I love a fishcake on a Friday night. Easy, dead quick on the table, and above all really tasty, comfort food. Just right at this time of year, you can still get away with serving them with a side salad (yesterday’s had fresh peas, watercress, hearts of romaine and gorgeous small cherry tomatoes- delicious), but also comforting enough for those longer nights and colder evenings.
Fishcakes should be a bit of a no brainer, but, and I think this is usually because they taste so good, most people seem to think that they are too complicated to make, or maybe too expensive. They couldn’t be more wrong. Fishcakes are also the ultimate leftover food. Leftover mashed potato? Any leftover fish? It can all go in. Now mash potato doesn’t freeze well, so if you have any of that left over, you need to be making the fishcakes over the next couple of days, but if you ever have any leftover fish, (no matter how small the quantity!) it can all be bundled into the freezer to add to any future fishcake you may be making.
I tend to veer towards salmon fishcakes, I find the mix of the potato and the pink salmon irresistible, but this recipe works for any mix of fish, or any single type. You could use prawn, any leftover white fish, smoked fish, and it could all be topped up with tinned salmon/ tuna or even anchovy, or sardine. The only criteria I would suggest would be to ensure that it is all MSC certified (marine stewardship council).
Now this week I didn’t have any left over mash, but I did have the oven on on Thursday, so I did bung 5 large potatoes in to make jacket potatoes. I find you usually get a firmer fishcake from jacket potatoes, probably because you haven’t added all the butter and milk to the mash. After that, it’s just a question of mashing the potato and mixing it with whatever fish you have. This week I had about 250g of salmon leftover, and then I topped it up with a tin, as well as a couple of anchovies to up that flavour. A bit of salt and pepper, a cupful of chopped herbs and you’re away. Yesterday’s had a mix of coriander and parsley in, which is probably my favourite, but this shouldn’t be set in stone. Form your mix into fishcakes and get them in the fridge. The colder you can get them, the easier they will be to cook.
When you are ready to cook them, preheat the oven, heat some oil in a frying pan, and press some panko breadcrumbs onto the fishcakes. I like to just brown mine on the outside, without pressing them down at all, and then put them on a baking sheet, lined with baking paper, in the oven to finish off for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Serve with your salad, and whatever sauces you like to go with them. I won’t eat mine without sweet chilli sauce, but the choice is yours.