I ran a little poll on my facebook page last week just to see if you guys would like more meat recipes on the blog or if you prefer just veggie recipes. The results are in and the spilt was almost 50/50 with veggie recipes slightly ahead. And that's cool. Even though I cook a lot of vegetarian meals we still eat meat and fish so I'm happy to share those with you here. So with that in mind, I'm sharing this lovely fishy lunch with you today, Fish Cakes with Quick Lemon Tartare Sauce. These are one of my favourite comfort foods, and for some reason, they remind me of Spring which, please God, is on its way soon!
Fish cakes are really easy to make and are a great way to get your kids eating fish. They also make for a great lunch or dinner, and with minimum ingredients, you can make them lovely and tasty. So I have a confession to make, I used to hate cooking fish, I was a little scared of cooking it and always kept to simple salmon dishes. I think I was put off by my home economics cooking classes where I had to make a fish pie that almost always turned to mush. It was never my home ec' teachers fault, I think I just didn't have the love for it! It wasn't really until I started cooking for my girl when she moved to solids that I really started to love cooking fish, maybe because she loved fish so much or maybe I had more patience for it.
Fish cakes originally came about as a way of using up leftover fish and cold potatoes, these days we never have leftover fish so I always use fresh fish when making these. Every country has their own version of fish cakes, these are the kind you are more likely to find in Ireland and England. These fish cakes are made with cod but you could use any firm white fish or a mixture of fish works really well too. I like haddock in there too or salmon, smoked fish is good too. I used parsley and chives in these and added some small capers to give them a bit of zing. Simple and tasty is the key to these fish cakes.
The potatoes you use to make your fish cakes are crucial to success, they need to be floury potatoes, waxy spuds will not cut the mustard here. And they need to be crushed not mashed. The breadcrumbs are also very important, they should be made fresh with white, day-old bread, pulse the bread in a food processor to a fine crumb, this will get you the best results. I have tried panko breadcrumbs and wholewheat bread but day-old sourdough is by far the best in my opinion, but please use whatever you have to hand.
Now the sauce, traditionally in Ireland a good parsley sauce would be served with your fish, I'm not overly keen on that, I prefer to keep the parsley sauce for my bacon and cabbage! I do love tartare sauce though and if you have time to make it from scratch then that's awesome, I rarely have the time so this quick lemon tartare is my next best thing. It has a zesty kick from the lemon zest and juice so not your usual tartare sauce but I love it and it works really well with these. Plus it's ready in no time and if you're making these you will probably have nearly all the ingredients anyway.
Do let me know if you make these and if there are any other recipes you would like to see here just drop me a comment or an email x
Fish Cakes with Quick Lemon Tartare Sauce
For the fish cakes
- 400 g floury potatoes peeled and cut into quarters
- 250 g cod fillet skin off
- 1 bay leaf
- 50 g plain flour (all purpose flour)
- 1 large egg beaten
- 100 g fresh breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon capers drained and chopped finely
- 2 tablespoon finely chopped flat leaf parsley
- 3 tablespoon finely chopped chives
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
For the quick lemon tartare sauce
- 4 heaped tbsp good quality mayonnaise
- 4 cornichons finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon capers drained and rinsed then finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon chopped flat leaf parsley
- 1 heaped tsp chopped chives
- The zest and juice of half a small lemon
To Make The Fish Cakes
- Place the potatoes in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil.Reduce the heat to a quick simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender.Drain the potatoes then return to the saucepan to dry out.Crush the potatoes with a fork until you have a rough mash with big and small bits.
- Add the cod and bay leaf to a large saute pan with a lid, cover with water. Bring a quick simmer then cover with the lid. Cook for about 5 - 10 minutes depending on how thick your cod fillets are. The fish should be just flaky.Remove the skin if any and discard.Drain the fish well then place in a bowl and flake with a fork.
- Add the potatoes and fish to a large mixing bowl. Add the herbs, capers, salt and pepper and 2 tablespoons of the beaten egg. Using a spoon mix all the ingredients together.Shape the fish cake mixture into 6 cakes.
- Have 3 bowls ready, flour in one, the beaten egg in another and the breadcrumbs in the last bowl.Dip each fishcake in the flour, then the egg and then breadcrumbs. Make sure the fishcakes are completely coated.Place the fish cakes on a plate then refrigerate for 30 minutes to firm up.
- Heat the butter and oil in a skillet over a medium heat. Cook the fish cakes for about 3 to 4 minutes each side or until they are golden brown and hot in the middle. Depending on the size of your skillet and the size of your fishcakes you may want to cook these in batches.Serve immediately with a green salad, lemon wedges and tartare sauce.
To Make The Tartare Sauce
- Add the mayonnaise to a small serving bowl, stir in the remaining ingredients then leave in the fridge until you are ready to serve.
- Floury potatoes work best for these fish cakes, I used Maris Piper. Try to keep the potatoes the same size when boiling that way they will all be cooked at the same time.
- I used cod but any firm white fish will work great as will a mixture of different fish.
- I used fillet of cod with the skin removed if your fish has skin on just remove it once cooked.
- For the breadcrumbs, I used day-old sourdough bread. Pulse the bread in a food processor until you have a very fine crumb.
- The paprika gives colour to the breadcrumb, turmeric would also do the same.
- Calories listed are for two fish cakes per serving and are approximate.
- There is ample quantity of tartare sauce but divided into three potions the calorie content is 120, again this is approximate.
- Please use sustainable cod.
More Delicious and Easy Fish Recipes:
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How many fish cakes does this recipe make ? Thanks
Hi Daisy, this recipe makes 6 fish cakes.
I was thinking about making these fish cakes ahead of time and freezing them to be used the first night of a camping trip. Can they be frozen before frying? Would they need to be completely thawed when frying? I have made them once before and they turned out great. I used haddock.
Hi Karen, yes these can be frozen. I would make them, then freeze them, I wouldn't cook them before freezing. You can cook these from frozen, I would heat some oil in a skillet and cook each side for 10 - 12 minutes. Just make sure they are piping hot all the way through. If you want to grill them then rub each one with a little oil, heat grill to medium then grill 12 - 15 mins on one side to brown, before flipping and grilling the other side for 10 mins more. I hope this helps and hope you have a great time camping! Mx
Sasha @ Eat Love Eat
You can’t beat a good fish cake! Love the sound of these. And I absolutely adore the last two close up images! Hope you’re doing well, Michelle xxx
Thanks so much Sasha X All good here, hope you are keeping well too Xx
Sign me up for these fish cakes! they look incredible, and that lemon tartare sauce....wow
🙂 Thanks Albert, I'm glad you like it.
These look and sound delicious!! The sauce sounds even better!!
Thanks Sharon 🙂