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?