Coconut Tuna Fish Cakes

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Paleo Coconut Tuna Fish Cakes

“Only in New York City would you walk past a man on a unicycle without turning your head.”

New York has been my “home” for the past five and a half years. If you’ve never visited, then let me tell you that there are all sorts of things you will see in this city that just doesn’t happen elsewhere. From semi-naked guitarists in Times Square to Gossip Girls filming on Columbia campus to rats running through subway.

Those were things I used to find exciting slash seriously gross about NYC, but I’ve now realized that I don’t even turn my head to look. I’ve finally become a New Yorker!

I was actually on my way to pick up groceries to make these coconut tuna fish cakes when I walked by a unicyclist meandering down a residential street. Even though I was looking straight ahead at him, it never registered in my head that this was something odd. After all, what’s odd about a unicyclist when two men will fight in daylight over a parking spot (note all the pedestrians walking by in the background not seeing a thing).

I guess this was a long way to say that it’s time I left New York. There are many reasons why I’ve decided to leave in a few months, and this was just one of them. But regardless of where I am, the recipes shall continue!

And so we move on to the tuna fish cakes recipe, which is what I was making when I had this epiphany!

It’s again a simple recipe. I used eggs and coconut flour as the binding agents to hold everything together. I also added a bit of coconut flakes, basil, jalapeno, and olive oil. I pondered for a bit over whether coconut oil would go better in the fish cakes. After all, they are coconut fish cakes. But I decided to go with olive oil for fear that the coconut oil might form clumps due to the lower temperature of all the ingredients (many of which had just come out of my fridge).
Paleo Coconut Tuna Fish Cakes

After mixing and forming the mixture into small patties, I fried them in some coconut oil.
Paleo Coconut Tuna Fish Cakes

They get flipped over when the bottom side turns golden. I wasn’t too worried about undercooking these – all the ingredients except for the eggs were ready to eat without any cooking.
Paleo Coconut Tuna Fish Cakes

I served it with a mint sun-dried tomato garnish (recipe coming!) and grilled vegetables, but they’re also good to eat on their own. You can make a large batch of these and store them in the fridge. Then when you’re ready to eat them, just reheat in the skillet with a bit of coconut oil. That’s what I did tonight when I made them for a guest.
Paleo Coconut Tuna Fish Cakes

Coconut Tuna Fish Cakes


Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

Serving Size: 2 fish cakes


  • 2 cans (5-6 oz cans) of tuna (or salmon)
  • 1 Tablespoon of fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, finely diced
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut flour
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut flakes
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 Tablespoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil to cook in


  1. Flake the tuna.
  2. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.
  3. Shape the mixture into 4 patties.
  4. In a skillet on medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Cook the 4 patties until they turn golden. Turn them over and cook the other side until golden.

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{ 7 comments… add one }

  • Edwin July 17, 2013, 12:40 pm

    I just made this yesterday and it turned out sooo good that I was asked to make them again today! :)
    I found out that using the 2 tbsp of coconut oil instead of the olive oil works better to make the patties easier to make/form and transfer from hands to plate to skillet

    thanks again for an amazing website :)

    • Louise July 17, 2013, 2:42 pm

      Thanks Edwin – I’ll have to try it with coconut oil!

  • BeverlyAnn September 6, 2013, 10:39 pm

    Wow, this was fantastic. I made fish broth / stock from fresh red snapper and had fish meat leftover so I used your recipe. My husband said these were the best fish cakes he’d ever eaten. The only changes I made were to substitute homemade ghee instead of olive oil and added a chopped green onion (chives). I topped it with homemade creme fraiche. Thanks for the recipe.

    • Louise September 7, 2013, 9:46 pm

      Thanks BeverlyAnn!

  • marlene February 24, 2014, 8:27 pm

    Added scallions, a tablespoon of Greek yogurt

  • Samantha March 8, 2014, 7:29 am

    These look yummy, I don’t have coconut flakes, would I substitute coconut shreds? Can’t wait to try them.


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Louise Yang Ancestral Chef

Hi! I'm Louise - I am "beyond gluten-free," grain-free, paleo/primal, a lawyer, an ex-physicist, a cook, a blogger, a Brit living in the US, an ex-violin player, an occasional crossfitter, a mystery book junkie, and of course, I am the Ancestral Chef :) Read my About Me Page for more!

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