Fish cakesFish cakes

This is a simple formula for using up leftover fresh, tinned or smoked fish. They can be made in advance and frozen uncooked with a layer of baking paper in between and triple wrapped or kept in a suitable container.
Serve on crusty bread or rolls with salad and a spicy sauce or make smaller fish balls and serve with salad stuffed in pitta bread.

Makes 4 burgers or 16 fish balls.


  • 250g/8oz leftover cooked fish, smoked mackerel, or tinned fish such as salmon, pilchards or tuna
  • 250g/8oz potatoes preferably a waxy variety, washed and chopped
  • 3 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp of wholegrain or English mustard
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 tbsp wholemeal flour, breadcrumbs or oatmeal
  • Olive or Sunflower oil


  1. Boil the potatoes in water until just soft, drain and leave to cool.
  2. Flake the fish into a bowl using a fork and mix with the spring onion, mustard and potatoes and mash together – easiest by hand. Season with salt and pepper and divide into 4 burgers or 16 small balls.
  3. Pour the oatmeal, crumbs or flour onto a plate and season lightly with salt and pepper. Dip each patty or ball into the egg and then coat with the crumb.
  4. To cook you can: brush with oil and grill for 5 minutes on either side until golden; bake on a greased baking tin at 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 for 20 – 25 minutes; or shallow fry in a little sunflower oil on a medium heat in a non-stick pan for about 5-6 minutes each side.


You can add other vegetables to the burgers – peas and corn work well as do sweet potatoes. You can add up to equal weight of vegetables to fish and potatoes. Vary the flavour and texture of the coating – polenta works well with a little chilli powder. Mixed herbs or sesame seeds are also good additions.

Recipe by the Community Chef

See also