Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Smoked Salmon Cakes - A Fishy Tale

golden salmon cakes with pickled cucumbers and yoghurt dressing  

Remember your childhood days?  When your mum made fish cakes with lots of mashed potato 'cos it was cheap and filling, and the fish was the cheapest sort out of a can?  Well, our mum did have 6 mouths to feed, and not much money, so think kindly of her.  These days I like to make mine a wee bit more special, so I add some smoked salmon and leave out the tatties altogether:)  (I nearly said "taters" there; I can hear Samwise Gamgee's voice in my head telling Gollum that you can boil 'em, mash 'em or put 'em in a stew.)  You don't need to worry about any of that in this recipe:=)  Of course if I were Eliza Acton or Mrs Beeton I would suggest "first catch your fish", but you don't have to worry about that either, unless you really want to, precioussss.

When we were kids, we lived in the country, just near the Puffing Billy railway track.  It is a beautiful old steam train, lovingly maintained and supported by train enthusiasts.  And there is a wonderful old trestle bridge (which I have mentioned in a previous post), which overlooks Monbulk Creek.  It is into this creek that we would fall every summer. And where we fished for yabbies (crayfish) with bits of string and safety pins.  I am not sure we ever caught any, and I doubt that anyone in the family would have eaten them anyway.  Dad was a meat and 3 veg kind of guy, though we did eat flake (gummy shark) fairly regularly.  So I have almost no fishing experience, and therefore must buy my fish for this dish in a can!              


1 x 415g. can of red salmon, well drained
50g. smoked salmon
2 eggs, separated
2 tbs mayonnaise
2 tsp wholegrain mustard
1 tbs chopped dill (I used 3 tsp dill paste as no fresh was available)
1 tbs lightly dried parsley
1 tsp paprika
4 spring onions, finely sliced
grated rind and juice of a lemon or lime
freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup breadcrumbs  (I used ciabatta and blitzed it in the processor)
3/4 to 1 cup cornflake crumbs  (use breadcrumbs if you prefer)
2-3 tbs olive oil


Place both salmons, the egg yolks, mayo, mustard, dill, paprika, spring onions, lemon zest and juice, pepper and breadcrumbs into a food processor
Blitz briefly till you have a coarse mixture
Scoop it out with a large spoon and shape into 6 (or 7) large or 12 small patties
Beat the egg whites with a fork
Coat the patties with the egg whites then the cornflake crumbs
Place in the fridge for 20 minutes to relax and chill out
Heat the oil over a medium heat
Give the patties a minute on each side till golden
Place them on a lined baking tray and into a 180C oven for 5 mins.

throw everything bar the egg whites and cornflake crumbs into the processor

salmon cakes crumbed and about to go in the fridge for a wee rest before frying and baking 

Serve these with pickled cucumber, yoghurt dressing and small potatoes.  (see, I couldn't resist those tatties after all).

Pickled cucumber:

Peel one small cucumber
Slice into 1 cm thick rounds
Place in a non-reactive bowl (glass or plastic)
Add 2 tbs white vinegar and 2 tbs lime or lemon juice
Throw in some salt and pepper to taste 
Set aside for about 20 minutes till it softens

cucumbers before going into the fridge to pickle  

Yoghurt dressing:

1 cup plain, thick yoghurt
2 tbs lime or lemon juice
1/2 to 1 tsp raspberry vinegar
1-2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
herbs of your choice - dill, parsley, mint etc.  I used 2 tsp lightly dried parsley, 1 tsp dill paste and 1/2 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste (I used lime salt)
Mix together and chill for 10 minutes

mixing the yoghurt dressing   


as many as you fancy per person!
Peel them (or not) as you please
Steam or boil till half way cooked
Toss in olive oil and seasoning (and herbs if you like)
Bake in a 190C oven for about 15 minutes or until tender
Throw on a few dabs of butter at the end:)

cute little tatties in butter and herbs 

an egg? No, a potato!:) 

frying the cakes till golden 

ready to eat!

Well folks this was delicious, may I say?  The cucumbers were a big win as Mr P. told me just before I made them that he didn't like this particular type of cucumber.   What the?!  For the third time in recent history, he has floored me with his secret and previously unspoken dislikes.  Who is this man I married?  Anyway, he ate them and he liked them!

Winter is not a good time for fresh herbs so I ended up using dried herbs and paste. The flavours were still fresh and zingy, so it wasn't a bad thing at all.  The salmon cake recipe has been adapted from a tinned fish ad I found in an old Delicious magazine. The accompaniments were my own invention.  This meal serves 3 people, or 2 with leftovers.  I foresee a fish cake sandwich in my near future:=)


  1. I can attest to the deliciousness of this fabulous dinner. The whole combo was ace. So says Mr Pickings!

  2. Who, that's a trip down memory lane! Saving for later as that's a childhood memory I want to share! Thank you.

    1. hi mrs tubbs
      yes they were very tasty! and they do bring back the memories.

  3. I have the most vivid memory of fish cakes in kindergarten. I hated them and wouldn't eat them. But as an adult I love them! :)

    1. did the kindergarten feed them to you lorraine? how odd:)

  4. Yum! My mum used to make lovely fish cakes, and these remind me of those.

  5. Yes, I remember! I love salmon cakes...my Mum used to make them and they are such a comfort food. We used to teach them at Jamie's Ministry of Food and they were a favourite.

    1. Is that the one at Ipswich ? How fascinating Jem.


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