Door County Tuna Cakes with Spicy Sauce

Door County Tuna Cakes with Spicy Sauce

By: Stacey - St. Thomas, VI - 2016 Recipe Contest

"These tuna cakes are quick and easy to assemble. You can make them vegan by substituting crumbled smoked tofu for the tuna, eggless mayo for the regular mayo, and use vegan parmesan instead of the regular parmesan cheese."

This is a Door County Coffee Fan recipe. It was not made in the kitchens of the Door County Coffee Café.


Featured ingredient: Sumatra Coffee 10 oz. Bag Ground

  • 2 large redskin potatoes to make about ¾ cup mashed potato
  • 5 Tb extra-strong Door County Sumatra Coffee, divided
  • 2 Tb ground flax seeds
  • 8 large cloves unpeeled garlic, divided
  • ¾ c. mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp. hot sauce such as Tabasco or Sriracha
  • 1½ Tb. Drained capers
  • 8 Tb. Chopped Italian parsley, divided
  • 2-5oz. cans water-packed tuna, rinsed, drained, and flaked
  • ¼ c. parmesan or romano cheese
  • ¼ c. + 1/3 c. prepared Italian breadcrumbs, divided
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • Olive oil for frying, about 6 Tb.

* If breadcrumbs are salt-free, add a pinch of smoked salt


  1. Cook whole redskin potatoes in a microwave or conventional oven until soft and set aside to cool.
  2. While potatoes are cooking, put 4 Tb Door County Sumatra coffee in a small bowl or cup and add flax seeds. Stir well and set aside.
  3. Roast the garlic by heating a large saute pan over medium-high heat.
  4. When pan is hot, add all 8 cloves of unpeeled garlic and roast until skins are blackened and garlic is soft and fragrant. Turning once after about 4 minutes.
  5. Remove from pan and set aside to cool and when the garlic is cool enough to handle, peel the cloves.
  6. To make the sauce, place 5 cloves of garlic in a blender with mayonnaise, hot sauce, capers, 5 Tb chopped parsley, and remaining tablespoon of coffee. Blend well and set aside.
  7. To make the tuna cakes, dice the whole, unpeeled potatoes and place into a medium bowl.
  8. Add the remaining 3 cloves of garlic and mash them together.
  9. Add the flax and coffee mixture, tuna, the remaining 3 Tb chopped parsley, parmesan, ¼ c. breadcrumbs, black pepper, and salt if needed. Mix with your hands. Mixture should hold together well without being too wet. Add more coffee or more breadcrumbs if needed to get the right consistency.
  10. Scoop out 1/8 of the mixture and form it into a patty about 1/3 inch thick. Form the rest of the mixture into 7 more patties.
  11. Heat the saute pan you used for the garlic over medium-high heat. Add 1-3 Tb olive oil to heat. While pan is heating, put the remaining 1/3 c. breadcrumbs in a small bowl and coat each tuna cake with the breadcrumbs.
  12. Fry the tuna cakes on medium-high heat until lightly browned on each side, about 3 minutes per side. Add more oil as needed and drain on paper towels.
  13. Serve the tuna cakes with the sauce spooned over them.