Shellfish Cake with Karasumi Mayonnaise on a bed of shredded daikon on a slate plate.

Fishcakes with Karasumi Sauce

These unique Japanese style fishcakes are loaded with scallops, shrimp, crabmeat, hanpen and herbs.  They are topped off with a delicious sauce make with Karasumi.  These nutritious treats can be served up as an entree or made into tiny cakes as a starter.

Fishcakes with Karasumi Sauce taste great and are an example of modern Japanese cooking.  These tasty fishcakes are an alternate to crab cakes and feature some unique and delicious Japanese ingredients.  These fishcakes are easy to make, but I recommend that you use a food processor to blend the ingredients well.

The fish cakes are made with mostly shellfish – fresh scallops, crabmeat, and shrimp – although they also use hanpen (white fish paste) as a binding ingredient.  Hanpen is made with surimi (pollack) and yamaimo (taro).  It’s sold in white blocks that have a spongy consistency and a light seafood taste.  It’s often used in stews such as Oden because it soaks up liquids like a sponge.  When mixed in with other ingredients it acts as a binder and it also soaks up the juices of the dish it is mixed in with and expands while cooking.  This causes the fishcakes to get get thick and also very flavorful.  Panko breadcrumbs, eggs, and Japanese mayonnaise are added as additional binders that help give these fishcakes a springy texture.  The fishcakes also use shallots, green onion, thyme, Myouga and dashi flakes as seasoning.

Karasumi, dried mullet roe, is used in the sauce to provide a salty and tangy taste to the dish. The Karasumi is grated up and then mixed with Japanese mayonnaise and lemon juice to create a nice sauce that can be squeezed or piped over the Fishcake or just served on the side.

The Fishcake mixture can be used in a variety of ways.  Mini fishcakes make a great appetizer, or the xixture can be used to stuff shiitake mushrooms prior to baking.

Try serving these beautiful fishcakes with Karasumi sauce over a bed of lettuce or daikon with a beautiful green shiso leaf as garnish.

Give this wonderful modern Japanese recipe a try and let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Fishcakes with Karasumi Sauce

Fishcakes with Karasumi Sauce are made with shellfish and Japanese fish paste and topped with tangy Karasumi sauce- a mixture of grated Karasumi, Japanese mayonnaise and lemon juice.  They cook up to be a beautiful golden brown and can be enjoyed anytime.

15 mins 25 mins Makes 6 large fishcakes
PREP 15 mins
COOKING 25 mins
YIELD Makes 6 large fishcakes
Shellfish Cake with Karasumi Mayonnaise on a bed of shredded daikon on a slate plate.



  • 1/2 lb scallops
  • 1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 lb fresh crabmeat
  • 1/4 lb Hanpen Fishcake
  • 1 Shallot
  • 1 sprig Thyme
  • 1 Myoga bulb (Japanese Ginger)
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions
  • 1 packet dashi flakes
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 TBSP salt and pepper mix

Karasumi Sauce

  • 2 TBSP grated Karasumi (Bottarga)
  • 1/4 cup Japanese Mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tsp Lemon Juice


  • 1 Lemon for Serving

Shellfish Cakes with Karasumi Mayonnaise Ingredient Board


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degs F/ 200 degs C.
  • Finely dice the thyme, myoga and shallot.
  • Mix all Fishcake ingredients except the hanpen in a large mixing bowl with a wooden spoon until well combined.

Combined shellfish cake ingredients in a metal mixing bowl

  • Add half of the mixture into a food processor along with 1/2 of the hanpen torn in about 6-8 pieces.
  • Chop until the hanpen is completely combined into the mixture.

Shellfish cake ingredients after processing in a bowl

  • Repeat with the remaining half of the mixture and the remaining hanpen.
  • Recombine the mixture and form into 6 large shellfish cakes.

Six shellfish cakes before cooking on a baking pan

  • Place on a greased or a nonstick baking tray and cook for 25 minutes in the 400 degrees F oven.

Six Shellfish cakes after cooking on a baking pan

  • While cooking, make the Karasumi sauce by mixing together the karasumi, 1/2 tsp lemon juice and the remaining Japanese mayonnaise.

Mixing Karasumi and mayonnaise in a glass bowl with a thin spatula

  • Remove the fishcakes from the oven, plate and top with karasumi sauce.  Garnish with lemon wedges.

two Shellfish Cakes with Karasumi mayonnaise on top. THe cakes are on a garnish of daikon, carrot and shiso. The are lemon wedges on the plate.


  • You can refrigerate or freeze leftover fishcakes.  To freeze, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze individual patties.  Patties can be thawed in the refrigerator and then heated back up in a microwave or or in the oven.
  • Karasumi sauce can be refrigerated for up to a week.

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