Recipe video above. You'll find plenty of fish cake recipes floating around. But there are good fish cakes and then there are great fish cakes! The trick is to keep the potato chunky and the fish in big flakes rather than letting it all turn into a mush. Meanwhile, adding garlic, chilli, green onion and thyme to the mix keeps these fish cakes full of flavour!Pan fry then bake for best results. Pan fry golden, then bake to heat all the way through (because I like my fish cakes chunky!) and reheat the first batch you pan fried.
Keyword: Fish cakes, fish patties
Servings: 4- 5 people
500g / 1 lbwhite fish fillets, skinless boneless, cut into 3cm / 1.2" pieces (Note 1)
60g / 4 tbspunsalted butter
800g / 1.6 lbpotatoes – Sebago (Aus), Russet (US), Maris Piper / King Edwards (UK) (Note 2) (makes 500g flesh)
2garlic cloves, finely minced
1/2cupgreen onion, finely sliced (~1 large stem)
2large red chillis, deseeded and finely chopped (can omit)
Bake potatoes in a 220°C / 430°F (200°C fan) oven for 75 minutes or until they can be pierced with a knife with no resistance. Cut in half and scoop flesh out into a large bowl.
Turn oven down to 200°C / 390°F (180°C fan) - fish cakes are finished in the oven.
Cook fish (while baking potatoes):
Set a rack over a tray. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper.
Melt butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Add half the fish and cook, turning, for 4 minutes in total. It should be just cooked inside (ie. flakes easily) but not golden.
Transfer to rack to cool. Repeat with remaining fish.
Fish Cake Mixture:
Sauté garlic: In the same skillet, add garlic, chilli ,thyme and green onion into the leftover butter. Cook for 1 minute until garlic is golden, then pour over the potato, being sure to scrape out every drop of butter!
Roughly mash potato: Add parsley and salt, then use a wooden spoon to roughly mash the potato. Don't use a potato masher, we want some chunks, not smooth mashed potato.
Mix in fish: Add fish then gently stir through, breaking it up a bit so you have some nice flakes mixed throughout the potato. Don't mash the fish up too enthusiastically - we want fish chunks!
Form fish cakes: Scoop out 1/4 cup of mixture. Pack it in firmly, pop out onto hand and shape firmly into a 1.75cm / 2/3" thick cake. The potato will make it hold together, if you press firmly. You should make 13 to 15.
Crumb and cook:
Crumb: Coat in flour (shake off excess), dip in egg (let excess drip off) then coat in breadcrumbs, pressing to adhere.
Pan fry 3 minutes: Heat oil in skillet over medium high heat. Cook fish cakes in batches for 1 1/2 minutes on each side until golden, then transfer to a paper towel-lined tray. If you're pedantic like me, stand them on their side and roll slowly to cook and make the sides golden too.
Bake 10 minutes: Remove paper towel from under the fish cakes. Bake for 10 minutes (this heats all the fish cakes all the way through into the middle + reheats the first batch cooked).
Serve with lemon wedges, tartare sauce, plain mayonnaise (Kewpie!), sour cream, ketchup or tomato sauce.
1. Fish - Any firm white fish fillets suitable for pan frying will work here. Some suggestions:
Canned tuna and salmon will also work here. Keep them in nice big chunks. Also, there's no need to cook them. Use one large 425g / 14oz can, preferably in oil, drained.Avoid:
Fish that dries out easily - this includes king fish, tuna, sword fish, mahi mahi.
Oily fish that also tends to have quite a "fish" flavour, such as sardines, mackerel, river trout.
Fish that's too small or delicate for this recipe. This includes: Bream, Whiting, John Dory, Orange roughy (deep sea perch), Flounder, Sole, Turbot, Halibut, Monkfish / Stargazer (well, it works, but it's a premium fish so I wouldn't waste it on fish cakes! This Monkfish recipe is more worthy!)
2. Potato - Any starchy or all-rounder potatoes will work great for this recipe. The recipe will work fine with waxy potatoes too, except they just don’t bake to be as fluffy inside so when mashed the potato filling is slightly denser / thicker. It’s still delicious, just a different texture!3. Make ahead / storage - Best consumed freshly made. Leftovers can be resurrected by baking for 10 minutes at 180°C/350°F until hot all the way through, but fish does have a tendency to be less moist when reheated.Make ahead - Crumb then freeze, using parchment/baking paper between layers to prevent them from sticking. Thaw overnight in the fridge then follow recipe to pan fry and bake.4. Nutrition per fish cake, assuming 14 fish cakes (you'll count 13 in the photos. One fell victim to... well, me.)