Cod and parsley fishcakes

Cod and parsley fishcakes
  • Serves icon Makes 8 fishcakes
  • Time icon Hands-on time 1 hour 15 min , plus chilling

Fishcakes are all about thrift. They evolved during times when expensive fish needed to be padded out with cheaper ingredients to make money go further. Debbie Major’s recipe is made using floury potatoes, cod and parsley – simple yet satisfying.

Nutrition: Per fishcake

Calories
337kcals
Fat
10.6g (2.9g saturated)
Protein
16.2g
Carbohydrates
23.7g (1.3g sugars)
Fibre
1.8g
Salt
0.5g
Calories
337kcals
Fat
10.6g (2.9g saturated)
Protein
16.2g
Carbohydrates
23.7g (1.3g sugars)
Fibre
1.8g
Salt
0.5g

Tartare sauce (for 8 servings) 148kcals, 16.2g fat (2.4g saturated), 0.5g protein, 0.2g carbs (0.2g sugars), 0.2g salt, 0.1g fibre

Ingredients

  • 800g floury main crop potatoes, such as king edwards
  • 800g cod fillet (skin-on)
  • 25g unsalted butter, melted
  • 20g fresh curly parsley, leaves chopped
  • Sunflower oil for deep-frying
  • 50g plain flour, seasoned, plus extra for coating your hands
  • 2 medium free-range eggs, beaten
  • 150g breadcrumbs, made from day-old white bread

For the tartare sauce

  • 150g good quality or homemade mayonnaise
  • 1½ tsp English mustard
  • 1 tbsp each finely chopped green olives and gherkins or cornichons
  • 1 tbsp each finely chopped fresh chives and curly parsley

Good to have

  • Digital probe thermometer, potato ricer

Method

  1. Combine the tartare sauce ingredients in a small bowl, cover and chill until needed.
  2. Peel the potatoes and cut them into large chunks. Put in a pan of well salted cold water (1 tsp salt per 600ml water). Bring to the boil, then cook for 20 minutes until tender.
  3. Meanwhile, bring another wide, shallow pan of water to the boil,
    add the cod fillet and simmer for 8 minutes. Lift the fish onto a plate and, when cool enough to handle, drain away any excess water from the plate, then break fish into flakes, discarding the skin and any bones.
  4. Drain the potatoes well and put them back in the pan until the steam has died down and they’re quite dry. Pass them through a potato ricer back into the dry pan or tip them back into the pan and mash until smooth. Leave to cool slightly, then gently stir in the flaked fish, melted butter, chopped parsley and some salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Divide the mixture into 8 equal portions. With lightly floured hands, shape the mixture into 8 fishcakes measuring about 8cm across and 2.5cm deep. Carefully transfer to a tray lined with cling film, cover and chill for at least 1 hour to firm up.
  6. Heat a large deep pan with oil (no more than half-full) for deep-frying until 180°C (or a cube of breads turns golden in 30-40 seconds). Heat the oven to 150°C/130°C fan/gas 2. Line a baking tray with kitchen paper.
  7. Put the seasoned flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs into 3 separate shallow bowls or trays. Coat the fishcakes, one at a time, in the flour, then the beaten egg and finally the breadcrumbs. Deep-fry 2 fishcakes at a time for about 7 minutes, turning them halfway through, until crisp and golden. Transfer to the paper-lined tray and keep hot in the oven while you cook the remaining fishcakes. Serve the fish cakes with the tartare sauce.

delicious. tips

  1. For dry, fluffy potatoes, drain the cooked potatoes well and leave them just long enough for the steam to disappear before mashing.

     

    Don’t be tempted to add milk to the mash as it will make the mixture too wet and difficult to shape. Butter adds flavour without making the mixture soggy; you could add a little beaten egg instead to help bind the mixture together.

     

    Flake the fish into small chunky flakes, then gently fold them into the potato so they don’t break up. You’re looking for texture, not mush.

  2. Once shaped, the fishcakes will keep, covered in the fridge, for up to 3 days. Fry just before serving, or cool the cooked fishcakes, chill in the fridge, then reheat in a hot oven until piping hot. The tartare sauce will keep for several days in the fridge, covered.

  3. Pick a subtle French wine, such as a Bordeaux sauvignon blanc or picpoul de pinet.

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