Monday, 15 September 2014

Salmon fishcakes

Way back in the 1970s, when my Anglican mother insisted we have fish on Fridays, she’d wheel these out for dinner. My brothers and I awarded her salmon fish cakes the highest of insults by drowning them in tomato sauce. She made them with mashed potatoes, as this recipe calls for, but oddly she also served them with mashed potatoes. She had economy of effort on her mind, clearly. Even though she called them salmon fish cakes, she made them with tinned tuna. Go figure. 

These are one of the simplest meals to make, the hardest part being the peeling of the potatoes. So get your husband to do that. And don’t use tinned tuna if you can help it. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, but shout yourself some proper hot smoked salmon. Flake it up and add it, and you’ll be a convert. And thanks to Jamie Oliver and Woolies at North Lakes for this recipe.


Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
50g frozen peas (fresh if you have the energy; I rarely do)
600g potatoes (4-5 if you prefer to count)
Knob of butter
Fresh chives
350g or thereabouts of salmon or tuna (hot smoked from your fishmonger or good-quality tins)
1 lemon
1 tablespoon plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 large egg
Olive oil


Put a saucepan of water on to boil, peel the potatoes then cook them with a pinch of salt until tender. Add the frozen peas to the last few minutes. Mash with a knob of butter. Leave to cool. I’m not going to bore you with details on how to cook potatoes. Believe me.

Finely chop the chives and add them to a mixing bowl.

Flake the salmon, or drain it if using canned and add to the chives.

Zest the lemon and add it to the bowl along with the flour.

Crack the egg and add it to the salmon and season with pepper.

Once cool, tip the potatoes and peas in with salmon and mix really well.

Sprinkle a little flour over a clean work surface. Use your hands to shape the salmon mixture into calls, about 2cm thick. Put them on a plate and dust with flour.

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and cook the fishcakes for 3-4 minutes each side, until crisp and golden. Remember, everything is already cooked, so you’re now just heating it and putting that fabulous crisp on it. 

Serve the fishcakes with some seasonal green veg or a fresh green salad and lemon wedges for squeezing over.

Consider doubling the quantity and having leftovers for breakfast. Topped with a fried egg. Yum!