Spicy, Low Carb Tilapia Cakes

In my search for low carb recipes, I have been neglecting some of my favorite dishes. Take my tilapia cakes, for example. I used to make these rather frequently, but, being full of potatoes and breadcrumbs, they've been off-limits on my new low carb lifestyle. 

I researched several recipe ideas on how to make these low carb. Coconut flour, almond flour, ground up flax seed crackers... Nothing seemed right. 

When my mom came into town last weekend, I ran an idea past her. "What do you think would happen if I breaded something in **** *****?" She was cautious, as I would have been had someone approached me with the idea. "I guess you'll just have to try it and see how it goes."

I tried it with these tilapia cakes. 
Here's how it goes:

Any idea what that is?

It's crushed pork rinds. 

Yep. I breaded them in pork rinds. 

And you know what?

It. Worked. Perfectly. 

So here is my new and improved tilapia cake recipe. 

4 tilapia fillets
4 tbs mayo
2 tbs parmesan cheese 
1 egg
1/4 c crushed pork rinds (trust me) + extra for breading (I used the hot and spicy kind from Aldi. They have a great flavor!)
Garlic powder
Onion powder
Tony's Seasoning (all seasonings are to taste)
Olive oil for frying

Cook tilapia fillets by sprinkling them with salt and pepper and broiling them for 5 minutes on each side.

While the tilapia is cooking, combine mayo, parmesan, seasonings, pork rinds, and the egg. 

Break apart the fish fillets and fold them into the mixture. 

Form 2" balls with the fish mixture and roll them into more crushed pork rinds. I was able to make 12 portions. 

The mixture will be warm from the hot fish. I have found that things tend to fry better when they are cooler. I put the fish balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet in the fridge while I started the cauliflower. It's the same cauliflower as the shrimp and "grits" recipe in an earlier post. I left the fish in the fridge for about 5 minutes while my oil heated up- just long enough for them to cool down. 

You will need enough oil to cover half the fish cake. Heat the oil over medium-low heat. You don't want the oil to be too hot because the pork rinds will burn easily. Once the oil is hot, place the fish balls into the oil without overcrowding the skillet.  I could fry four at a time. Use a spatula to flatten the balls to about 3/4" thick. Fry on each side for 5-7 minutes until golden brown. 

Allow to drain and cool on a paper towel. 

I paired these with a creamy dill sauce. The cool sauce was the perfect accent to the hot, spicy fish cakes. 

2 tbs mayo
2 tbs sour cream
1 tsp dill
1/2 tsp lemon juice
Salt to taste

Combine all ingredients and season to taste. Use more or less dill depending on personal preference. 

The best part about these fish cakes is that they tasted even better than my original recipe. The crispy, spicy pork rinds added an awesome flavor that was missing before. And the texture was amazing. My favorite "diet" foods are those that make me feel like I'm not on a diet at all. And these definitely fit that category!


  1. I started doing Keto for new years and this has been the most delicious low carb (heck, no carb) recipe I've found. I made some changes based on food I had available in my kitchen, I hope you don't mind if I post it on my blog. I will give you credit :) These tilapia cakes were just SO good! You're a low-carb genius!

  2. I made this for dinner tonight and they were AMAZING! I've been doing low carb for months now and I really miss crispy. These filled the bill! My wife, who doesn't really like fish, loved them too!


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