Retro fish cakes

Retro fish cakes



Serves Cook time Prep time Total time

4 people

15 min

1 hour 15 min

2 hours 

Fish cakes are a bit retro but they make a great dinner for home-leavers. The ingredients take them a long way, feeding a whole household with only two bit of fish, making this a very affordable way to feed four. The fish cakes can be made a day head and kept in the fridge until you ready to cook them. The uncooked cakes freeze really well, too.

I make my own tartare sauce and fennel salad to serve.


2 lemons
1 fillet (about 250 g) boneless and skinless salmon, ask your fishmonger to remove the bones
1 fillet (about 200 g) firm white boneless fish, such as ling
400 g potatoes, peeled and chopped into cubes
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 cup (about 1 bunch) finely chopped dill
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 tablespoon plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 egg
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons grapeseed or peanut oil

tartare sauce
3 tablespoons baby capers, drained and chopped
1/2 cup whole-egg mayonnaise
1/2 cup gherkins, roughly chopped

fennel salad

1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced, leaves reserved for salad

3/4 cup (about 3/4 bunch) roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons olive oil


Peel and juice one of the lemons and set aside the juice. Place the peel in a large saucepan of salted water and bring to the boil. Add both fish fillets and simmer for 7 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the fish and set aside to cool. Add the potatoes to the hot water and boil for 15 minutes over medium heat or until soft. Drain the potatoes and leave to cool and dry from the steam in a colander. After about 15 minutes, place the potato back in the pan, remove lemon peel and mash roughly.

When the fish is cooled, flake the flesh into a large bowl. Add the mashed potato, garlic, the zest of the remaining lemon, dill, mustard, flour, egg and a generous seasoning of salt and pepper. Use your hands to mix until combined.

Lightly dust a plate with flour and divide the mixture into eight patties. Mould the patties into discs about 2 cm thick. Place on the floured plate and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm. (To freeze, wrap each fish cake well in plastic wrap and keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.)

Meanwhile, combine all the tartare ingredients plus the reserved lemon juice in a small bowl. For the fennel salad, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and toss. (Before I dress the salad I often throw sliced fennel into iced water to give it a shock. This results in lovely crisp fennel slices. Make sure you pat them dry afterwards.)

When ready to serve, heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the oil and when hot, add the fish cakes. Cook in two batches for 3 minutes on each side or until crisp and golden.

To serve, arrange the fennel salad on plates, top with the fish cakes and dollop with tartare sauce.

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