How to make the perfect Fish Cakes
Preparation and cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves six people
I remember eating fish cakes when I was a kid at school, and hating them. They were weird, floury things, which seemed to me to be just fried mashed potato which smelled of fish but tasted of very little.
I was surprised as an adult to start seeing them on menus at my favourite restaurants - I couldn’t understand how these dry pucks of fried matter could make their way out of the elementary school canteen.
Upon revisiting them, I quickly realised that a fish cake can, and should be, a wonderful thing. Combined with a fresh salad, and made from your favourite fish, they’re downright delicious and are now a regular feature of my home kitchen’s output. Easy and quick to make, they’re a great thing to add to your list of can-do recipes.
What you'll need:
- Four hundred grams of good, floury potatoes, peeled and diced
- One thickly sliced lemon
- One thickly sliced onion
- A bay leaf
- Three hundred grams of skinless, boneless smoked haddock (or any smoked fish)
- Three hundred grams of skinless, boneless salmon
- Two hundred grams of raw tiger prawns, or your favourite shellfish
- One tablespoon of finely chopped fresh dill
- Four trimmed spring onions, finely chopped
- Twenty-five grams of butter
Boil your potatoes in a pan of water for fifteen minutes, or until they are nice and soft and tender. Drain them off, then return them to the pan - you want to heat these for a couple more minutes, in order to evaporate off any remaining moisture. Put the dry and cooked potatoes to one side.
Add a bit more water to your pan (about five centimetres up the sides) and simmer your fish and prawns for three or four minutes. Take it off the heat, and let your fish cool in the cooling water.
When the fish and potatoes are cool (it’s important they aren’t still hot when you do this), flake the fish into a bowl, making sure you discard any bones or skin. Roughly chop your prawns, and add these to the bowl with the chopped dill and spring onions. Squeeze in a bit of lemon juice, too.
Add your potatoes to the mix, and season with salt and pepper. Start mixing it all together with your hands, but be careful not to break up the fish too much. You want to try and form six equal sized patties from the mix with your hands, and then put them on a plate and chill in the fridge for ten minutes.
Add your butter to a good sized frying pan, and fry your fish cakes for three minutes on each side. You want them golden brown and crispy on the outside, and piping hot in the middle. Serve with a green salad, a lemon wedge and some sauce, and enjoy.
Wine pairing for Fish Cakes
Fish and wine are always a happy marriage. There’s something about the fresh, clean flavours of a good piece of fish, and the brisk, refreshing qualities of a lovely glass of (usually white) wine which make something brilliant happen on your tongue.
This dish is no exception, but here we have a strong, fishy flavour from the smoked fish and a herby note from the dill and spring onions which need to be considered when pairing a wine.
I’d go for a big, bold New World Chardonnay from California or Australia for these fish cakes - the depth of flavour from the wine and the acidity should complement this fantastically.
There you have it -- an all-star recipe for fish cakes!
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