• Yield: Serves 4

  • Time: 45 minutes total

If you like falafel (fried chickpea patties usually sandwiched in a pita pocket), you’ll love this healthier baked twist on that theme. The flavor profile of the fish cakes, like falafel, comes from a tasty puree of chickpeas, lemon, and spices. Adding mackerel gives a healthy seaside twist to this fusion sandwich.


  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground dried ginger

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground mustard

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • 2 (6-ounce) Atlantic mackerel fillets

  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise

  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon zest

  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

  • 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • 2 green onions, trimmed and thinly diagonally sliced, white and green parts separated

  • 1 large egg

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cucumber

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill

  • 1/2 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt

  • 4 (4-inch) squares focaccia

  • 4 leaves red leaf lettuce

Korean BBQ by Bill Kim $10 Dinners by Julie Grimes


1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.

2. Combine 1/2 teaspoon salt, cumin, ginger, mustard, turmeric, and cayenne; stir in 1 tablespoon oil. Rub the spice mixture over the fish. Place the fish on a baking sheet; bake at 425°F for 8 to 12 minutes or just until the fish flakes with a fork. Let the fish stand at room temperature for 5 minutes; break into chunks.

3. Place the mayonnaise, zest, and chickpeas in a bowl; mash with a fork or potato masher to form a chunky  mixture. Stir in 1 tablespoon oil; continue mashing. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt, panko, juice, white parts of the green onions, and egg. Carefully fold in the chunks of fish. Divide the mixture into 4 equal portions; shape each into a cake.

4. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add the cakes; cook 2 to 3 minutes per side or until browned. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 425°F until firm, about 5 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, stir the cucumber, green parts of the green onion, dill, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt into the yogurt. Halve the focaccia horizontally and lengthwise. Spread 1 tablespoon of the yogurt mixture on half of the focaccia; top each with 1 lettuce leaf, 1 fish cake, 1 tablespoon yogurt mixture, and the top half of focaccia.

Excerpted from $10 Dinners by Julie Grimes. Copyright © 2018 Oxmoor House. Reprinted with permission from Time Inc. Books, a division of Meredith Corporation. New York, NY. All rights reserved.