Irish Fish Cakes are savory cakes made with milk simmered cod, and mashed potatoes. One might think these are entirely made of fish because of their flakey soft interiors. Topped with a simply homemade tartar sauce, these are a winner in my book!
These Irish fish cakes are savory, mellow and flaky. They are so good that Manservant thought they were crab. We both love crab, but these are much more economical, shall we say? Truthfully they aren’t as rich as crab and often that is a good thing! They remind me of the old fashioned frozen fish sticks they served in the lunchroom on Fridays. I loved those and these aren’t those. These are better!
How do you make fish cakes?
The cod is made rich and tender by simmering in milk, rather than water. Fairly simple to put together but I must tell you this is a three pan dinner because you also have to make mashed potatoes. By combining the mashed potatoes and the fish with some savory seasoning it is easy to make the best fish cakes! HOWEVER…I made my fish cakes recipe the day before, then chilled them overnight so on the day I needed them it only required one skillet. Not so bad! These Irish fish cakes could also be served on a salad, with French fries or even asparagus, which is what I did. I brought them to a friend for a social visit and we proceeded to have a wonderful lunch. Fish cakes, asparagus and Irish whisky brownies for dessert make a perfect lunch. I can’t wait to do it again!
In the past I’ve only eaten crab cakes or fish sticks. Never have I had a fish cake, though they are quite popular in the British Isles and South Africa. I say this from experience. In my short three week jaunt there in 2012 when I thought I might be living there, I was invited to lunch with a bevy of ladies. They all ordered fish cakes. I ordered a salad and it was very good, but for some odd reason fish cakes have stuck in my head and ever since then I’ve been wanting to make them. Is that so weird?
One can’t have fish cakes without tartar sauce. Well, just get out your spoon, folks. This tartar sauce is that good. Just be sure to save some for the fish cakes and the asparagus and even the fries. This tartar sauce is that good, but I said that already! Do not make it unless you want to make more. Because you will!
I can tell you I wasn’t disappointed when I finally got around to making these fish cakes. It seemed like the perfect time since St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner. I know many think the Irish only eat corned beef and cabbage and potatoes. But really, they do eat a lot of fish. It is an island after all. Which means it is surrounded by water. Which is where fish live. Don’t you know? Well, now you do. So give yourself a break from corned beef. Eat heart healthy fish. In cake form. I, for one, love anything in cake form!
If you are feeling Irish this week you may want to check out a few of these Irish recipes from other bloggers. Trisha from Saving Room for Dessert is a great baker and I can’t wait to try her Barmbrack Bread. Sommer at A Spicy Perspective has an Irish Beer Cheese Soup that sounds so so good. And I for one would love an Irish coffee and a great story after any meal. This from Toni Dash at Boulder Locavore, foots the bill!
A Few More:
Irish Fish Cakes are savory cakes made with milk simmered cod, and mashed potatoes. One might think these are entirely made of fish because of their flakey soft interiors. Top with homemade tartar sauce!
- 1 lb Cod, skinned
- 2 bay leaves
- 3/4 c milk
- About 1 1/2 c white or red potatoes (good for mashing)
- 3/4 t grated lemon zest
- 1 T chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1 T snipped chives
- 1 egg
- 1/2 c panko bread crumbs and maybe a tad bit more
- 4 T Vegetable or Sunflower Oil for shallow frying
- 1/2 c mayonnaise
- 1 heaping t capers, rough chopped
- 1 heaping t Dijon mustard
- 1 medium sized shallot, finely minced
- 1 heaping t Italian parsley, chopped
- Mix sauce ingredients together. If you want it a bit saucier, add a little more mayonnaise. Set aside.
- Lay the fish and bay leaves in a skillet. Pour the milk over the fish. It doesn’t need to completely cover. Cover the skillet and bring to a gentle boil. Lower heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Turn fish over and simmer about 2 minutes more. Take fish off the heat and let stand while covered for 10 minutes to gently finish cooking the fish. (My fish was thick so I cooked it for a touch longer.)
- Meanwhile peel and chop the potatoes into even chunks. Put in a saucepan with salted water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes or until tender but not falling apart.
- Lift fish out of milk with a slotted spatula and put on a plate to cool. Drain potatoes in a colander and let drain for a few minutes. Tip back into hot pot and on the lowest heat, let them dry out for about 1 minute, mashing them with a fork so they don’t stick. This should end up being a light and fluffy mash,
- Take off heat and beat in 1-2 T of the tartar sauce, then add lemon zest, parsley and chives. Season well with salt and pepper. Make sure these taste good!
- Drain fish, grind pepper over it and then flake big chunks of it into the potato. Using your hands, gently lift the potatoes and fish together so they just combine together. Don’t mix too much because you want large chunks of fish!
- Beat the egg in a shallow bowl. Form 8 fish cakes and dip in egg mixture and then in the panko crumbs, patting the crumbs well onto all sides. Transfer to a clean plate and chill for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day.
- Heat oil in a large frying pan. When a breadcrumb dropped into the oil sizzles, it is ready to use. Fry the fish cakes over medium heat for about 5 minutes on each side until crisp and golden. Serve with the tartar sauce and lemon wedges!
Thanks to the BBC for a great recipe!
Keywords: Irish fish cakes, Irish food, fish cakes, irish recipes, fish cakes recipe