Traditional Fishcakes

fishcake 001

Picture: Salvelio Meyer

There is something about the humble fishcake that can really lift one’s spirits, especially if it’s a home-made one crammed full of delicious, flaky fish. This deeply-comforting recipe – my late mother Rosa’s – is a far cry from those cheap and nasty takeaway fishcakes which are usually more potato than anything else. I usually steam the fish and potatoes to cook them beforehand, but make sure you drain these thoroughly as you don’t want your fishcake mixture to be mushy.

Makes 12 fishcakes


500g cooked, flaked fish (frozen hake works just fine); 300g mashed potato (don’t add milk or butter); 4 tbsp or 1 smallish onion, grated; 3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped; 2 eggs, beaten; salt and pepper to taste; grated nutmeg to taste; dry breadcrumbs; sunflower oil for frying.


Mix all the ingredients together except for the breadcrumbs and adjust the seasoning as needed. Shape into fishcake shapes – I always favour a slightly flattish, oval shape as in the picture above. Coat in breadcrumbs, then chill in the fridge for an hour or so so the crumb coating can adhere better during frying. Fry the fishcakes in hot oil until golden brown on both sides – you will need to turn them if you’re not using a deep-fryer. Drain on kitchen paper and serve hot, with lemon wedges on the side.

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