I went to the seaside last weekend, ate truly fresh fish and realised that the stuff you pay lots for from upmarket fishmongers is just not worth it; it’ll never hold a candle to the ocean-smelling delights that have just been dragged from the briny deep. So I went hook, line and sinker to the other extreme, bought some super-cheap tinned salmon and we had salmon and sweet potato fish cakes.
Pale pink fish and bright orange sweet potatoes may score low on aesthetics, but these salmon and sweet potato fish cakes are crispy outside and soft within, and they make a deeply satisfying packed lunch.
Fry them in a bit of oil or bake them in the oven (takes longer but is oil light and less effort). They freeze and re-heat fine in the oven or microwave. They’re good on their own, but better with mayo, and better still with a bit of sriracha mixed into that mayo. You can also play around with sweet potato/normal potato, peas/spinach/kale/chard, lemon/lime, salmon/tuna/mackerel: it’s a simple but winning formula.
Juicy Salmon and Sweet Potato Fish Cakes
- 1 large sweet potato - peeled and diced
- 1 handful spinach
- 2 medium egg
- 3 stalks spring onions - chopped
- 1 medium lemon zest - zest
- ½ medium lemon juice - juiced
- 1 tablespoon parsley - chopped
- 1 teaspoon mustard - wholegrain
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch ground black pepper
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon all purpose flour (plain flour Australia and UK)
- 2 tablespoons dried breadcrumbs
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Simmer the sweet potato dice in a saucepan of water until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and mash well in a big bowl. Add the salmon, spinach, 1 egg, spring onions, lemon zest and juice, parsley, mustard, and capers. Include lots of seasoning and the cayenne if you’re using it, and mix thoroughly.
- Form into equal-sized balls, as big or small as you like. If you have time, let the balls sit in the fridge for 15 minutes so they firm up. Put the flour, remaining egg, beaten, and bread crumbs into three separate bowls and dip the fish cakes into them in that order, shaking off the excess.
- For frying: heat a generous dollop of oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and fry the fish cakes for a few minutes on each side, until golden.
- For baking: arrange the fish cakes on a light oiled baking tray. Bake in an oven pre-heated to 180 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes, then flip them and return to cook for another 10 minutes.