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Salmon fishcakes made with herb-crushed potatoes

Ingredients to serve 4-6

300g salmon fillets
400ml milk
2 sprigs of fresh flatleaf parsley, stalks reserved
10 black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
450g potatoes, peeled and chopped into even-sized pieces
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 spring onions, finely chopped
grated zest of 1 lemon
handful of rocket, roughly chopped
2 sprigs of fresh dill
quarter teaspoon cayenne pepper
olive oil, for frying
flour, for dusting

Everyone loves fishcakes, and these are no exception. In this recipe the large, juicy flakes make a lovely contrast to potatoes that are crushed rather than mashed, with chopped fresh herbs, rocket and cayenne pepper – which give the fishcakes a little kick. They are simple to make and economical, too, as they can be made using leftover fish or potatoes. Delicious served with freshly made mayonnaise.

Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Place the salmon fillets skinside down in a roasting tray. Cover with milk, add the parsley stalks, black peppercorns and bay leaves and cover tightly with tin foil. Poach in the oven for 20 minutes until cooked.

Bring the potatoes to the boil in a pan of salted water. When they are soft, drain and roughly crush them. You are not making a smooth mash here; you want some texture.

When the potatoes are cool, add the spring onions, lemon zest and rocket. Chop the parsley leaves and the dill together. Add the chopped herbs to the potatoes with salt, pepper and the cayenne pepper. Mix together, continuing to break up the potatoes without creating a smooth mash.

When the salmon is cooked, remove from the milk and allow to drain. Flake the salmon and discard any bones or skin. Add the fish to the potato and herb mixture. When mixing together, keep the fish in as large pieces as possible.

Fry a little of the mixture to taste the fishcakes before you roll them all. Adjust the seasoning with salt and black pepper, if desired. Roll the remaining mixture into balls that fit into the palm of your hand or just smaller than a tennis ball. Lightly dust the balls with flour, pat, and then flatten into fishcakes.

If the mixture is too wet, add a little extra flour to soak up some of the moisture and hold the fishcakes together.

From 'Fish Tales' Bart van Olphen and Tom Kine (Kyle Cathie, £19.99).