• Lockdown Larder: Fish and other savoury cakes

    Although I am an almost vegetarian, every so often, I really fancy a fish cake..  My go to recipe is a recipe in Dale Pinnock’s  “Anxiety and Depression” cookbook for Tuna Sweet Potato Fish Cakes.  This is a very simple, but very tasty recipe.  The following recipe, is a slight variation on Dale Pinnock’s recipe.

    Tuna Sweet Potato Fish Cakes (serves 2)


    •  2 medium  baked sweet potatoes
    • 150g canned tuna
    • 2  tsp chopped coriander or parsley leaves
    • 1 small red onion, finely chopped (I blanch my onion first to produce a milder taste)
    • 1/2 tsp English or Dijon mustard
    • 1 egg, lightly beaten
    • 1-2 tsp olive oil


    • Mash the baked sweet potatoes in a bowl.  Add the tuna, coriander/parsley, onion, mustard and egg.  Mix well.
    • Shape into cakes and gently fry in the olive oil until golden brown on each side.
    • Serve with a poached egg on top and a side salad.

    It’s a long story, but we currently have my Mum staying with us.  The other day she mentioned her love of tinned salmon (something I haven’t eaten for ages).  So, like a good daughter, I decided to incorporate it into something tasty.  I came across the following recipe from John West.  Again, with a few tweaks, here it is.

    Salmon Fish Cakes (serves 4)


    Fish cakes

    • 170g can John West Pink or Red Salmon, drained
    • 150g mashed baked potato, chilled
    • 1tsp chopped dill or parsley
    • Zest of ½ lemon
    • Tbsp mayonnaise


    • 1 egg, beaten with a splash of milk
    • 2tbps plain flour
    • 50g fine breadcrumbs (I used crush panko bread crumbs)
    • 2 tbsp mayonnaise

    Tartar Sauce

    • Juice of 1 lemon
    • 1 tsp chopped caper
    • 2 gherkins finely chopped
    • ½ tsp chopped dill or parsley


    • Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius.  In a large mixing bowl mash the baked potato without its skin.  Add the drained pink or red salmon, dill/parsley, mayonnaise and lemon zest.  Season with a little salt and black pepper and mix well.
    • Divide the mix into 4 balls and shape into a fishcake.  Leave to cool in the fridge for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile place the egg; flour and breadcrumbs into 3 separate bowls.
    • Dust your fishcakes in flour until completely coated.  Then dip into the egg and roll in breadcrumbs.  Repeat with the remaining fishcakes.
    • Add 2 tsp of sunflower oil to a non-stick frying pan and gently cook the fishcakes until golden on both sides, place onto an oven tray and place into the oven to warm through, for about 10 minutes.
    • Make the tartar sauce, by mixing all the ingredients together in a bowl.  Serve your fishcakes with a spoonful of tartar sauce, a poached egg and a side salad.

    My final recipe is for those who don’t like fish but like a ‘fish’ cake of sorts.  I was looking for something to use up turnips and parsnips in and came across this recipe on BBC Good Food by John Torode for bubble and Squeak croquettes – I made cakes instead.  The original recipe included 8 rashers of streaky bacon, chopped, but I omitted these and added a bit of smokey paprika instead for the smokey flavour.


    • 50g butter
    • 200g onion, sliced
    • ½ large cabbage, shredded
    • 500g leftover roast or boiled potato or roast/boil your own, mashed
    • 200g leftover or freshly roasted turnips, parsnips, carrots (or any vegetables really), roughly chopped, then mashed
    • 2 eggs, beaten
    • 200g plain flour, well seasoned, plus a little extra for shaping
    • 200g fresh white breadcrumb
    • 2 eggs, beaten with a pinch of salt and a little water
    • Sunflower or vegetable oil, for frying


    • Melt the butter in a pan, then fry the onions for 10 minutes until the onions are soft.  Add the cabbage to the pan with a good grinding of black pepper.  Stir well, then add a splash of water and cook, covered, for 5 minutes more until tender.
    • Tip the potatoes and cooked vegetables into the pan, then mash really well.  Mix in the eggs, then season to taste.  Turn onto a floured surface and shape into cakes.
    • Dust your cakes in flour until completely coated.  Then dip into the egg and roll in breadcrumbs.  Repeat with the remaining cakes.
    • Put onto a tray and chill for at least 1 hour.
    • Heat oven to 170C fan.  Heat a 5mm depth of oil in a large frying pan; then, once a crumb turns golden within a few seconds, shallow-fry the cakes in batches for 2 minutes each side, turning carefully.  Drain on kitchen paper and transfer to a baking sheet lined with baking paper.  Bake for 15 minutes.

    Guess what, I served them with a poached egg and some harissa onions, peppers and mushrooms.

    Happy cooking.