I guess I’m on a tuna kick lately but it’s such a versatile protein. Tuna salad is great by itself or in a low carb tortilla, in lettuce wraps or perhaps stuffed into a portabella mushroom. This week I made tuna cakes which taste just as good as crab cakes for a fraction of the cost. Crab could easily be used in place of tuna in this recipe, but the more economical choice here is tuna, obviously. These tuna cakes are flaky, moist and flavorful and extremely easy to make.
I began by pulling out all the necessary ingredients for the recipe including 3 cans of tuna in extra virgin olive oil. For keto, it’s preferred to use tuna packed in oil (better macro ratios) but it’s okay to use tuna in water if you’re not monitoring macros as closely.
I thoroughly drained all three cans of tuna, flaked large pieces with a fork and added it to a bowl along with the diced red onion, two eggs, Italian seasoning, garlic powder and red pepper flakes. I used my food processor to turn the pork rinds into bread crumbs replacement and added those to the bowl as well. Once all the ingredients were in the bowl I used a rubber spatula to fully incorporate everything together.
The mixture appeared too dry to me, so I added an extra egg and mixed again. You want to be sure the cakes hold together during the frying process and don’t crumble and fall apart. I would start with two eggs and see if the consistency is right – practice making a patty with your hands and see if the mixture holds together. If it does not, add an extra egg. Once the test patty held together, I put the tuna mix in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up even more; I recommend a minimum of 30 minutes, even longer if desired.
I split the the mixture into 8 portions to cook in two batches of 4. I added half of the butter to the pan and heated it until it was melted. I cooked 4 tuna cakes over medium high heat for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown and slightly crispy. The cakes should be heated through and browned on both sides before they are removed from the pan. I repeated with the 2nd batch of tuna cakes and removed them from the pan to cool. I love the flavor of these tuna cakes – the onion and seasonings blend well with the tuna and make them taste fresh and light.
Super easy! Included in the macros is a garlic aioli mayonnaise I picked up at Whole Foods this weekend by Restaurant LuLu Gourmet Products. This mayo has a rich garlic taste and perfect macros – lots of fat, just a little protein and 0g carbs per serving. This mayo would be great in tuna or chicken salad, on a burger or with grilled fish. I added a dash of sriracha for a kick of flavor, but this is not necessary as the mayo is delicious on its own.
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Serving Size: 1
- 3 5oz cans tuna in oil, drained
- 1/4c red onion, finely diced
- 18 pieces (2 servings) of pork rinds, ground fine in a food processor
- 3 eggs
- 1tblsp butter
- 6tblsp garlic aioli mayo
- Italian seasoning
- Garlic powder
- Red pepper flakes
- Drain each can of tuna completely; flake with a fork into a bowl.
- To the tuna add the diced red onion, processed pork rinds, eggs and seasonings.
- Mix thoroughly with a spatula until fully combined and holding together; refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
- Heat 1/2 of the butter in a saucepan over medium high heat until melted.
- Turn half the mixture into 4 tuna cakes and cook 3-4 minutes per side.
- Flip each cake and repeat until golden brown and heated through.
- Remove from the pan and repeat with 2nd batch of tuna cakes.
- Use a dollop of garlic aioli mayo with each tuna cake.
Per serving (including garlic aioli mayo): 244 calories, 1g total carbs, 1g net carbs, 20g fat, 15g protein (Note: Please remember these numbers are based on the brands I used and may vary slightly with other brands.)