2nd Runner Up

Alaskan Pollock Quinoa Cake
2nd Runner Up Paul Karlson

Paul Karlson

Skidmore College
Saratoga Springs, NY

Alaskan Pollock Quinoa Cakes

This appetizer recipe starts with Wild Alaska Pollock fillets and features on-trend ingredients like hearty quinoa and crispy bacon, plus tasty veggies including fresh-off-the-cob corn, shallots and carrots. These flavorful Pollock Cakes are served up golden brown with harissa slaw and apricot chutney.

Recipe Day Part: Dinner | Recipe Menu Part: Appetizer/Snack | Yield: Serves 12


  • 1C Organic White Quinoa
  • 8 Strips Lean Raw Bacon, Diced
  • ⅓C Shallots, Minced
  • 1t Garlic, Minced
  • ⅓C Carrots, Fine Dice
  • 1 Ear Corn, Cut From Cob
  • 16oz Trident® Alaskan Pollock Fillets, Quartered
  • ⅓C Red Bell Pepper, Fine Dice
  • 1-2T Salt to Preference
  • 1-2t Black Pepper to Preference
  • 4oz White Wine
  • 1t Oregano, Fine Chop
  • 1t Tarragon, Fine Chop
  • 2T Parsley, Fine Chop
  • 4oz Lemon Juice, Fresh-Squeezed
  • 1½t Lemon Zest
  • 1 Egg, Beaten
  • ⅓C Flour, Use Rice, Chickpea, etc. for G.F.
  • 3T Butter
  • 8oz Cabbage, Shredded
  • 1T Cilantro, Chopped
  • 1½t Mint, Chopped
  • 1oz Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1oz Olive Oil
  • 2t Lemon Juice
  • 1T Honey
  • 1T Salt
  • ½t Harissa Paste, if Using Dry, Add Water to Make a Paste
  • 6oz Fresh Arugula
  • 1t Shallot, Minced
  • 2t Fresh Ginger, Minced
  • 1½t Garlic, Minced
  • 1½T Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1½T Brown Sugar
  • ¼t Salt
  • ¼C Dried Apricots, Rinsed, Diced



Prepare quinoa by covering with water and allowing to sit for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse. Boil in 3 cups of water with ½ tsp salt for 15 minutes, or until threads begin to open. Drain in a strainer and allow to cool in a large mixing bowl. Chefs Note: To save time you can begin the Apricot Chutney and allow it to slow cook.

Using a 12"–14" nonstick pan, begin rendering the diced bacon on medium heat. When bacon becomes crispy and the fat is bubbly, add shallots, garlic, carrots and corn. Cook 2–3 minutes. Add Alaskan Pollock fillets, red bell pepper, salt and black pepper. Cook 4–5 minutes on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Add white wine, fresh herbs, lemon zest and lemon juice. Cook another 1–2 minutes. Fish should be flaky at this point. Remove from pan to mixing bowl with quinoa and allow to cool.

Gently mix quinoa, fish and vegetable mix with the beaten egg. Gradually add the flour, trying not to break the fish up too much (you want to see large pieces inside the cakes). Scale the mix to 12 3.5oz portions and shape into round slightly flattened cakes. Chefs Note: You may spoon and tamp the mixture into a 1½" ring mold directly onto a sheet tray and reserve until ready to cook. This will give you very clean edges on the fish cakes.

Add butter to a 14" nonstick pan or a flattop griddle on medium heat. Add fish cakes and cook until golden brown, 3–4 minutes. Flip the fish cakes and add butter as needed. Continue until other side is golden brown, then remove to sheet tray and finish in 350°F oven for 7–8 minutes or to internal temperature of 165°F. Serve with: Harissa Slaw with Arugula (see recipe), Apricot Chutney (see recipe) and toasted almond slices (optional).


Combine all ingredients, except arugula, and adjust to taste if necessary. Place arugula on serving platter and harissa slaw on top of arugula. Serve fish cake on top of slaw with Apricot Chutney (see recipe) on top. Finish with toasted almond slices if desired.


Combine all ingredients, except apricots, in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer, stirring frequently. Cook 4–5 minutes. Add apricots and continue cooking on low heat for 10–12 minutes until apricots become soft and liquid becomes syrupy. Remove from heat, cover and let rest.

Congratulations to the winners and many thanks to all those who responded to our Chef’s Challenge with wonderful and creative Wild Alaska Pollock recipes.

Kale-Orange Pesto Crusted Pollock

Grand Prize Winner

By Chef Tae Tran
Mirabella Seattle; Seattle, Washington

Smoked and roasted wild pollock

1st Runner-Up

By Greg J. Grisanti, CRC, CFSP
Frisch’s Big Boy; Cincinnati, OH

Pollock Peolle

3rd Runner-Up

By Matt Mottor
John Harvard’s Brew House; Hancock, MA