Haddock Fishcakes


Fishcakes can often be a little bit bland and tasteless: you don’t want to overpower your fish, but you also don’t want to feel like you’re just eating fish and potatoes! Add some smoked fish if you want a stronger flavour but if you want to keep it light and fresh then don’t be shy with your lemon, herbs and seasoning.


  • 400 g white potatoes, peeled
  • 500 g fresh haddock
  • 500 ml full fat milk
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 fish stock cube
  • ½ bunch of spring onions, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed and thinly sliced
  • ½ red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
  • small handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • small handful of chives, chopped
  • juice and zest of ½ lemon
  • 250 g plain flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • salt and pepper

For the Breadcrumbs

  • 3 slices of white bread
  • small handful of fresh herbs, chopped (we use parsley and dill)
  • vegetable oil, for deep frying


Chop your potatoes into large chunks and put into a pan with enough cold water to cover them. Add two pinches of salt, bring to the boil and then simmer until soft. Drain and let them steam dry.

While your potatoes are cooking, place your fish into a large pan or frying pan, cover with milk and add your bay leaves and some black pepper. Simmer your fish very gently until it flakes apart, making sure it doesn’t boil as the milk can separate very easily. Drain your fish into a colander over the sink, pushing the fish down to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Bin the bay leaves and flake the fish into a bowl (removing any stray bones).

Put your stock cube in a small mug, add two tablespoons of boiling water and mix until you have a runny paste. Scrape this paste into the flaked fish and add the spring onions, garlic, chilli, parsley, chives and the lemon juice and zest. Mix well. When the potatoes are completely dry, mash them until there are no lumps, then add to the fish mix. Taste and season well.

To make the breadcrumbs, put the bread and herbs into a food processor and whizz until you have fine textured breadcrumbs.

Place your flour in one bowl, beaten eggs in another and breadcrumbs in another and season each bowl. Roll the fish mix into eight evenly sized balls, then dip each one into the flour, then the egg and then the breadcrumbs, making sure they are fully coated. Place them on a plate or baking tray.

We deep fry ours but they are just as good pan-fried if you prefer. To deep fry, put enough vegetable oil into a large pan or deep fryer to a depth that will fully cover a fishcake: don’t overfill the pan as the oil will bubble up when the fish cakes are added. Heat slowly to 180°C, then carefully add a few fishcakes. Use tongs with your first cake and make sure the oil sizzles as soon as you put it in; remove it and wait if it doesn’t. Fry until the fishcakes are golden brown and start to float in the oil - about five minutes. Remove carefully with a slotted metal spoon and drain on kitchen roll. Put in a warmed oven while you cook the rest of the fishcakes. If you are pan-frying, heat plenty of vegetable oil in a large frying pan, as your fishcakes will soak up the oil and burn if there isn’t enough. We flatten our fishcakes slightly as it makes them easier to cook. Fry them for around five minutes on each side, until crispy and golden brown all over.