The Mother Sauces: Fish Meatballs with Caper Velouté Sauce

Fish meatballs with caper sauce is a great dish for any day of the week. The meatballs are made from a simple combination of codfish (but any white fish you have on hand will do), onion, garlic, and a few binders to hold everything together. The meatballs are light, tender, and delicate with pure fish flavor at the forefront. That pure fish flavor is accompanied by the velvety smooth texture, brininess, and burst of lemon from the caper sauce. The sauce is a derivative of velouté so in addition to experiencing all that this dish has to offer, you’ll master the classic French mother sauce.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes


Serves 4
Caper sauce
⦁ ¼ cup unsalted butter or ghee
⦁ ¼ cup all-purpose flour
⦁ 2 cups fish or vegetable stock, warmed
⦁ Juice of 1 lemon
⦁ 1/3 cup capers
⦁ Fine sea salt and white pepper, to taste

Fish meatballs
⦁ 1 ¼ pounds cod, boneless and skinless
⦁ 2 garlic cloves, grated
⦁ ½ yellow onion, grated
⦁ ¼ teaspoon lemon zest
⦁ ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
⦁ ¼ teaspoon black pepper
⦁ 2 slices of white bread, soaked in milk for about 7 minutes
⦁ 1 large egg, beaten
⦁ ¼ cup all-purpose flour


1. Fill a large pot with water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat.
2. As the water comes to a boil, melt the butter or ghee in a saucepan over medium heat.
3. Add the flour.
4. Stir frequently with a whisk or rubber spatula until the butter and flour form a thick paste and no raw flour remains.
5. Continue to cook while frequently stirring until a caramel color is achieved. This will take about 10 minutes.
6. Slowly add the stock as you whisk.
7. Bring the sauce to a gentle boil, reduce to a simmer, and let simmer for 12 minutes or until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
8. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any lumps.
9. Stir the lemon juice and capers into the sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper then set aside.
10. Cut the cod into chunks and transfer to a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped.
11. Add the cod to a large bowl with the garlic, onion, lemon zest, salt, and black pepper.
12. Squeeze the bread to remove the excess milk then break into small pieces as you add it to the bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Add the egg as well.
13. Mix with a rubber spatula or your hands until well combined.
14. Add the flour to a shallow bowl.
15. Roll tablespoonfuls of the cod mixture into balls.
16. Roll each meatball in flour. Set aside.
17. Generously salt the water once boiling then drop the meatballs into the water in batches of 6-8.
18. Cook for 5 minutes or until they float to the top.
19. Plate the meatballs, add some of the sauce, and serve. Pour any remaining sauce into a gravy boat to serve on the side. Fish meatballs and caper sauce can be served alone or with potatoes.

Note: Have an additional ½ cup of warm stock available to add to the sauce if it gets too thick as it sits.



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