…
    loki on Stuffed Peppers OR Punjene…
    HW on Rain and lunch in Harringay,…
  • Categories

  • Top Posts & Pages

  • Archives

  • Instagram

    Winter (citrus) and spring (flowers) on the kitchen table.
#postcardsfrommykitchen #daffodils #spring #citrus #kitchentable #tablescape #diningtable #table Walking down an Oxford street. 
#turlstreet #oxford #light #night #nightlights #blue #nightphotography #oxfordshire #walk #winter #photosofbritain #lovetheworld #bbctravel #guardiantravelsnaps One of my favourites from @arbequinaoxford: their #beetroot boorani.
#Arbequina #tapas #walnuts #walnuts Inspiring exhibition at the @nationalportraitgallery: this year's Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize. This beautiful image is Embrace by @baudpostma. 
#nationalportraitgallery #taylorwessingportraitprize #photography #taylorwessingportraitprize2017 #portrait #london #photoexhibition #visualinspiration #taylorwessing #art #focacciagram
Recipe by @carla_tomasi, via @rachelaliceroddy #twokitchensfamilyrecipesfromromeandsicily. 
A couple of changes to the method: I used a machine to knead the dough and sprinkled thw top of the #focaccia with some #Maldon sea salt. Delicious and soft!
#bread #homemadebread #homebaked #homebaking #frommykitchen #smellsamazing #homemade #italianfood #Italian #cucinaitaliana #italianbread #pane #paneitaliano #twokitchens Beans and pasta --- the way neither of our bakas and nonnas would have made it @redsmonica. :) With extra veg and chilli, and - get this - a few fenugreek seeds to aid digestion. Plus smoked pork sausage made by my mum and dad in Dalmatia.
#homemade #pastafazol #pastaefagioli #fazol #fagioli #beans  #beansoupforever #beansoup #ribsticking #delicious #foodiegram #food #mykitchen #frommykitchen #weekend #homecooking 3 --- In the meanwhile, this is what happens to 'old' marmalade: a cake! I know this concept of leftover marmalade is alien to some, but we did have some left after I switched my allegiance to (seasonal) berry jams in June.
This cake is inspired by the amazing warm marmalade sponge I had at the @wreckfish_bistro in Liverpool, and based on the recipe by @nigellalawson. I wanted stronger flavours like in the Wreckfish sponge, so I added a touch of salt, 1 or 2 tbsp more marmalade than Nigella, and some more sugar. I also replaced some of the flour with ground almonds, and the glaze has a touch of lemon juice and a bit of sugar (because I ran out of marmalade and didn't have enough). I'll report back later on the results!
#marmalade #sponge #marmaladesponge #cake #cakegram #citrus #citrustherapy #Homemade #homebaked #mykitchen #homebaking #frommykitchen #smellsamazing #nigella #marmaladecake 2 --- The best smelling day of the year: the marmalade day! Today's marmalade: bitter  Seville oranges, pink grapefruit, blood orange. 
#marmalade #marmaladeday #citrus #orange #smellsamazing #makingmarmalade #sevilleoranges #weekendproject #weekend #athome #frommykitchen #cooking #homecooking #Homemade #preserving #homemadejam #cookingwiththeseasons #seasonalcooking #seasonal #food #delicious #foodiegram #frommykitchen #citrustherapy #homemademarmalade 1 --- The best smelling day of the year: the marmalade day!
#marmalade #marmaladeday #citrus #orange #smellsamazing #makingmarmalade #sevilleoranges #weekendproject #weekend #athome #frommykitchen #cooking #homecooking #Homemade #preserving #homemadejam #cookingwiththeseasons #seasonalcooking #seasonal #food #delicious #foodiegram #frommykitchen #citrustherapy #homemademarmalade
  • Flickr Photos

  • Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: