Fish cakes with dill tartar sauce

Preparation time
30 mins to 1 hour

Cooking time
less than 10 mins

Serves 4

From The Hairy Bikers' Comfort Food


For the fish cakes

  • 400g/14oz cold mashed potato
  • 500g/1lb 2oz poached salmon
  • 100g/3½oz hot smoked salmon
  • 1 lemon, zest only
  • small bunch dill
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

To coat

  • plain flour
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 100g/3½oz panko breadcrumbs

For the dill tartare sauce

  • 1 free-range egg yolk
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 250ml/9fl oz neutral-tasting oil, such as sunflower or groundnut
  • 4 tbsp cornichons, drained, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp capers, drained, finely chopped
  • few snips chives
  • small bunch dill, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, juice only

To fry

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • large knob of butter
  • salmon caviar, to serve (optional)


  1. For the fish cakes, put the mashed potato in a bowl and break up with a fork. Flake in the salmon, then season well with salt and pepper and add the lemon zest and dill. Stir well to combine – you can use your hands for this, then shape into eight fish cakes. Chill in the freezer for 10 minutes if possible, just to firm up before you coat them.

  2. To coat, divide the plain flour, one of the eggs and half the breadcrumbs over three plates. Dip the fish cakes in each plate, in that order, shaking off excess as you go. This does get messy, so do it in two batches. If you have time, chill the coated fishcakes to firm up – this time in the fridge and for at least 20 minutes, preferably longer.

  3. To fry, heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan. Fry the fish cakes on each side for a few minutes until they have developed a good golden-brown crust and the centres are hot.

  4. To make the tartare sauce, put the egg yolk in a bowl or food processor with a generous pinch of salt and the mustard. Whisk or pulse briefly, then very gradually start adding the oil. When you have an emulsion, you can start adding the oil in a steady, slightly faster stream until it is all incorporated and you have a thick mayonnaise. Stir through the remaining ingredients.

  5. Serve the fish cakes with a dollop of salmon caviar and the tartare sauce on the side.