Recipe: Quick & Easy Peppered Mackerel Fishcakes

Last year we saw a dietician and were recommended to try and get more oily fish into our diet. It’s not something we regularly ate, mainly because we’re weren’t huge fans when we were younger, and also for budget reasons. Fish is expensive, and salmon certainly is. If I’m spending that much on dinner, I’d prefer something a bit more exciting…

However we have come round to the idea, I’ve developed a couple of salmon recipes that we really enjoy (I’ll pop some up asap!), and we’ve also been trying other types of oily fish. Mackerel has definitely become a new favourite! Whether it’s grilling it whole (delicious with an orange and watercress salad), or buying it peppered to flake into other dishes, it’s delicious and budget friendly. In fact, the peppered stuff is cheaper than buying chicken and has become a fridge/freezer staple for us.

And this is our absolute favourite recipe for peppered mackerel. The perfect comfort food on a colder day, these peppered mackerel fishcakes are also perfect for using up any excess mashed potato – we usually make extra mashed potato just so we can make these! Making your own fishcakes from scratch seems like a bit of a daunting task at first (shop-bought ones are delicious, it seems a faff to do it at home!) but these are well worth it.

As a handy tip, if you want to up the protein in these you can hardboil an egg and very finely chop it before mixing it into the mixture.

Recipe – Serves 2 (makes 4 fishcakes – they freeze really well, so double up (keep egg/flour/breadcrumbs quantity the same if you want to avoid waste)

  • 200g cold mashed potato
  • 1 tsp English mustard
  • 4 spring onions, outer layer peeled off and the inner finely sliced
  • 200g peppered mackerel
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 sliced seeded bread (we used the end piece), whizzed to make breadcrumbs

In a large bowl, mix the potato, spring onions, mustard and mackerel (peel off and discard the skin, and flake the flesh into large chunks, removing any large bones), then shape into 4 evenly sized cakes. Roll the fishcakes in the flour, dip in the beaten egg, then roll in the breadcrumb. Pop on a plate and chill until ready to cook. Here they can be frozen (freeze on a tray then gather into a bag once frozen, defrost fully before cooking).

To cook, I like to fry in a little vegetable oil for 5 minutes on one side, flip and continue frying, then pop the frying pan into the oven whilst I cook any veg (these go really well with broccoli and sweetcorn).You can also grill or oven-cook them, but they get the best crunchy coating if you fry!

These peppered mackerel fishcakes are so quick, so tasty, so easy to make – and pretty cheap too!

Are you a fan of oily fish? Any recipes you recommend I try?

Recipe: Fish Finger Tacos

Confession time – I love me a fish finger sandwich. Yes, I might be a food blogger, a food snob, a lover of fine dining (both out in restaurants and in my own home), but something about a slice of white bread (pre-sliced is best here, I reserve this stuff for fish finger sandwiches and crisp sandwiches only), lightly buttered, topped with blisteringly hot and crispy fish fingers with a splash of malt vinegar is a wonderful thing.

I also love adding salt’n’vinegar crisps to a fish finger sandwich too – my favourite study day lunch right there!

However, this is a slightly posher version of the fish finger sandwich. A soft tortilla wrap (I prefer corn ones), creamy yet spicy chipotle soured cream, a zingy slaw and pink pickled onions, wrapped around a couple of fish fingers. You can go all out and use the best ‘fish goujans’ you can find, but here I’ve used Young’s (not a sponsored post, just my preferred brand) and they worked perfectly.

The vinegar used to pickle the onions keeps it tasting like the fish finger sandwich I know and love, the slaw adds veggies and crunch, and the soured cream adds both spice and a bit of moisture. You could also stir the soured cream in to make a creamier slaw, but I’ve kept them separate.

The best thing? If you’ve got the onions in the fridge (they keep for a good month, just don’t tightly seal the lid) this can be whipped up in around 15 minutes. It’s the perfect midweek dinner!

Recipe (for two, leftover slaw is great on jacket potatoes)

  • For the onions – 2 red onions (sliced), 100ml cider vinegar, 100ml water, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 Scotch Bonnet chilli (finely chopped)
  • 4 tortillas
  • 8 fish fingers
  • 1/2 small pot of soured cream (about 4-5 tbsp)
  • 1 tsp chipotle paste
  • 1/3 of a red cabbage, finely sliced
  • 1 salad onion, finely sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, spiralized (or use a vegetable peeled)
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime, plus lime wedges to serve if you like
  • Coriander

To make the pink pickled onions, pop the sliced onion in a sieve and slowly pour over a kettle of boiling water, followed by rinsing under the cold tap. Transfer to a glass jar, add the rest of the ingredients and stir well. Store in the fridge for up to a month, though they are best eaten within a week. You’ll need to let them rest for 2-4 hours before eating or they’ll be too crunchy and ‘oniony.’

For the tacos, simply cook your fish fingers according to the packet. Toss your sliced cabbage, spring onion and carrot with the zest and juice of a lime, stir through some chopped coriander and taste for seasoning. Stir together the soured cream and chipotle paste, and warm your tortillas briefly (either in a microwave or in a dry frying pan).

Once everything is ready you can build your tacos – I like a layer of soured cream, followed by a pile of slaw, then fish fingers topped with the pink pickled onions. Add a squeeze of lime – and that’s a wrap!

This is the perfect quick and easy dinner, but it’s also so tasty. It really hits the spot and I can imagine it being a staple in the summer when it’s too hot to be in the kitchen for long. Delicious!

Are you a fan of a fish finger sandwich?