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Old 02-03-2009, 02:46 AM   #1
phisherdave
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California Sheepshead "Crab"cakes

I had all but stopped taking sheepshead because I have never been very fond of the consistancy of the meat.

I was lucky enough to find a few decent sheepshead over the last couple of days up here in North County (San Diego). I looked at a few recipes, took what looked like the best parts of each, then added my own touches, and this is what I came up with.

I'm telling you guys, these are so good, you would never know that it is not actully crab meat. I for one will not be passing up any shots at sheepshead from now on.


California Sheepshead "Crab"Cakes

3 lbs. California sheepshead Fillets
2 Tbsp. salted butter
1 to 1 Onions, Diced
2 Tspn. Salt
4 Eggs
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
2 Tspn. Paprika
1 Tspn. Black Pepper
4 Tbsp. Prepared Tarter Sauce ( Mayo, Sweet Relish)
Cayenne Pepper to taste (about to 1 tspn.)
4 Tbsp. Old Bay Seasoning
4 Slices Whole Wheat Bread torn into small pieces
Seasoned Italian Bread Crumbs
1 Lemon cut into wedges
Additional tarter sauce to serve with cakes

1. Saute the sheepshead fillets in olive oil over medium heat in a non-stick pan, breaking apart as it is cooking. Cook until just done. Saute the onion in the butter until softened. Place cooked fish and cooked onion in fridge in separate containers until cool.

2. Whisk together the eggs, Worcestershire sauce, salt, paprika, pepper, cayenne pepper, Old Bay, tarter sauce, and onion mixture. Gently fold in the cooked fish and torn bread until thoroughly mixed. Line at least two baking trays with wax paper sprinkled with bread crumbs. Form mixture into cakes to inch thick and about 3 inches across and set the cakes in one layer side by side on top of the bread crumbs. Sprinkle more bread crumbs on top of the cakes, and cover loosely with another sheet of wax paper. Chill for at least one hour.

3. Coat large non-stick skillet generously with cooking spray, and fry the cakes over medium heat until brown on each side (about 5 or 6 minutes per side).

4. Serve with additional tarter sauce and lemon wedges.


It is important to chill the fish and onion mixture prior to mixing everything together, and also to chill the prepared cakes before cooking. This makes them hold together better when forming the cakes and when cooking them.

Makes about 24 cakes.

Believe me, you won't be dissappointed.
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Old 02-04-2009, 08:02 PM   #2
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Re: California Sheepshead "Crab"cakes

That sounds great!
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Old 11-23-2015, 01:52 PM   #3
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Re: California Sheepshead "Crab"cakes

Made these this weekend and they're great!
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Old 11-23-2015, 03:37 PM   #4
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Re: California Sheepshead "Crab"cakes

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Made these this weekend and they're great!
Made em a couple weeks back. Definitely tasty but for anyone out there wanting to try them, be careful not to put too much Old Bay in it. That shit is strong.
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Old 03-01-2016, 06:56 PM   #5
grey2112
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Re: California Sheepshead "Crab"cakes

Is there a difference between "California Sheepshead" and the sheepies we get here in Florida?
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Old 03-01-2016, 07:56 PM   #6
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Re: California Sheepshead "Crab"cakes

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Is there a difference between "California Sheepshead" and the sheepies we get here in Florida?
Yep. California Sheephead are part of the wrasse family. Your sheepies are totally different. I imagine our sheephead are more similar to your hogfish.
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Old 04-01-2016, 03:32 PM   #7
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Re: California Sheepshead "Crab"cakes

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Yep. California Sheephead are part of the wrasse family. Your sheepies are totally different. I imagine our sheephead are more similar to your hogfish.
Ah, thanks - I will try this recipe using hogfish first, then Sherpa - wife loves sheesphead, but they are a bit chewier than the hog. Hell, I had grunt sashimi the other day and it was damn good - nice and tender and "melt-in-your-mouth"
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Old 04-03-2016, 08:58 PM   #8
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Re: California Sheepshead "Crab"cakes

Thank you for posting this recipe.Going to try it on some Hogfish fillets.
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Old 04-03-2016, 10:50 PM   #9
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Re: California Sheepshead "Crab"cakes

Omg people just learn basic cooking skills. You could throw 5 sea slugs and an unplucked pelican in that recipe and it would still be edible.
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Old 04-03-2016, 11:25 PM   #10
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Re: California Sheepshead "Crab"cakes

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Omg people just learn basic cooking skills. You could throw 5 sea slugs and an unplucked pelican in that recipe and it would still be edible.
Thanks for saying what I was thinking.
I've never had a CA sheepshead before but as I understood, they were a bit fishy and not that prized? That's what i gathered from CA's reactions to someone posting one.
Hogfish in FL are very prized for their pure white flesh. Sheepshead are good depending on how close to clean water you catch them.
I'm pretty sure one of our salt water catfish would still taste good in that recipe though.
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Old 09-13-2016, 06:32 PM   #11
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Re: California Sheepshead "Crab"cakes

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Thanks for saying what I was thinking.
I've never had a CA sheepshead before but as I understood, they were a bit fishy and not that prized? That's what i gathered from CA's reactions to someone posting one.
Hogfish in FL are very prized for their pure white flesh. Sheepshead are good depending on how close to clean water you catch them.
I'm pretty sure one of our salt water catfish would still taste good in that recipe though.
I've eaten/hunted both CA sheepshead and hogfish in the Bahamas. They are both wrasse but totally world's apart as far as table fare... I'd rate hogfish as a premium gamefish--firm white meat, versatile, great flavor without being fishy. Our sheepshead are not bad tasting it's just the meat is 'delicate' to the point of being soggy and it's difficult to use in recipes, and while really big ones are harder to find, if you dive past 30' around here you see enough that they aren't special.

I'd also say that our sheepshead are definitely one of the dimmer bulbs on our reefs, but they are a touch smarter than hogfish.

There is another sheepshead cake recipe on here that I've made, it's the one with a can of sardines in it. I made it once and thought it was the bomb until I tried to eat it sober.
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