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Salmon & dill fish cakes in 4 easy steps

Salmon & dill fish cakes in 4 easy steps

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  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Prep:
    • Cook:
  • Easy
  • Makes 8

Everybody loves fish cakes, and even the complete beginner can master these mouthwatering morsels

  • Easily doubled
  • Easily halved
  • Freezable
Nutrition: per serving
low insalt1.05g


  • 800g skinless salmon fillet
  • 2 bay leaves
  • small bunch dill , stalks and fronds separated
  • 500ml milk
  • 600g Maris Piper potato , peeled and chopped into even sized chunks
  • zest 1 lemon
  • 4 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 4 tbsp caper , rinsed and dried
  • flour , for dusting your hands
  • 1 egg , beaten
  • 100g breadcrumb
  • 4 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil
  • lemon wedges and watercress, to serve


  • STEP 1

    Poaching the salmon: Put the salmon in a frying pan with the bay leaves and dill stalks. Pour over enough milk to cover the fish (you may not need all the milk), bring to the boil, then lower heat to a gentle simmer and leave to poach for 4 mins. Turn off the heat, then leave the fish to continue cooking in the poaching liquid for 5 mins. Lift the salmon out with a fish slice onto a plate. Flake into large pieces with a fork, then leave to cool.

  • STEP 2

    Making and drying out the mash: Meanwhile, cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for about 10 mins, or until tender. Drain well, then leave to cool in a colander for 2 mins. Tip back into the pan and return to the hob on a low setting. Mash the potatoes, watching that the mash doesn’t catch at the bottom of the pan, for 2-3 mins – it should be dry and fluffy. Stir in lemon zest, mayonnaise, mustard, capers and some seasoning.

  • STEP 3

    Mixing and shaping fish cakes Pat away any liquid from the fish, then carefully lift the pieces into the pan with the mash. With your hands, gently mix together until roughly combined; it should take just a few movements or the fish will break up. Dust hands and work surface with flour. Shape a handful of the mix into a patty-shaped cake, about 2.5cm thick. Repeat to make 8 cakes.

  • STEP 4

    Breadcrumbing and frying Dip the cakes into the egg, then press into the breadcrumbs all over. Heat half the oil in a frying pan until very hot. Fry 4 fish cakes for 5 mins each side until golden. Remove; keep warm. Repeat with the rest, or freeze. Serve with lemon wedges and watercress.


Add finely chopped red chillies, sliced spring onions, finely grated fresh root ginger and coriander leaves to the mash. Serve with sweet chilli dipping sauce.


The mash isn’t drying out. The potatoes have been boiled for too long. To check when they are ready, a knife should slide into a chunk easily and the potato should fall back into the water easily. Keep drying out over-cooked potatoes over a low heat for a little longer. The mash may not be as light, but it will still bind the cakes together.


Swap the salmon for haddock and poach with parsley stalks. Stir chopped parsley through the mash and season with nutmeg.

Goes well with

Recipe from Good Food magazine, April 2006

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A star rating of 4.8 out of 5.33 ratings

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