My ultimate fish cakes

My ultimate fish cakes

Dinner Like A Boss
4 people
30 mins
Cooking time
30 mins
Benito Martin

These fish cakes are the ultimate comfort food – crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. If your kids prefer really simple food, when it comes to mixing the fish cakes, divide the mixture before adding the herbs and spring onion, keep theirs very simple and only add the flavourings to the adults’ servings.


Quantity Ingredient
600g large mashing potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 pinch sea salt
600g boneless, skinless white fish fillets, such as ling, flathead or cod
or salmon fillet
270ml milk
2 tablespoons plain flour
1 egg
60g panko breadcrumbs
or fresh breadcrumbs from day-old bread
2 spring onions, finely chopped, optional
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, optional
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives, optional
2-4 tablespoons olive oil

Herb mayonnaise

Quantity Ingredient
120g good-quality whole egg mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon capers, rinsed and finely chopped, optional
2 teaspoons finely chopped chives
2 teaspoons very finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Colourful vegetable medley

Quantity Ingredient
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into batons
200g green beans, ends trimmed
300g broccoli, cut into small florets
20g butter, optional


  1. Bring a full kettle of water to the boil. Put the potatoes in a large saucepan with the salt and just cover with the boiling water. Simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife. Drain well, then return them to the saucepan over a low heat and cook for 30 seconds to evaporate any liquid. Mash the potatoes until they are smooth – don’t add milk or the potato cakes will be too soft.
  2. Meanwhile, put the fish in a wide frying pan and cover with the milk (reserving 1 tablespoon in a shallow dish). Bring to a simmer, turn the fish over and simmer gently, covered, for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave the fish to cool and finish cooking in the milk.
  3. Meanwhile, for the herb mayonnaise, combine all the ingredients in a small serving dish and season with salt and pepper. (These quantities can easily be halved if you don’t think everyone will want the mayonnaise.)
  4. Set up a crumbing station. Put the flour in a bowl and season it with salt. Whisk the egg in the dish with the reserved tablespoon of milk, and put the panko breadcrumbs in a third bowl.
  5. Remove the fish from the milk and pat it dry with paper towel. Discard the milk. Add the fish to the potatoes and, using two forks, flake it into small pieces. Add the spring onion, parsley and chives (if using) and season with salt and pepper. Combine the mixture gently, then form it into eight fish cakes about 2 cm thick. The mixture will be quite sticky but it should be fine to form the fish cakes. Chill the fish cakes for 30 minutes if you have time, but it’s not vital.
  6. Coat each fish cake first in the flour, then the egg, then the panko breadcrumbs, shaking off the excess as you go (see note).
  7. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil for the vegetable medley.
  8. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large frying pan, preferably non-stick, over a medium heat. Fry the fish cakes, in batches if necessary, until golden and heated through, for about 4–5 minutes on each side if not previously chilled, or 5–6 minutes if chilled. Add the extra oil if needed. If you are cooking the fish cakes in batches, keep them warm on a lined tray in the oven at a low temperature.
  9. Meanwhile, for the vegetable medley, cook the carrot in the saucepan of boiling water for 2 minutes. Add the beans and broccoli and cook for a further 2–3 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked to your liking. Drain well. Melt the butter (if using) in the same pan over a low heat. Remove the pan from the heat, return the vegetables to the pan and toss to coat them in the butter. Serve the fish cakes accompanied by the vegetable medley and the mayonnaise.


  • The fish cakes take a little while to prepare, but they can be made a day in advance, then stored in the refrigerator, or made several days in advance and frozen between layers of baking paper. Defrost them completely in the refrigerator before cooking. It’s also worth making a double batch and freezing half for another time.
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