Pollock fish cakes with fennel and ginger

Arthur Potts Dawson adds subtle Asian flavours to an old family favourite
By Arthur Potts Dawson
Pollock fish cakes with fennel and ginger
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: medium


  • 400-500 ml milk, or enough to cover the fish
  • 350 g pollock fillet, skin and bones removed, cut into thick pieces
  • 1 bulbs fennel, leafy tops reserved
  • 1 red chilli, halved
  • 350 g cold mashed potato
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 2.5 cm piece fresh ginger
  • 2 spring onions, green tops only, shredded
  • plain flour, for dusting/shaping
  • 3 eggs
  • 80-100 g Japanese panko breadcrumbs
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • 2 handfuls mixed salad leaves
  • olive oil, for dressing
  • balsamic vinegar, for dressing
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges


1. Bring the milk up to a gentle simmer in a wide, heavy-based pan, then lower the fish into the pan.

2. Add some chopped fennel tops and one half of the chilli to the milk and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Poach the fish for about 6-8 minutes, or until it flakes easily. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

3. Put the potato and shallots into a large mixing bowl.

4. Grate the ginger as finely as possible using a microplane, then chop it down further with a knife. Mix 1-2 teaspoons of the ginger into the potato.

5. Finely dice half the bulb of fennel and add to the potato mix. Finely chop the remaining half of the chilli and add it to the mix with the shredded green tops of the spring onions.

6. Strain the fish (discarding the milk) and flake it into the potato mixture. Stir until combined and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Form the mixture into small rounds and put onto a plate.

7. Put some flour on one plate. Crack the eggs into a shallow bowl and beat together lightly. Lastly, put the breadcrumbs on a third plate.

8. Coat each fishcake first in flour, then egg and lastly in the breadcrumbs.

9. Heat some vegetable oil in a deep pan. When hot enough to fry (you can test with a cube of bread), carefully add the fishcakes. Fry until golden, then drain onto kitchen paper.

10. To serve, dress the salad leaves with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve alongside the fishcakes with a wedge of lemon.

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