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fishAlthough I absolutely adore shellfish without exception, I’ve never been a great lover of fish.  It’s not so much the fish itself, but the act of eating it. Picking through every sliver of my meal looking for tiny bones or chewing with the fear of choking on one that I might have missed takes a lot of enjoyment out of the act of eating.  Truth be known, my favourite fish is the kind that is deep fried in thick batter, doused with tartar sauce, and served on newspaper with a pile of crispy fries. Not exactly what doctors mean when they tell you to get more fish to up your intake of omega acids.

Which is why I came up with this recipe for fish cakes. Crab cakes have long been one of my favourite appetizers and I sometimes make a large one and have it alongside a salad for dinner. But I have found using frozen fish fillets or even salmon from a can can make a lovely and healthy substitute. They don’t need to be cooked in much oil and you can add any number of spices or flavorings. I like green onion and chopped parsley. The trick to keep them from falling apart is using equal parts of fish and mashed potato and to refrigerate them for awhile before frying.

I serve these with lemon wedges and cocktail sauce cut with a healthy dollop of mayonnaise.


Fish Cakes


Serves 4


12 oz (350g) potatoes, cooked

12 oz (350g) boneless fish fillets, skinned

1/2 cup (60g) fine breadcrumbs, divided

2 tablespoons milk

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon horseradish or cocktail sauce

2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 tablespoon chopped chives

1 scallion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper



1) In a food processor pulse the fish, lemon juice, horseradish, and mustard until fish is finely chopped.

2) Mash potatoes with a fork and add milk and olive oil. Add potatoes to fish mixture and pulse to combine. Follow with 1/4 cup breadcrumbs and the herbs, garlic, and onion. Add salt and pepper. Pulse for a few more seconds to make sure everything is well blended.

3) Refrigerate mixture for at least 30 minutes. Heat a bit of olive oil in a non-stick skillet (about 2 tablespoons) on medium. Form into patties and dip into the remaining 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs. Fry fish cakes on each side for ten minutes, or until they are cooked through and a deep golden brown.

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"Noncooks think it's silly to invest two hours' work in two minutes' enjoyment; but if cooking is evanescent, so is the ballet." -Julia Child

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August 2020
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Photos and text copyright 2009 by Darina Kopcok
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