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Sri Lankan Fish Cutlets: A Delicious Party Food!

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Try as hard as I can, but when December rolls around, I have a hard time from keeping my brain from turning onto holiday mode! Even when I try desperately to focus at a Monday morning meeting at my 9-5 job, all that my brain seems to wanna focus on is how many vacation days do I have left? Somehow, planning delicious party food for my daughter’s birthday (which was this past Saturday) and Christmas lunch – makes me want to spend more time with the ones I love and less time away from them. If only I could convince my boss to let us telecommute for all of December; or, (even better) maybe add on 16 more days to the 7 we are scheduled to be off for, at the end of the year- I mean what are 16 more days between employer and employee-right? I think, if I were to bring them a plate of these Sri Lankan Cutlets, I could bribe convince them! #SeasonedGreetings


Growing up, every Christmas, every birthday, and just about every holiday, my mom would make one of my all time favorite holiday party recipes – Sri Lankan Fish Cutlets. Crispy on the outside, with a tender and delicious filling of tuna and potatoes and spices, these cutlets were a treasured commodity! A couple of years ago, when my cousins and sister and all of us got together for Christmas here in Atlanta, things got ugly around my mom’s stash of cutlets! There was hiding of cutlets, lying about how many were consumed and (since I am a slow eater) just, plain, downright rude, stealing of cutlets off MY PLATE!!! GAH – the things we forgive for family!!!


If my mom knew there was someone who would be at our dinner table who didn’t like fish, or there would be people around who would not like the smell of fish, she would substitute canned chicken or ground beef for canned tuna. Many years ago, when my parents took my sister and I on a family train ride from where we lived in Colombo (Sri Lanka) to picturesque Kandy, my mom would make sure to pack chicken and beef cutlets, so no one else on the train would be revolted – of course, I would rather they be revolted than compliment her on them, which led her to sharing some of OUR stash – with THEM! Yes, I know, I need a lot of work on my sharing issues!


And me sharing this recipe is evidence of me working on my issues {just don’t ask me to share the finished product – unless you will use them to convince my boss about adding those vacation days on 😉 }


For my version of my mom’s “a pinch of this-a dash of that-and a shake of the other” recipe, I substituted out her green chilies with Tabasco Green Jalapeño Sauce, which I picked up from my neighborhood Kroger. Tabasco’s Green Jalapeño Sauce enhanced the flavor of the cumin and paprika I used, without making these cutlets too spicy. I used the Green Jalapeño Sauce in the filling with the tuna, potatoes and spices as well as in the egg dipping. My daughter -who doesn’t share my love of all things burn-the-roof-of-your-mouth-off-spicy- took a taste and suggested we use the Green Jalapeño Sauce as a dipping sauce for the cutlets as well.

These cutlets – whether made with tuna or chicken or beef – would make a delicious (fought over) appetizer at any holiday party, and/or a wonderful everyday snack.


Now, I gotta figure out how I can convince my daughter that just because she is my hand model/taste tester, she does not get more cutlets than I do…



[Tweet “Crispy and delicious Sri Lankan cutlets – a perfect holiday appetizer or everyday snack! @RunninSrilankan #SeasonedGreetings”]


Sri Lankan Fish Cutlets: A Delicious Party Food!

Sri Lankan Fish Cutlets: A Delicious Party Food!


  • 1 potato boiled
  • 1 5 oz can of tuna, or 5 oz can of chicken or 5 ozs of ground beef or turkey
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • 1/2 a Jalapeño, seeds removed and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped onions
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 egg and 1 egg white
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs, to coat
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco Green Jalapeño sauce
  • Oil of choice for frying


  1. Place the oil in a deep pan and place on stove to heat up
  2. Mash the potato
  3. Drain the tuna well and add it to potato
  4. Add the garlic, jalapeño, onion, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco Green Jalapeño sauce to the tuna and potato mix and combine well
  5. Form into balls and flatten slightly
  6. Mix 1 teaspoon Tabasco Green Jalapeño sauce and 1 egg white together in a bowl
  7. Dip tuna and potato balls into egg and Tabasco Green Jalapeño sauce mix and then into breadcrumbs
  8. When oil is heated, drop cutlets into it and fry till golden
  9. Can be served as is or with Tabasco Green Jalapeño sauce or Tabasco Original Red, or Tabasco Chipotle flavored sauce to dip in.

Did you make this recipe?

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