Cod Cakes with Chesapeake Bay Seafood Seasoning

A more economical version of the crab cake, with cod replacing the crab, and Vanns Chesapeake Bay Seafood Seasoning providing that classic Maryland flavor.

Cod Cakes with Chesapeake Bay Seafood Seasoning

Everyone who enjoys seafood loves a classic Maryland crab cake, but crab meat can sometimes be difficult to find or a little bit too expensive for an everyday meal. That's where these cod cakes come in! Seasoned with Vanns Chesapeake Bay Seafood Seasoning, they offer the same satisfying flavor and similar texture as a crab cake, but are made of ingredients that are much easier to find in the aisles of your local grocery store. You can make these cakes with just about any kind of flaky white fish -- just be sure to adjust the poaching time depending on the thickness of your fillets.

Spices used in this recipe

Peppercorns, Black
Bay Leaves
Salt, Kosher
Peppercorns, Tellicherry, Grinder
Chesapeake Bay Seafood Seasoning


  • 4 Vanns Black Peppercorns, whole
  • 1 Vanns Bay Leaf
  • 1 lemon, cut into eight wedges
  • 1 lb. cod fillets or other white, flaky fish
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 medium ribs celery, trimmed and diced fine
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced fine
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 heaping Tbs. mayonnaise, full fat
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ½ tsp. Vanns Kosher Salt
  • ½ tsp. Vanns Black Peppercorns, freshly ground
  • 2 tsp. Vanns Chesapeake Bay Seafood Seasoning
  • 1 sleeve unsalted saltine crackers (about 40), well crushed, or 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • Large handful parsley leaves and tender stems, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup canola or other neutral oil


  1. First, poach the cod. Fill a wide, straight walled pan with an inch of water, and add the peppercorns, bay leaf, one wedge lemon, and a pinch of kosher salt. Place the pan over high heat and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the fish to the water and cook until fish has just begun to lose its translucency and whiten all the way through, about 6-8 minutes. Keep an eye on the water, not allowing it to come above a very gentle simmer. Remove the fish carefully from the poaching liquid and set aside on a plate to cool.
  2. Discard the poaching liquid, wipe out the pan, and set over medium heat. Add the butter and melt until foam subsides. Add the celery, onions, and garlic and stir until coated with butter, then cook until the celery begins to soften and the onion turns translucent, 5-8 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl and allow to cool slightly.
  3. When vegetables have cooled, add the mayonnaise, mustard, eggs, salt, pepper and Chesapeake Bay Seafood Seasoning and stir to combine. Add the crushed saltines or bread crumbs and parsley and stir to combine evenly.
  4. Using your fingers, gently flake the cooled fish into the large bowl, trying for pieces that are large, whole flakes, but not too chunky. Fold the fish into the mixture carefully, then form the mixture into six patties. Arrange the patties on a baking sheet, wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least one hour. (Don’t skip the refrigeration! This step will help keep the patties together while cooking.)
  5. When you’re ready to cook the cakes, set a large frying or saute pan over medium heat and add the neutral oil. When the oil is shimmering, carefully add the fish cakes straight from the fridge. Cook until golden brown, 4-5 minutes on each side. Serve right away, with lemon wedges to squeeze over the top.

 Serves 6 as a main course. Adapted from The New York Times.

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