And then there were fishcakes.

So, the other day, out of nowhere, I had this intense desire to make fishcakes. And, when one wants to make fishcakes there is really no other choice but to make said fishcakes.

This is what I had in mind: use mashed up sweet potato and cooked, flaked mackerel along with some minced onion, garlic, chili peppers and fresh ginger to make the cakes. Form them into little patties and fry them in olive oil, and voila! Delicious fishcakes, yes? No.

The first set of problems.

Though I had the right idea, when it came time to fry the cakes up, they turned into a disgusting, oily mush. They didn’t hold together at all. My mistake? I needed something more than just the mashed up sweet potato to bind everything together. Also, the mixture was too warm. Though I had mashed the sweet potato earlier in the day, the mackerel had basically just come out of the oven. So, I put the mixture in the fridge to cool for about an hour. Then, I added 1 egg yolk and two tablespoons of flour to the mixture to help with the binding.

The results.

Hubs eating the cakes. Yum!

A real fishcake! So, after letting the mixture cool and adding the egg yolk and flour, I tried again with the frying method. But, I wasn’t pleased with the results. The outsides were overcooked and the inside was mushy. I think the fishcakes just soaked up too much of the oil, among other problems. Next stop: the oven. I lined a cookie sheet with some tin foil which I also brushed with olive oil. Then, I used a heaping TBSP of the mixture for each cake. I baked them in the oven at 220C for about 20-25 minutes after which I finally had my fishcakes. Huzzah! I think next time I will either lower the heat to 200 or only cook the cakes for 20 minutes because, as you can see from the picture, a few of the edges got overcooked.

Anyhow, I served them with a salad and a chili-lime mayo dipping sauce and received the yum of approval from The Hubs (that’s his lap). Success!

It was a bit of trial and error, but I got there in the end. Enjoy the recipe and I’d love to hear your comments!!


3 medium size sweet potato, baked & mashed

2 mackerel fillets, baked & flaked

1-2 cloves minced garlic (depending on how much you like garlic)

1/2 medium onion, minced

1-2 green chili peppers, minced (again, depending on how spicy you like things)

1 tsp minced ginger

1 egg yolk

2 tbsp flour

salt & pepper to taste

Dipping Sauce

mayo, lime juice and hot sauce

1. Bake your sweet potatoes in the oven until they’re soft. I usually wash the sweet potatoes, then pierce them with a fork a few times, then lay them directly on the oven rack and cook them at 240-250C for about 50 minutes or so. Be sure that you have a cookie sheet underneath them lined with foil to catch the sweet stuff that oozes out! When the potatoes are cooked, remove and let cool completely. Once they are cool, mash them in a big bowl!

2. Bake your mackerel fillets. Mine were frozen fillets, so I defrosted them, then baked on a lined tray for about 20 minutes at 220. Make sure fillets are cooked through and flakey. Set aside and let cool. Once cool, remove meat from skin and flake.

3. Mince your garlic, onions, chilis and ginger. Add some olive oil to a pan and cook until onions are translucent. Remove from heat and set aside until cool.

4. Add flaked fish, garlic, onions, chilis and ginger to sweet potato mash until all ingredients are well incorporated. If the mixture is still a bit warm at this point, cover and let cool in the fridge for about an hour. Then, add your egg yolk and your flour. Combine thoroughly.

5. Line a cookie sheet with foil brushed with oil or wax paper. Then drop a heaping TBSP or so of the mixture onto the sheet. You can form them into cakes if you like or keep them “rugged” looking as I did. 🙂 Put in the oven at 200-220C for about 20 minutes. (*Aside: all ovens were not created equal. My oven is a gas oven and its idea of 200C and my idea of 200C are two very different things. So, take these temps and times as suggestions and adjust according to your oven.)

6. While the cakes are in the oven mix some lime juice, mayo and Tabasco sauce together (to your desired taste) for the dipping sauce.

Enjoy with a salad!!!


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