How to make your own homemade milkfish patties. This is a great alternative to pork or beef patty for making your own fish burgers Surimi is a Japanese term for a semi-processed frozen minced fish protein, where the minced meat has undergone leaching or washing with cold water, and permissible additives such as sugars and polyphosphates have been added.

Milkfish Patties

(Peralta, 1995)


Iced water
Vegetable oil
Chopped onion/powder
Chopped garlic
White pepper
Bread crumbs (fine)
3% sorbitol
0.2% tripolyphosphate


1. Gut, gill and remove heads. Wash with ice water without scaling. Keep in ice until ready for filleting.

2. The iced fish is filleted and skinned. The bones and fillets are separated and both are washed thoroughly to remove blood and scales.

3. The fillets are passed through the meat bone separator first, followed by the backbone. The meat from these two is collected separately.

4. The minced meat are washed twice with iced water with 0.2% salt (meat to water ratio is 1:4). The third washing contains 0.3% salt. Water is discarded after 20 minutes stirring. Due to the low temperature of the water fat floats to the surface. Blood and extractives are leached out to the water.

5. The leached meat is placed in two layers of cheesecloth and dehydrated using a hydraulic press. Approximately 15% moisture is pressed out.

6. The meat is further minced in a silent cutter for 20 minutes, before adding 3% sorbitol and 0.2% tripolyphosphate consecutively. The silent cutter must be cooled to prevent premature “gelling” or “settling.”

7. Prepared meat is molded into blocks, frozen and then wrapped in white polyethylene bags. They are stored in a freezer at -30ºC, until needed for different surimi based product.

8. Shave thawed surimi.

9. Pass through a silent cutter for mincing and add salt while mincing

10. Add the water to improve the texture of the meat.

11. Add all other ingredients, adding breadcrumbs and flour last.

12. Mold into patties.

13. Steam for 5 min.

14. Cool and dip in batter.

15. Dredge in breadcrumbs.

16. Arrange in containers and freeze.

Source: (Wilfredo G. Yap, Antonio C. Villaluz, Ma. Gracia G. Soriano, and Mary Nia Santos) Milkfish Production and Processing Technologies in the Philippines