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Smoked fish cakes with coriander, lemon and chilli

Serves   4 (as a starter)
Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 15 mins

These little parcels of smoky goodness are the perfect starter or finger food for a gathering of friends. It’s a great way to use up leftover mashed potato and the smoked fish really packs some flavour.





  • 300 grams mashed potato
  • 250 grams smoked fish, bones removed
  • 1 red chilli, finely sliced
  • 3 tablespoons finely sliced spring onions, green parts only
  • small handful of coriander, finely chopped
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • To cook:
  • flour (for dusting)
  • canola oil (for frying)

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  1. Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix until well combined. Shape the mixture into 12 evenly-sized fish cakes, about 5cm in diameter. Cover and place in the fridge for 20 minutes to firm up. (These can be made the day before.)
  2. To cook:Heat 3 inches of canola oil in a deep pan to about 180°C. (If you have a cooking thermometer it’s a good idea to use it. Otherwise, you can test if the oil is hot enough by adding a piece of raw potato and leaving it for about a minute – if it sizzles and browns, it’s ready.) Lightly dust each fish cake in flour and shake off any excess.
  3. Lower into the pan and cook for about 4 minutes. (Depending on the size of your pan you may need to do this in batches.) Turn the fish cakes every so often, until golden brown and crunchy. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels and keep warm.
  4. Serve with wedges of lemon and a little sweet Thai chilli sauce for dipping, if you like.


Take care not to overcrowd the pan when frying the fish cakes, otherwise the oil temperature will drop and the cakes will go mushy as they absorb the oil, instead of crisping up. I cook three at a time to ensure a nice crispy outer crust.