Salmon Cakes

A medieval fish patties recipe found on
Salmon Cakes

These fish cakes are based on the osterhlaf (a seafood loaf). Salmon is mentioned by Ælfric (an English abbot, and prolific writer who lived around 955 to 1010) but other fish could be used. These are individual patties rather than one large loaf which is difficult to manage cooking on a modern cooker. The oatmeal gives them a light crunchy texture, quite different from fish cakes made with potato.

400 g (14 oz) salmon
1 large egg, beaten
1 tablespoon onion, minced/chopped
20-40 g (3/4-1 1/2 oz) oatmeal
2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil


[1] Gently cook the salmon in a pan, it should still be firm but cooked through. Allow to cool a little(so the egg doesn’t cook).

[2] Chop up the onion. Beat the egg.

[3] Put the salmon in a dish and break it into small flakes with a fork. Add the onion and egg. Add the oatmeal, mixing with your hands. You have added enough when you can make firm patties

[4] Make the mixture into patties about 2 inches / 5 cm across.

[5] Heat a little oil in a frying pan. Add the patties and brown gently on both sides – keep the heat quite low or they will scorch. Take care when turning as they can break up easily.

[6] Remove and drain on kitchen paper while you cook the next batch. Once all the patties are cooked, serve them with watercress or seasonal vegetables.