Feelgood fish cakes

Feelgood fish cakes

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(33 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 35 mins


Serves 4
These budget-friendly fish cakes made with canned sardines are packed full of good stuff

Nutrition and extra info


  • kcal287
  • fat13g
  • saturates2g
  • carbs29g
  • sugars2g
  • fibre2g
  • protein16g
  • salt0.67g
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  • 600g potatoes, cut into chunks



    The world's favourite root vegetable, the potato comes in innumerable varieties. A member of…

  • 2 x 120g cans sardines in spring water, drained



    Sardines are named after the island of Sardinia, where they were once found in abundance. Found…

  • 4 tbsp chopped parsley



    One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…

  • zest and juice 1 small lemon



    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

  • 3 tbsp light mayonnaise
  • 4 tbsp fat-free Greek yogurt (we used Total 0%)
  • 1 tbsp seasoned plain flour
  • 4 tsp sunflower oil
    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil

    A variety of oils can be used for baking. Sunflower is the one we use most often at Good Food as…

  • green salad and lemon wedges, to serve


  1. Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until tender, about 15-20 mins. Meanwhile, coarsely mash the sardines in a bowl (there’s no need to remove the calcium-rich bones as they are soft enough to eat). Mix in 3 tbsp chopped parsley and half the lemon zest and juice. Meanwhile, mix the mayonnaise and yogurt with the remaining parsley, lemon zest and juice and some seasoning.

  2. Drain the potatoes, then mash until smooth. Gently mix into the sardine mixture and season. Shape into 8 fat fish cakes using floured hands, then dust lightly with the seasoned flour.

  3. Heat half the oil in a non-stick frying pan and fry half the fish cakes for 3-4 mins on each side until golden and crisp. Keep warm; repeat with remaining oil and fish cakes. Serve with the lemony mayonnaise, salad and lemon wedges.

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Comments (33)

melsaunders74's picture

Very surprised. I'm not a sardine fan, but I have had a tin the cupboard for a few years. My son wanted to see what they looked like, so I found this recipe to give them a try. He helped make them - really simple. Cooked well and stayed together. I grilled them first and then just crisped them in the pan with a bit of oil (I didn't want my kitchen to smell of fried fish!)... I shouldn't have worried they were lovely and all three of the kids who can be a bit fussy ate them. Will be a regular in the weekly menu.

Clarethestar2508's picture

I followed recipe exactly and had no issue with them falling apart. I also used sardines with red chilli and jalepeno and so no issue with lack of flavour! Great results

levina_masterson's picture

Oh and I forgot to add - I used and egg and let the cakes set in the fridge for 1-2 hours before I cooked them and they didn't fall apart at all!

levina_masterson's picture

I used 1 1/2 the recipe and used salmon rather than sardines, and WOW did they go down a treat.
It made 6 enormous (and so scrummy) cakes that cooked up really well. Best to leave for 5 minutes post oven before handling so they "set" a bit.
I served on a bed of puy lentils, sweet potato chunks and a sprinkle of rocket with the sauce and it was great.

amroberts3's picture

Okay so these aren't your 'traditional' fish cakes and they do fall apart a bit but these are so easy and great if you're on a budget! Loved the flavours also and have made these quite a few times

fussy's picture

Just cooking these atm. Read comments. Uh, ohhh. Have only ever made salmon patties before and they have been wet too. Fall apart. Thought I'd try something different this time.Needing a binder? Maybe an egg? And I'll try dill instead of parsley, although I have both. Maybe put in both. Keep you posted. A great budget friendly family recipe. Hoping my hubby likes em. He's the food critic in my house

abcdefghijord's picture

Followed the recipe to the T and chilled them for hours before shallow frying, once browned on one side I attempted to turn them over and they just fell apart. My partner liked the flavours but I couldn't stand the sloppy texture. I was so looking forward to these, it was just a shame they disappointed!

ell1711's picture

Added flour to the mix so that it was less wet and easier to fry. Worked well.

Great flavour, my boyfriend and I both enjoyed them

laura_howard's picture

These fish cakes are versatile, and easy to make.

I always add some sautéed diced onion, and make the fish to potato ratio higher on the fishy side.

gr13zly's picture

Wasn't overly impressed with these, then again, I'm not a lover of sardines in general but thought I'd give them a go...

I found them a little wet, which wasn't too much of an issue as I think I put a bit too much lemon juice in to be honest.

The mayonnaise was really nice though and I can see that going with other fish recepies. I'll try this again but using different fish.

charlottewhite's picture

Delicious and went down a treat in our house. Will be making again and again, so cheap to do as well.

rachelulu's picture

Absolutely delicious although a bit mushy. Will probably coat in breadcrumbs next time. The kids aged 2 and 1 loved them.

playfair's picture

Tasted nice but had difficulty making them bind together. Although using sardines was very economical. Will make again

rjolly's picture

These were just ok

nexusmind's picture

Very good recipe for easy fish-cakes that are not only tasty but cheap.

I found I had to cook them longer than was stated but only by a couple of minutes more each side so nothing major.

The consistency of the fish-cakes was good and using the cheap but strong tasting sardines is a great idea.

The sauce compliments them brilliantly and was easy and quick to make.

isapple's picture

I definitely didn't have the problem of the fishcakes being too wet, if anything they were a little dry, though I did use baking potatoes which are quite floury so that might have made a difference. I thought these were pretty good, nice cheap way of getting fish into your diet. I rolled in flour, then egg, then porridge oats before frying. I also added some crushed garlic and chilli flakes to the mix for a little more flavour. All in all very good.

mamff26's picture

i totally agree with fatty, mine were too wet and wouldn't fry. don't think i'll be making these again!!

annefryingpan's picture

I coated these with crushed crisps, which gave them some texture, as otherwise they are quite soft.

lalybaba's picture

Was disapointed with these...found them wet and difficult to handle and not particularly interesting in taste...on the plus side the lemon mayonaise was good and they did have the advantage of being made entirely from the dregs of my very bare cupboad.

flirtinflight's picture

I really liked these. Really tasty, and so simple. Sadly my 2yr old didn't like them, which suprised me as he normally likes tinned fish.


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Tips (1)

sofsof007's picture

I've been making salmon cakes and other fish cakes since my childhood, though never with any potato, but I can tell you exactly why these are too wet and mushy. Don't put any lemon juice in the mix. You can always squeeze a little lemon on your ready to eat fish cake. Add 2 large or jumbo eggs to the ingredients, mix it well, and then add bread crumbs, until it reaches a consistency suitable for creating patties. (Meaning - when you form a ball/patty in your hands, it holds and doesn't fall apart.) You won't need much. If you do that, you'll get perfect fish cakes every time.

Also, I would definitely increase the sardines to potatoes ratio and make sure to drain the sardines very well.

For a good variation, dip your fish cakes in seasoned (by you) Panko bread crumbs before frying. Another variation - use dill or cilantro instead of parsley. You can also serve these on mini buns as fish sliders. Yum!