Smoked Mackerel Fish cakes with no egg, are very easy to make and taste so much nicer than shop bought ones. I've got several other recipes for fishcakes, Salmon Fishcakes and Tuna Fishcakes, but wanted to give an option for dairy free fish cakes. Smoked Mackerel has a strong slightly sweet flavour. I mix in some horseradish sauce which gives them a bit of a kick. Smoked mackerel is a great choice for fishcakes. It's much cheaper than salmon and has a great flavour.
Once you've made the fishcakes, you need to chill them in the fridge for at least an hour before frying. This stops them falling apart in the pan. I've tried skipping this step and yes they do fall apart.
Fishcakes also freeze very well, making them an ideal option for busy days. I always make a batch of these as it takes the same amount of effort. This recipe will make 2 fishcakes per person. Depending on the appetites in your family, this may or may not be enough. I have teenage boys so always make more!
How to cook Fishcakes
To prevent your mackerel fishcakes from turning mushy, you need to make sure your oil is hot enough when you add them to the pan. Fry them over a medium heat. They should sizzle slightly when you add them to the pan. The mackerel fishcakes are already cooked so just need frying and heating through. This should only take about 3 - 4 minutes eash side. Try to only turn them over just once in the frying pan. The less handling the better.
I've also tried cooking fishcakes in the oven rather than frying them. You can cook fishcakes in the oven (200°C/400°F/gas mark 6 for 15 - 20 minutes) but they do come out a little drier and definitely taste better fried.
What to serve with Fishcakes?
The most obvious thing to serve with fishcakes is Tartare Sauce. Tartare sauce goes well with almost any fish. As fishcakes already contain potato (your carbohydrate) as well as fish, you don't need to serve them with any other carb such as rice or pasta or more potato. A salad is perfect and adds some nice colour to your plate. If you're looking for something a bit extra, corn on the cob is a good addition or garden peas. You might also like these other fishcake recipes. Tuna Fishcakes or Salmon Fishcakes
Smoked Mackerel Fillets
The Smoked Mackerel Fillets you buy in the shops are already cooked. Traditionally, mackerel is smoked over oak fires. Smoking is one of the oldest ways of preserving foods. You can buy the fillets simply smoked or with added flavour such as peppered smoked mackerel, hot smoked, or even honey and soy flavoured. Smoked mackerel is also relatively cheap.
Is Smoked Mackerel good for you?
NHS guidelines say we should eat oily fish at least once a week. Smoked Mackerel is an oily fish. It's a great source of omega-3 which is a 'good' fat. Omega-3's help keep the heart healthy and aid brain function and development. Smoked mackerel is also cheaper than salmon, another oily fish. This Smoked Mackerel Pate recipe is another easy way to incorporate more oily fish and omega-3 into your diet.
What does Smoked Mackerel taste like?
Like other oily fish, smoked mackerel has quite a strong flavour. It is similar to tuna or salmon and has a slightly sweet taste and a firm chewy texture.
In order to protect fish stocks, it's important we choose fish from sustainable sources. This means eating fish that are not in danger of being over-fished. The Marine Conservation Society Good Fish Guide recommends handline-caught mackerel from the southwest of England because of its ring-fenced quota and low impact methods. Look for the MCS logo on fish you buy or ask your fishmonger.
Storing Smoked Mackerel
Because they have been smoked, mackerel fillets usually have a shelf life of several weeks when you store them in the fridge. You can also freeze the smoked mackerel fillets for up to 3 months. It may say on the packet that you can't freeze them. This is because it is a particularly oily fish and the taste after it has been frozen may change slightly. It will however still be safe to eat. If you do freeze it, try to use it up as soon as possible.
You can prepare Smoked Mackerel Fishcakes in advance and keep them in the fridge for 1 - 2 days. You can also freeze fishcakes for up to 3 months. Fishcakes that are made with an oily fish such as smoked mackerel will not be good frozen for longer than about 3 months as the taste and texture of oily fish will start to change. You should defrost the fishcakes overnight in a fridge before using them.
Smoked Mackerel Fishcakes
- 800 g potatoes organic
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 leeks organic, washed, trimmed and sliced
- 15 g fresh parsley organic, chopped
- 60 g breadcrumbs organic, or 3 slices bread whizzed up.
- 300 g smoked mackerel fillets MSC certified, boneless & skinned
- 4 teaspoon horseradish sauce organic
- 2 lemons organic, fairtrade, halved, to serve
- Put a pan of lightly salted water on to boil. Peel the potatoes and cut into chunks about 2cm square. Put the potatoes in the pan, bring to the boil then simmer for about 8 minutes until the potatoes are done.
- Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a frying pan and fry the leek over a medium heat for about 5 minutes, until it begins to colour.
- Drain the potatoes and mash.
- In a bowl, mix together the potato, leeks, parsley.
- Whizz the slices of bread in food processor to make breadcrumbs then remove to a large plate. Whizz the smoked mackerel and horseradish sauce together in the food processor then stir into the potato mix. If you don’t have a food processor, just flake the fish into chunks and mix into the potato mix with the horseradish.
- Divide the mixture so you have enough for 2 fishcakes per person. Roll into balls, then flatten like burgers. Coat both sides in breadcrumbs. Pop them in the fridge for at least 1 hour to cool.
- Heat enough vegetable oil in a frying pan to cover the bottom. When it is hot, but not smoking, add the fish cakes and fry for about 3 minutes on each side . Try not to keep turning them over as they are more likely to fall apart.
- Serve the fishcakes and half a lemon and a green salad or garden peas.
Nutrition per serving
The Nutritional Values are computer generated estimates based on industry standards and are provided as a helpful guide only.