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I am making fishcakes/fish patties for a 1 year old with chopped salmon, chopped shrimp, breadcrumb, eggs and flavorings like onion etc. When I fry them, they become dry-ish, and kind-of crumbly. While still ok for an adult, my 1 year old spits it out.

How can I make a fish patty that holds it own shape and is juicy and soft?

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    Of course the spitting out may not be about texture but the combination of individually acceptable flavours. But you know your own baby better than anyone else.
    – Chris H
    May 22, 2016 at 8:19
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    Good point to clarify--she eats up the fish and other flavorings when its part of a rice dish.
    – Ron
    May 22, 2016 at 16:32
  • if cooking soft in the middle, skip eggs -not worth the salmonella risk
    – Pat Sommer
    May 28, 2016 at 4:45

2 Answers 2

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In my experience cooking for small children I've found that just because they like a set of ingredients doesn't mean they will like them combined if the texture changes. I child who likes chicken and vegetables won't necessarily like chicken stew. A child who likes fish won't necessarily like a fishcake as the fishcake has a very different texture.

That being said it could be that the particular type of fishcake you are making isn't to your child's taste. I think the reason is the breadcrumbs. Breadcrumbs are a good binding agent for ingredients that have lots of moisture and fat to release during cooking - as the mix cooks the breadcrumbs soak up the moisture and keep the mix together and retains some of the moisture. Fish and shellfish are pretty lean to begin with, and as they are usually pre-cooked when making fishcakes they will have already lost most of their moisture. If you use breadcrumbs to bind the mix there will not be enough moisture to wet them. You could add a bit of water but then you're going to get a soggy mess.

I would suggest making fishcakes with mashed potato instead of breadcrumbs as a binder. The potatoes are naturally moist and hold things together well. I typically use a 60-40 ratio of fish to potatoes by weight. You can coat the outside of the patty with breadcrumbs when frying them off to give the surface some crunch.

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It might take some experimenting but what we found was that you could cook them quite quickly so that the outside was crispy, holding them together, but the inside was much softer. Then they could be split open and the middle spooned out. This was using precooked fish I think. Cutting down on the breadcrumbs might also help, though you might then find them a bit eggy by adult standards.

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  • Some potato helps bind things together and keep the egginess down.
    – GdD
    May 23, 2016 at 8:24
  • @GdD, yes, I considered saying something like "look for a recipe with potato in" but wanted to stick with what we did. I'd call your comment a good alternative answer.
    – Chris H
    May 23, 2016 at 8:25
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    Good idea, I'll do that.
    – GdD
    May 23, 2016 at 9:48

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