Seared Fillets of Pilchards with Potato Pancakes and Soured Cream and Mustard Dressing

Enjoy a delicious meal with Martin Blunos's recipe for pan-fried pilchard fillets with potato pancakes and soured cream sauce
By Martin Blunos
Seared Fillets of Pilchards with Potato Pancakes and Soured Cream and Mustard Dressing
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes plus 20 resting
  • Effort: medium



  • 8 fresh pilchards, filleted, skin on
  • olive oil, for brushing
  • freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • black pepper
  • sprigs watercress, to garnish

For the potato pancakes:

  • 500 g potatoes, peeled
  • black pepper
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 4 egg whites
  • 3 tbsp double cream
  • pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • clarified butter, (ghee)

For the soured cream and mustard dressing:

  • 150 ml soured cream
  • 1 tbsp grain mustard
  • salt
  • milk, for thinning


1. First make the potato pancakes. Boil the potatoes in a large saucepan of lightly salted water until tender. Drain well and set aside to dry for 20 minutes.

2. Push the potatoes through a ricer or drum sieve into a large bowl and set aside to cool. Sift the flour over the cooled potatoes and mix together.

3. Gently beat the eggs and egg whites together and add to the potato and flour mixture.

4. Mix in the cream and season with salt, freshly ground pepper and grated nutmeg.

5. Lightly grease a heavy-based, non-stick frying pan with clarified butter and heat through.

6. To make the pancakes drop a few tablespoonfuls of the potato mixture, spacing them well apart. Fry until the mixture sets, flip over and fry until golden brown on both sides. Keep the potato pancakes warm until serving.

7. Prepare the dressing by mixing together the soured cream and mustard. Season with salt and thin with a little milk, if necessary.

8. Heat a large non-stick frying pan until hot. Brush the pilchard fillets with a little olive oil and add to the pan, skin side down.

9. Fry over a high heat for 2 minutes, flip over and turn off the heat. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

10. Serve the pilchard fillets at once with the potato pancakes and the soured cream and mustard dressing, garnished with a watercress sprigs.

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