karl_lembke (karl_lembke) wrote,

Fishcakes, fishcakes, yummy yummy fishcakes

It appears that Scotland has its own version of fish sticks – fish cakes. I imagine, like fish sticks here, many in Scotland consider fish cakes "comfort food" and something they remember mum used to feed them.

The Scotsman has a piece on some updated versions.

But these days fishcakes usually aren't just a cheap way to use up old fish. For lunch in a restaurant recently I ordered smoked trout and haddock fishcake with runner beans and sorrel cream sauce, and it was fabulous.

The variations in fish and flavourings, if not endless, can keep chefs busy for a while. Making fishcakes at home is also a good way to get the kids to eat fish. It's the old trick: if they won't try it, disguise it as something else.

The only real secret to fishcakes is to avoid making them soggy. I find that the best way is to let the potatoes cool down so they are as dry as possible before mixing with the fish. Remember to season well as potato is naturally bland.

Salmon, chervil and spring onion fishcakes (serves four)

500g salmon, grilled, cooled and flaked
100g smoked salmon, chopped
400g cooked potato, dried and mashed
30g fresh chervil, chopped
1 bunch spring onions, washed, dried and chopped
salt and black pepper
plain flour
olive oil


Pre-heat the oven to 180C. In a large bowl mix the salmon, smoked salmon, spring onion, chervil and potato. Season well with salt and black pepper. Shape into eight patties. Heat the olive oil in a frying-pan. Dust the patties in the flour then pan-fry for two minutes on both sides. Place in the oven for ten minutes, sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with a mixed-leaf salad.

Haddock and smoked trout fishcakes, runner beans, sorrel sauce (serves four)

350g fresh haddock fillets, grilled, cooled and flaked
150g smoked trout fillets, flaked
400g cooked potato, dried and mashed
20g flat parsley, chopped
salt and black pepper
2 eggs
plain flour
1 tsp lemon juice
300g runner beans, trimmed
20g fresh sorrel, washed and finely chopped
150ml double cream
200ml vegetable stock
3-4 shallots, peeled and finely diced
10g butter


Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Pre-heat deep frier to 190C. In a large bowl, mix the haddock, smoked trout, parsley and potato together. Season with salt and black pepper and shape into eight patties.

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs with flour and milk until you have a thick batter. Season with salt and lemon juice. Lay out the breadcrumbs in a tray. Dip the fishcakes first in the batter and then in the breadcrumbs until thoroughly coated. (Use your left hand for the batter and your right for the breadcrumbs, or you will end up in a mess!) Deep-fry for one to two minutes, then place in the oven for ten minutes. Boil a pot of water and blanch the runner beans for one minute, drain and keep warm. Boil the vegetable stock and reduce by a third, then add the butter, chopped shallots, chopped sorrel and cream. Boil and reduce by half. Season.

Place the cooked fishcakes on the warm runner beans and surround with the sorrel sauce.

</b>Thai fishcakes with sweet chilli sauce</b> (serves four as a starter)

300g white fish, cod, haddock or monkfish
1 green chilli, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp chopped lemongrass
20g fresh coriander, chopped
1 lime grated for the zest and juiced
4 tbsp clear honey
1 tbsp light soy sauce
Half a red chilli, finely chopped


Pre-heat deep frier to 190C. Blend the green chilli, garlic, lemongrass, coriander and lime zest in a food processor until you have a paste, then add the fish and blend until a firm mixture. Remove with a spoon and shape into eight patties.

Make the sweet chilli sauce by heating the honey, soy sauce, red chilli and lime juice until combined. Deep-fry the fishcakes for one to two minutes until golden brown. Serve with salad leaves and four ramekins of the sweet chilli sauce.

Tags: cooking

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