The greatest fish cakes with tartare sauce

Paul Bloxham rustles up a real fishy feast with a terrific tartare sauce and the tastiest, greatest fish cakes of all
By Paul Bloxham
The greatest fish cakes with tartare sauce
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: medium



  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • 125 ml vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, grated
  • 1 tbsp tarragon, finely chopped
  • 2 spring onions, (green parts only) chopped
  • 2 tsp cornichons, chopped
  • 2 tsp capers, hopped
  • 1½ tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped

For the fish cakes:

  • 6 large red potatoes, quartered
  • 250 g butter
  • black pepper
  • 1 kg salmon
  • handful of mixed herbs, chives, parsley, fennel and dill etc), finely chopped
  • 2 shallots, thinly chopped
  • 4 spring onions, thinly chopped
  • 3 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, eeded and finely chopped
  • zest and juice of 1 lemons
  • 2 egg yolks, plus 2 eggs for bread crumbing
  • fresh white crumbs or Japanese panko crumbs
  • flour and milk
  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil, for frying

To garnish:

  • fried sprigs parsley
  • slices lemons

Tips and Suggestions

Raw or lightly cooked eggs should not be served to young children, elderly people, invalids and pregnant women, because of the risk of salmonella poisoning.


1. To make the tartare sauce, first make the mayonnaise. In a food processor or blender, combine the egg, lemon juice and Dijon mustard. Process on high speed for 15 seconds. With the motor running, pour the oil through the feed tube in a slow, steady stream and process until emulsified. Add the salt and cayenne, and pulse to blend.

2. Transfer the mayonnaise to a medium bowl and fold in the remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours before serving. Both mayonnaise and tartar sauce should be used within 24 hours.

3. For the fish cakes, bring the potatoes to the boil in plenty of salted water. Turn down the heat and cook for 20 minutes. Drain and mash thoroughly to get rid of lumps. Add 4 tablespoons butter and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

4. Cube the salmon and toss with the herbs, shallots, spring onions, garlic, chilli lemon zest and juice, marinate for 2 to 3 minutes.

5. Mix the salmon and potatoes together; the ratio of potato to fish should be 40:60. Season well and mould into sized balls enough for 2 bites per portion. Chill for at least ½ an hour.

6. Set up 3 bowls. One with flour, one with 2 eggs whisked with a splash of milk and one with breadcrumbs. Dust the fish cakes with flour, and then dip them into the egg mix and then the breadcrumbs. Repeat the egg and breadcrumb stage.

7. Heat the sunflower oil in frying pan until very hot and fry the cakes for 3 or 4 minutes on each side until golden brown. Drain them on paper towels.

8. Garnish with fried parsley, slices of lemon and tartar sauce.

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