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Smoked Mackerel Fishcakes with Herb Crème Fraîche and Little Gem & Apple Salad Recipe

Coating and shaping these chunky, herb-flecked fishcakes is great fun for the kids. If you don’t have any chives or dill, use parsley instead.

Serves 4 Total Time 40 mins


  • 800g floury potatoes, peeled and cut into 4cm cubes   
  • 1 tbsp vegetable or olive oil, plus extra for shallow frying   
  • 1 bunch spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced   
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard  
  • 1 egg, separated  
  • 1⁄2 tsp salt  
  • 300g smoked mackerel, skin and   bones removed, shredded into small flakes   
  • 1 small bunch chives or dill, finely chopped  
  • 2 tbsp plain flour   
  • 8 tbsp panko/dried breadcrumbs 
  • 150g crème fraîche (or use soured cream)   
  • 1 red apple, cored, thinly sliced into half-moons and placed in water with a squeeze of lemon (to stop it discolouring)   
  • 2 little gem lettuce, leaves separated and washed  
  • squeeze of lemon, plus wedges to serve


  1. Boil the potatoes in well-salted water for 15-20 mins until tender. 
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1tbsp oil in a pan and gently fry two-thirds of the spring onions for 2-3 mins until soft. Take off the heat and leave to cool.  
  3. Drain the potatoes and allow to steam dry over a colander before mashing, then set aside to cool. 
  4.  Stir the mustard, egg yolk and salt into the cooled potato. Gently fold in the fish, cooked spring onion and half the herbs. Divide the mixture into 4 even portions, shape into balls, then flatten slightly to about 3 cm thick.  
  5. To coat the fishcakes, put the flour onto a plate; briefly whisk the egg white in a bowl until frothy; and sprinkle the breadcrumbs onto another large plate. Take a fishcake, dust both sides with flour, coat in egg white, then coat in breadcrumbs. Repeat with remaining fishcakes.  
  6. In a small bowl, mix the remaining herbs into the crème fraîche and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Drain the apple and mix with the raw spring onions and the lettuce. Add a squeeze of lemon and season.  
  8. Heat 1⁄2cm oil in a large cast iron or non-stick frying pan over a moderate heat. Fry the fishcakes for 3-4 mins each side until they are golden with a good crust. Remove from the heat and drain on a kitchen towel. Cook in batches, if needed. 
  9. Serve the fishcakes with the salad, crème fraîche and lemon wedges.

Nutritionist, Dr Laura Wyness says: “Mackerel is a fantastic source of omega-3 fatty acids, which is important for heart health, brain function and eyesight. It’s also one of the few foods that’s an excellent source of vitamin D.” 

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