Traditional Irish Fish Cakes

Fish cakes are a popular food all around Ireland. Since Ireland is an island surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, there is virtually unlimited access to fresh fish. While the primary method of cooking fish used to be boiling, a variety of methods for creating fish dishes are now utilized all over Ireland. The creation of fish cakes occurred during times of the Great Famine, also known as the potato famine. Fish cakes used inexpensive and accessible foods like fish and potatoes to create a filling and relatively healthy meal. Many recipes for traditional Irish fish cakes call for a combination of salmon and whitefish (which is also delicious!). However, this recipe uses only whitefish and potatoes. It is perfect served with creamy tartar sauce and a light side salad.

Servings: 8 cakes and 3/4 cup tartar sauce

Ingredients:

Tartar sauce:

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons diced pickles

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon small capers

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

Fish Cakes:

1 pound flaked cod, haddock, or similar whitefish

1 cup mashed potatoes

3 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped

2 tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (optional)

2 large eggs

1/2 cup all-purpose flour + more as needed

1 cup plain breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons butter (plus more as needed)

2 tablespoons olive oil (plus more as needed)

 Directions:

For the tartar sauce, combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Place in the fridge until the fish cakes are ready to go.

In a large bowl, combine the flaked fish, mashed potatoes, chopped parsley, dill, minced garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper, parmesan cheese (optional), and 1 lightly beaten egg. If the mixture is too dry, you can add another egg or some water. If it’s too wet, add flour.

Form the mixture into 8 flat cakes.

Arrange three plates. Add 1/2 cup flour to one. Add 1 lightly beaten egg to the second. Add breadcrumbs to a third.

Coat each fish cake in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs. Place on a greased plate.

Add butter and olive oil to a large skillet. Fry fishcakes until golden brown, approximately 4-5 minutes per side. Cook in batches if necessary – do not overcrowd the pan. If cooking in batches, add more olive oil and butter as needed before starting each batch.

Serve with lemon wedges and arugula.

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