• March 12, 2014

    Crispy Potato-Fish Cakes

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    I went out for a nice run last night and was so grateful for the extra hour of sunlight provided by daylight savings time last weekend. It was so wonderful to be able to get some fresh air after dinner that it sent me into a total gratitude spiral.

    I felt so lucky to have this insanely beautiful seawall in Vancouver to enjoy every day. I’m so thankful to live in a safe, clean place where views are just mind-blowing and the weather is conducive to year-round outdoor activity.

    And I’m very grateful for my mobility – something most of us are lucky enough not to give a second thought. But I’ve sustained enough minor running injuries (and a recent c-section, broken toe, broken rib, etc.) to feel appreciation for my body every time I bounce along a running trail without any discomfort, just two feet and a heartbeat. Fitness is something you lose if you don’t use – not to be taken for granted.

    I felt grateful for my husband who lovingly takes care of baby while I have some personal time for exercise, and thankful for the belly full of spaghetti and meatballs – which were giving me side cramps that reminded me how fortunate we are to have nutrition in abundance…

    Anyway, I find being grateful makes me a happy person, and gratitude is contagious, so I thought I’d share it.


    I’m also sharing fish cakes – something very Atlantic-Canadian (my roots!) and very much comfort food to me. They are traditionally made with salt cod, but I prefer fresh. You can sub in salmon, if you like (or halibut, but it tends to be pricier). OR even two cans of tuna or salmon.

    A crisp, golden exterior belies a soft, mashed-potato centre with buttery chunks of cod and bright shards of green onion. I serve it on a bed of lemon- and olive oil-dressed greens, with lots of this quick, tangy tartar sauce. Adarsh likes to pile his into a pita.



    Crispy Potato-Fish Cakes

    A quick and delicious potato fish cake recipe. Great with fresh or canned fish, and a tasty way to use up leftover mashed potato. 

    Course Appetizer
    Cuisine American
    Prep Time 15 minutes
    Cook Time 20 minutes
    Total Time 35 minutes
    Servings 4
    Author Jennifer Pallian


    • 2 tbsp + 5 tbsp vegetable oil divided
    • 1 lb boneless cod filet
    • salt and pepper
    • 2 cups mashed potato leftover, or just microwave 2 potatoes skin-on
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 green onion white and green parts, minced
    • up to 1 cup fresh bread crumbs I grate a frozen bun on a box grater
    • 1/4 cup all purpose flour

    For tartar sauce:

    • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
    • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
    • 1 1/2 tbsp brined capers
    • 2 tbsp minced fresh parsley
    • 1 green onion white and green parts, minced
    • Salt to taste


    1. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add cod, season with salt and pepper; cook until just barely opaque and flakey - better to ever-so-slightly undercook the fish than overcook it at this stage, as you'll be cooking it again in the cakes.
    2. Transfer to a bowl and break into large flakes with your hands. Add mashed potato, egg, green onion and enough bread crumbs so that the mixture holds a patty shape (if using leftover mash with milk or other liquid added, you'll definitely need the whole cup of crumbs). Use your hands or a big spoon to work everything together until well-combined.
    3. Place flour on a shallow plate. Form potato mixture into 16 equal patties between the palms of your hands, dredging both sides in the flour and transferring to a baking sheet as you go. Refrigerate fish cakes 20 minutes to firm up.
    4. Wipe out the fish skillet and return to medium heat; add remaining oil. When shimmering hot, add several fish cakes - you'll need to cook them in a few batches to avoid over-crowding the pan. Serve with tartar sauce.

    To make tartar sauce:

    1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl, whisking together with a fork. Season with salt to taste.


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