Fish cake on a plate with watercress & lemon garnish

Ultimate fish cakes

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(125 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 in bowl

      Capers

      kay-per

      Capers are the small flower buds of the Capparis shrub that grows in the Mediterranean. As they…

    • 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…

    • 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…

    • 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 usually made from grinding wheat, maize, rye, barley or rice. As the main…

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

      Sunflower oil

      Sunflower oil is made from pressing sunflower seeds and extracting the oil. It's usually…

    • 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.
    blazer-glory
    17th Sep, 2010
    3.05
    Only let down by my poor culinary skills! :( Will try them again though.
    leoniecauser
    2nd Jul, 2010
    5.05
    amazing!and the first recipe where i have ever been able to get the cakes to stay together!
    015218
    16th May, 2010
    Hi I'm only 12 years of age and I'm going to cook this for my family, I'd love to know if you can cook this with chicken instead of fish as my dad is allergic and will it take longer or less time to cook?? Thanks Emma
    livthechef
    13th Apr, 2010
    5.05
    looks as if every one who tryed it liked it i will try and tell you how it went
    georgiehoff
    30th Mar, 2010
    5.05
    Really good something the whole family loved (unusual). The following night I gave them the choice of Thai Chicken Curry (a favourite dish) or fish cakes and 2 out of 3 chose the fish cakes was delighted, somethimes these things are just a one hit wonder but not in this case.
    sammy25
    14th Dec, 2009
    Loved the fishcakes!
    williamsfishing
    14th Oct, 2009
    5.05
    Wow, didn't know we could make a cake with fish. that is really delicious. Thank you very much for this discover!!!! bil
    lmeyer
    30th Sep, 2009
    5.05
    Really yummy! Made tartare sauce from scratch though with eggs & oil etc.
    maysden's picture
    maysden
    10th Aug, 2009
    5.05
    A great recipe and very easy to follow. The first time I made it with tarter sauce but the second time I did it with parsley sauce with tarter sauce on the side of the plate so guests could take their pick. Both worked well so take your pick.
    natster
    20th Jul, 2009
    5.05
    Easy to make, Loved them.. they went down a right treat :-)

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