Smoked Mackerel Fishcakes

Mackerel is characteristically recognised by the dark, zigzag lines on its back. Fresh mackerel has good flavour and texture.

As well as being delicious, this is also one of the healthiest fish available full of omega 3 oils.

Smoked mackerel can be whole, or filleted, selected for its oil content; it is hot smoked in a kiln to cure it. This process produces a juicy product which really does enhance the flavour of the mackerel.

Ingredients:                                                               Serves 8 starter portions

For the Fishcakes:

500g medium potatoes

3 Tbsp Creamed horseradish

500g Smoked mackerel fillets – broken into chunky flakes, pin bones removed

1 bunch Spring onions finely chopped

1 Tbsp Dill leaves finely chopped

1 Lemon – grated zest

1 Free range egg beaten

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

4 Tbsp plain flour seasoned with salt & pepper for dusting

4 Free range eggs beaten

400g Panko breadcrumbs

2 – 3 Tbsp Oil (vegetable/sunflower oil) for frying


1. Peel and chop potatoes and then boil or steam. Mash with a little butter, but no milk or cream. You want a fairly solid mash.

2. Flake the fish into a bowl and mix thoroughly with the potato, horseradish, spring onion, dill, and lemon zest. Taste the mixture and adjust to taste – need more horseradish? Need more lemon zest? Season with pepper and salt if needed (remember smoked fish is pretty salty).

3. Crack the egg into a little dish and whisk briefly with a fork to combine white and yolk. Add egg to fishy mixture to help combine.

4. Shape into fishcakes, approximately 60g in weight. Place the cakes in the fridge for an hour or so to set – they will hold their shape better upon cooking.

5. Dust each cake in seasoned flour, dip in egg wash (beaten eggs), and cover with Panko breadcrumbs.

5. Heat a little oil and in a large non-stick frying pan and cook the fishcakes until crisp and golden – around 7 minutes on one side, turn them over and finish in the oven for remaining cooking time.

6. Serve thecakes with a refreshing homemade tartare sauce and a wedge of lemon.

All smoked fish works nicely with midsummer ingredients, especially lettuce and members of the pea and bean family. Smoked haddock would be a contender to replace the mackerel in my fishcake recipe.