Traditional Irish Cod Fish Cakes

Traditional Irish Cod Fish Cakes

Fish cakes are Irish traditional fare at its very best. These little wonders are created by combining mashed potatoes, flaked cooked fish, and herbs, then formed into individual cakes and coated in breadcrumbs before frying.

This is a perfect recipe for using leftover mashed potatoes, if such a thing ever exists. But don’t worry you can always boil a few spuds for mashing to make these delicious and economical fish cakes.

Cod fish cakes may be simple but are ever so tasty. Traditional Irish fish cakes often use salmon or a mixture of salmon and whitefish but, for now, here’s a recipe that uses just cod.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
Serves: 4

To poach the fish:

butter or oil (for frying the fish cakes)
1 lb cod fillets
1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 Small onion (peeled and sliced)
1 cup milk
To make the fish cakes:
2 cups mashed potatoes
1 lb flaked cooked cod
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1 or 2 cloves minced garlic
1 Small egg (for binding the fish cakes)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup flour (for dusting the fish cakes)
2 Large beaten eggs (for coating the fish cakes)
1 cup fine breadcrumbs (for coating the fish cakes)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)


To Poach The Fish

[1] Pour the milk into a large saucepan and add the sliced onion and peppercorns.

[2] Bring the liquid to simmering point. Do not boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the cod fillets and simmer for 7 to 10 minutes depending on the thickness of your fish.

[3] Remove the pan from the heat and allow the fish to cool in the liquid. Remove the fish with a slotted spoon. Reserve the liquid, which may be needed to bind the fish cakes.

To Make The Fish Cakes

[4] Flake the fish into a large mixing bowl, taking care to remove all the bones.

[5] Add the mashed potatoes, minced garlic, parsley, salt and pepper and combine well together. Add the Parmesan cheese if desired.

[6] Add the beaten egg and bind the mixture. If the mixture is too dry add some of the reserved poaching milk. If the mixture is too wet and sticky add a little flour.

[7] Using floured hands form the mixture into flat cakes.

[8] Set up 3 bowls, one with flour, one with beaten egg and the other with breadcrumbs.

[9] Coat each fish cake in flour. Dip it in egg and then coat in breadcrumbs. Repeat with the rest of the fish cakes.

[10] Heat the butter or oil in a large skillet. Fry the fish cakes for about 5 minutes on the first side or until nicely golden brown. Flip the fish cake and brown for 4 to 5 minutes on the other side. Cook in 2 separate batches.

[11] Serve hot with a side of vegetables or a crisp green salad.