Cheesy fish cakes with spring onions


Granny’s fish cakes marked the start of a lifelong passion for me. Granny often made the more usual kind with salmon - usually tinned Canadian - and potato, but sometimes she produced these, which are delicious and lighter as they do not include potato.


  • 350 g naturally smoked cod or haddock fillet, skinned
  • 75 g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • bunch of spring onions
  • 100 g mature Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 teaspoon small capers
  • ½-1 level teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 large egg, plus 1 egg yolk
  • plain flour for dusting
  • generous knob of butter sea salt


Check the fish fillets for any small bones, then chop them up as finely as you can and put into a bow, with the breadcrumbs. Trim and finely slice the spring onions across, using as much of the green part as possible, then add to the bowl with the grated cheese, capers, cayenne pepper and a sprinkling of salt. Mix all together thoroughly with a wooden spoon.

In a small bowl, whisk the whole egg and egg yolk to combine and then stir into the fish mixture. With well-floured hands, take up small handfuls of the mixture and shape into fairly small fish cakes.

Heat the butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat. You will probably have to cook the fish cakes in two batches. Fry them for 5-8 minutes on each side until golden brown, turning carefully with a spatula once only. Transfer to a heated dish. (If necessary you can keep the fish cakes warm in a low oven for up to half an hour.) Serve with good mayonnaise or aioli, or even a good ketchup.