Delicious Fish Cakes – from leftovers

Delicious Fish Cakes - From Leftovers
Delicious Fish Cakes - from leftovers

Who doesn’t love delicious fish cakes fried till golden brown and crispy with their coating of panko breadcrumbs and chock full of leftover tasty salmon and mashed potatoes. Add to that fresh shallots, dill, lemon zest, horseradish and some grated parmesan for that added umami flavour and we think you’ll be in fish cake heaven.

Having leftovers in the fridge after baking a whole salmon served with boiled new potatoes, and a delicious chive butter sauce made putting these together super easy. Don’t you just love having leftover bits, and bobs in the fridge to make another tasty meal with, we know we do.

We like a good ratio of fish to potatoes so we used 50/50 potatoes to salmon. It’s best to gently flake the salmon so that you have some nice sized flakes, and preferably not have the mashed potatoes smooth, but rather a little lumpy to add a great texture to the fish cakes.

Ingredients to make Delicious Fish Cakes - from leftovers


Black Pepper
Oil for frying

Shopping List

Fish Fillets
Horseradish or Dijon Mustard
Parmesan Cheese
Fresh Dill
Green Shallots/Scallions
Panko Breadcrumbs

Of course you very probably don’t have leftover salmon and cold potatoes in your fridge to whip these babies up, so gently steam any fish you prefer.

Umami Flavour Bomb

Parmesan cheese is a secret weapon umami flavour bomb, and adds an essence of deliciousness that doesn’t taste cheesy at all, but deepens the flavour of the combined fish cake flavours.

Once you’ve prepared the fish cakes and rolled them in the panko crumbs refrigerate the cakes for half an hour or so, which allows the mixture to firm up for frying.

Handy Tip for Getting Even Sized Fish Cakes

Once the mixture is ready, turn it out onto a chopping board and using wet hands gently shape the mixture into a circular shape that is of even thickness. Use a sharp knife to cut the mixture into eight evenly sized wedges. Again with wet hands gently shape the wedges into a round, and then slightly flatten the fish cake to resemble a rissole. This allows you to quickly and evenly portion the fish cakes.

Once you’ve covered the fish cakes in the breadcrumbs they can be frozen at this stage ready to whip out for an amazing dinner. You can wither wrap them individually or spread them out on a sheet of baking paper and cover with another sheet of paper then wrap in cling film and freeze for up to 3 months.

Why do My Fish Cakes Fall Apart

The downfall of fish cakes that fall apart when frying them usually results in the mashed potatoes being too wet. The secret is to have a dryish potato mash leaving some lumps which provide texture. Make sure that you drain the potatoes well before mashing them.

What to Serve with Fish Cakes

We love to serve fish cakes with a really good easy-homemade-tartare-sauce. It’s a superb accompaniment to the fish cakes and the piquant sauce marries beautifully with the crunchy breadcrumb exterior and moist centre of the fish cakes. Frozen peas is also wonderful served along side. Peas, mash and salmon is a great flavour combination.

Can I Use Canned Salmon

Fresh salmon can be expensive so a large can of sustainably caught salmon will deliver incredibly flavoured fish cakes. Use salmon that is in a brine, rather than oil and drain it extremely well removing any bits of skin, or bones and gently flake the salmon apart into largish flakes. Very economical!

Watch How To Make Delicious Fish Cakes – From Leftovers

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Easy homemade tartare sauce is a superb accompaniment to battered fish and seafood in general. It’s piquant, salty flavour is the perfect foil for the greasiness of golden fish batter.

You’ll be won over if you buy store bought versions, which are usually gloopy and sweet. Try this and you won’t look back.

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We would love to hear from you in the comments below when you make these Delicious Fish Cakes

Delicious Fish Cakes - from leftovers
Yield: 8 fish cakes - serves 4

Delicious Fish Cakes - from leftovers

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour


  • 500 gms potatoes - cooked and well drained (1 pound)
  • 500 gms cooked fish fillets - we used leftover salmon (1 pound)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • salt and freshly milled black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons horseradish or dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill
  • 2 green shallots finely chopped - scallions
  • 1 egg - well beaten

coating and cooking

  • 2 cups of panko breadcrumbs - any breadcrumb will do
  • oil for frying


  1. mash the potatoes leaving some lumps - see notes 1.
  2. using two forks roughly shred the fish
  3. add all of the remaining ingredients except for the panko crumbs and the oil
  4. gently mix only until combined
  5. turn the mixture out onto a bench and using wet hands (stops the mixture from sticking) pat into a round circle of even thickness
  6. now using a sharp knife divide the circle into 8 even wedges - see notes 2.
  7. with wet hands pat each wedge into a round then slightly flatten into a patty
  8. add the breadcrumbs to a large bowl and one by one roll each patty in the crumbs
  9. refrigerate the patties for at least 30 minutes to allow the mixture to firm up.
  10. heat pan with enough oil to rise halfway up the patties 1 cm (1/2 inch) over medium heat and when hot add several of the fish cakes
  11. keep cooked fish cakes warm while the remainder cook
  12. Enjoy


  1. we prefer to leave lumps of potato whole and larger flakes of the fish as it makes a nicer texture - rather than mush
  2. by forming a circle and then dividing as described above makes it quick and easy to portion the fish cakes into even pieces
  3. fish cakes can be fried with just a lick of oil in the pan if you prefer to use less oil, but the sides of the patties will not be crisp
  4. don't overcrowd the pan as it is difficult to turn the fishcakes without breaking them and burning yourself

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 708Total Fat 18gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 12gCholesterol 205mgSodium 980mgCarbohydrates 77gFiber 7gSugar 8gProtein 58g

Nutritional information provided here is only intended as a guide.

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  1. These turned out great. easy way to use up some left over trout.
    I liked the flavor and it was pretty easy to whip up

    1. Recipe Winners says:

      Hi Ethan, so pleased you liked the recipe. Trout would be lovely! Regards Jo and Jen

  2. Delicious! I had leftover Lake Superior Whitefish that were served with mashed potatoes! Easy to mix together and I adjusted for the smaller portion, still served two people! Great recipe!

    1. Recipe Winners says:

      Hi Judy, so pleased you enjoyed the recipe. Regards, Jo and Jen

  3. I made these with leftover fish and chips. I had more potato than fish and as they were chips I pulsed them in the food processor rather than mashing. They were delicious, thanks for sharing! 🙂

    1. Recipe Winners says:

      Hi Michelle, what a great idea to use up leftover fish and chips. Thanks for sharing. Regards, Jo and Jen

  4. Diana Chambers says:

    The absolute best I’ve ever eaten!

    1. Recipe Winners says:

      Hi Diana, glad you enjoyed the fish cakes. Regards, Jo and Jen

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