Fish cake on a plate with watercress & lemon garnish

Ultimate fish cakes

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(112 ratings)

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 30 mins

More effort

Serves 4

Angela Nilsen went in search of perfection in her quest to pack flavour and texture into fish cakes

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freeze, pref unfried - thaw for 4 hours
  • Healthy

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal359
  • fat12g
  • saturates2g
  • carbs36g
  • sugars3g
  • fibre2g
  • protein29g
  • salt0.7g
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Ingredients

    For the tartare-style sauce

    • 125ml mayonnaise
    • 1 rounded tbsp capers, roughly chopped (rinsed and drained if salted)
      Capers

      Capers

      kay-per

      Capers are the small flower buds of the Capparis shrub, which grows in the Mediterranean. As…

    • 1 rounded tsp creamed horseradish
      Horseradish root on a wooden chopping board

      Horseradish

      hors rad-ish

      Horseradish root is larger than an ordinary radish, and has a hot, peppery flavour.

      It…

    • 1 rounded tsp Dijon mustard
    • 1 small shallot, very finely chopped
      Shallot

      Shallot

      shal-lot

      Related to the onion (as opposed to being a younger version of it), shallots grow in clusters at…

    • 1 tsp flatleaf parsley, finely chopped

    For the fish cakes

    • 450g skinned Icelandic cod or haddock fillet, from a sustainable source
      Cod

      Cod

      kod

      A popular mild-flavoured saltwater fish mainly found in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Cod…

    • 2 bay leaves
    • 150ml milk

      Milk

      mill-k

      One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…

    • 350g Maris Piper potatoes
      Potato

      Potato

      po-tate-oh

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

    • ½ tsp finely grated lemon zest
      Lemon

      Lemon

      le-mon

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

    • 1 tbsp flatleaf parsley, chopped
    • 1 tbsp snipped chives
    • 1 egg
      Eggs

      Egg

      egg

      The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

    • flour, for shaping
      Flour

      Flour

      fl-ow-er

      Flour is a powdery ingredient usually made from grinding wheat, maize, rye, barley or rice. As…

    • 85g fresh white breadcrumbs, preferably a day or two old
    • 3-4 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil, for shallow frying
      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…

    • lemon wedges and watercress, to serve
      Watercress

      Watercress

      wort-er-cress

      With deep green leaves, and crisp, paler stems, watercress is related to mustard and is one of…

    Method

    1. Mix together 125ml mayonnaise, 1 rounded tbsp roughly chopped capers, 1 rounded tsp creamed horseradish, 1 rounded tsp Dijon mustard, 1 small very finley chopped shallot and 1 tsp finely chopped flatleaf parsley. Set aside.

    2. Lay 450g skinned Icelandic cod or haddock fillet and 2 bay leaves in a frying pan. Pour over 150ml milk and 150ml water.

    3. Cover, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 4 mins. Take off the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 mins to gently finish cooking the fish.

    4. Meanwhile, peel and chop 350g Maris Piper potatoes into even-sized chunks. Put them in a saucepan and just cover with boiling water. Add a pinch of salt, bring back to the boil and simmer for 10 mins or until tender, but not broken up.

    5. Lift the fish out of the milk with a slotted spoon and put on a plate to cool. Drain the potatoes in a colander and leave for a min or two.

    6. Tip the potatoes back into the hot pan on the lowest heat you can and let them dry out for 1 min, mashing them with a fork and stirring so they don't stick. You should have a light, dry fluffy mash.

    7. Take off the heat and beat in 1 rounded tbsp of the sauce, then ½ tsp lemon zest, 1 tbsp chopped flatleaf parsley and 1 tbsp snipped chives.

    8. Season well with salt and pepper. The potato should have a good flavour, so taste and adjust to suit.

    9. Drain off liquid from the fish, grind some pepper over it, then flake it into big chunks into the pan of potatoes.

    10. Using your hands, gently lift the fish and potatoes together so they just mix. You'll only need a couple of turns, or the fish will break up too much. Put to one side and cool.

    11. Beat 1 egg on a large plate and lightly flour a board. Spread 85g fresh white breadcrumbs on a baking sheet. Divide the fish cake mixture into four.

    12. On the floured board, and with floured hands, carefully shape into four cakes, about 2.5cm thick. One by one, sit each cake in the egg, and brush over the top and sides so it is completely coated.

    13. Sit the cakes on the crumbs, patting the crumbs on the sides and tops so they are lightly covered. Transfer to a plate, cover and chill for 30 mins (or up to a day ahead).

    14. Heat 3-4 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil in a large frying pan. To test when ready, drop a piece of the dry breadcrumbs in - if it sizzles and quickly turns golden brown, it is ready to use.

    15. Fry the fish cakes over a medium heat for about 5 mins on each side or until crisp and golden. Serve with the rest of the sauce (squeeze in a little lemon to taste), lemon wedges for squeezing over and watercress.

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    Comments, questions and tips

    Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
    moose720
    9th Mar, 2009
    B E A Utiful !!
    boogalou
    3rd Feb, 2009
    5.05
    Served mine with sweet chlli dip and salad garnish.
    weenywoo
    20th Jan, 2009
    5.05
    I made these for my boyfriend last night and followed the recipe exactly, he loved them. The tastiest fish cakes I've ever had. I served them with basmati rice drizzled in olive oil and fine green beans.
    rhaddock
    14th Jan, 2009
    5.05
    just brilliant ! and I should know
    parapapau
    8th Jan, 2009
    5.05
    I hate mayonnaise and horseradish so I did the "sauce" with oil and the rest of the ingredients and put it all in the fishcake mix. They were delicious.
    kyd
    3rd Nov, 2008
    5.05
    This is a good recipe, easy to make but it took me more than 30 mins! I used fresh salmon with king prawns - the texture was better than just fish. I am not a tartar sauce fan so skipped the sauce. However, I did use mustard, capers, red onion and parsley for the mash. I also added a little bit of milk into it. I think next time I will add a bit more lemon zest. Served it with chopped tomato, red onion, mint, parsley and some snow peas with simple dressing of virgin olive oil and lemon juice. Great summer dinner (we live in Singapore so summer throughout the year...)!!!
    pitcaithley
    18th Aug, 2008
    I can improve on this recipe. Fresh cod and/or haddock have a very delicate taste. Try a mix of smoked haddock and fresh salmon, or smoked haddock and hot-smoked salmon to give a more pronounced flavour. Then, used a mix of potatoes and cooked rice (50% each by volume) which gives a lighter cake. And finally - use Japanese breadcrumbs (e.g. "Panko" Blue Dragon brand) which are infinitely superior to any other type and produce a wonderful crunchy texture. If you have a potato ricer then use this in preference to mashing the potatoes, extra work but produces a less dense potato mix. I can say modestly that this method produces the best fish cakes I have ever eaten. Th
    stuart01
    8th Aug, 2008
    5.05
    Smoked cod or haddock is also good!
    fruitiecrumble
    29th May, 2008
    5.05
    Loved them!
    suzukiw
    23rd May, 2008
    5.05
    Divine. yummy :-)

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