Fabulous fishcakes: my ultimate store-cupboard standby!

fish, fishcake, fish cake, mackerel, convenience, mayo, quick, frying, cooking, homecook, best home cook, besthomecook, food, foodie, recipe, philip, philipfriend, philip friend

This is what I think is a real store-cupboard winner: they are delicious, take minutes to prepare and taste like you have spent ages making them!

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This is a dish I have demonstrated many times and with so many people on Zoom over the past few months and it has proved very popular each time. And these fishcakes taste SO many times better than even the so-called luxury fishcakes that can be bought – and for a fraction of the cost!

Tinned fish is a great, nutritious ingredient in its own right and it really comes into its own when making fishcakes. I used mackerel here but tuna works brilliantly.

You can cook the potatoes for these (keep the skin on, chop small and boil for about 10-15 minutes), or use left-over roast potatoes, mash or frozen Don’t be over-generous with the potatoes as you want the fish to shine: I use about half the weight of potatoes to fish. Instead of using traditional potatoes, this also works with cooked sweet potato and cooked butternut squash.

Some of my other store-cupboard dishes can be found here:

Recipe: quick & easy mackerel fishcakes

Fishcake mixture:
  • 1 tin of mackerel (drained of oil or brine) – about 150g
  • cooked potatoes (mash, boiled, frozen….) – about half the weight of the mackerel
  • 1 small onion, any type, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained and roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper to season
To coat and cook:
  • 1 egg, beaten (or use milk) – on a plate or in a wide bowl
  • a few tablespoons breadcrumbs – on a separate plate or in a wide bowl
  • a few tablespoons vegetable or sunflower oil for shallow frying

(1) Put the fishcake mixture ingredients into a bowl and mix together. If the mixture feels too soft, you can add a bit more potato or chill for half an hour to firm up a little which will make the mixture easier to handle, but once breadcrumbed they hold their shape beaufully.

(2) Take a tablespoon or so of mixture and shape into patties. For a neaer fishcake, spoon the mixture into round pastry cutter rings and lift off carefully.

(3) Take a fishcake patty and add to the plate of beaten egg. Carefully turn to coat all over in the egg. A spoon will help get the egg on the sides.
NB: milk is fine instead of egg in that it will help the breadcrumbs stick.

(4) Lift the patty and place into the breadcrumbs, and spoon the breadcrumbs on top and around the sides. Place onto a plate or baking tray and repeat with the rest of the mixture.
NB: if they have lost their shape a bit you can pop them back into the pastry cutter/ring and pat down.

(5) Put the oil in a frying pan over a medium-low heat for a minutes and place the fishcakes – a few at a time – into the oil. Leave these on the heat for a couple of minutes before turnring over carefully with a palette knife. Continue to cook for another couple of minutes until you have a nice golden-brown colour.


Author: Philip

Finalist on Britain’s Best Home Cook (BBC Television 2018). Published recipe writer with a love of growing fruit & veg, cooking, teaching and eating good food.

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