Delight in Every Bite: Scottish Fish Cakes Recipe

Welcome, my fellow food lovers, to my Scottish Fish Cakes recipe! As a chef specializing in British cuisine, I am thrilled to share with you one of my favorite recipes that completely embodies the essence of Scottish cooking.

This classic Scottish dish has been a staple in households for many generations, and it’s not hard to see why. These fish cakes are not only delicious but are also incredibly easy to make with simple ingredients. From fresh cod and salmon fillet to boiled potatoes, this recipe brings together all the right components that create the perfect blend of flavors.

What sets my version of Scottish Fish Cakes apart from others is the unique addition of smoked haddock. This ingredient adds a smoky flavor that complements the other fish while simultaneously adding depth to the dish.

Whether you’re new to cooking or an experienced home cook, this recipe is perfect for you. These fish cakes are easy to make and are ready in under 30 minutes, making them an excellent choice on busy weeknights.

So put on your apron, grab your ingredients, and let’s dive into making these scrumptious Scottish Fish Cakes!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Scottish Fish Cakes
Scottish Fish Cakes

Do you love trying out new recipes that are hearty, comforting, and full of flavor? Then you’re in the right place! This Scottish Fish Cakes recipe is everything you need to turn those dreary weeknights into something special.

First off, these fish cakes are incredibly versatile, perfect as a main dish or a snack. They’re a mix of delicious smoked haddock and cod, combined with creamy mashed potatoes that create a strong taste and texture. The inclusion of salmon fillets gives them a delicate yet satisfying taste that will leave your taste buds begging for more.

But that’s not even the best part, these Scottish fish cakes are incredibly easy to make, with ingredients readily available at your local market. After prepping everything, all you have to do is mash everything together into small patties, then grill or fry until they’re golden brown on the outside and soft on the inside. It’s this simplicity and ease that makes it an ideal dish for busy weeks when you don’t want to spend hours in front of the stove.

Lastly, these fish cakes are also great for experimenting with different flavors and serving them alongside other amazing dishes such as baked fish, canned salmon fish or even potato cake! The opportunities to try out new things and cater it to your style are limitless!

So, whether it’s to impress guests with your culinary skills or just crave something warm and delicious after a long day at work, this Scottish Fish Cakes recipe will do wonders for you.

Ingredient List

 Flaky and flavorful Scottish fish cakes ready to be devoured!
Flaky and flavorful Scottish fish cakes ready to be devoured!

Let’s gather the ingredients we need to make these Scottish Fish Cakes!
For the fish cakes:

  • 500g potatoes
  • 300g smoked haddock fillet
  • 200g salmon fillet, skin removed
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the marinade:

  • Juice of 1 orange
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the herb mix:

  • Handful of fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • Handful of fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil

For coating and frying:

  • 100g plain flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 200g breadcrumbs

The Recipe How-To

 Golden brown and crispy on the outside, warm and savory on the inside.
Golden brown and crispy on the outside, warm and savory on the inside.

Now, let’s dive into the fun part and make some delicious Scottish fish cakes!

Step 1: Preparing the Fish

  • Start by marinating 250g of salmon fillet and 250g of cod with the juice of half an orange, half a lemon, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Then, let them rest in the refrigerator for at least half an hour.

Step 2: Boiling the Potatoes

  • Peel and cut 700g of potatoes into small chunks, then boil them in salted water until they’re soft. This should take around 15 minutes. When they’re cooked, drain them well, and then mash it thoroughly.

Step 3: Preparing the Other Ingredients

  • Finely chop two shallots, two tablespoons of fresh parsley, and one tablespoon of fresh basil. Add them to a bowl with the mashed potatoes.
  • Now, flake the marinated fish into small pieces using a fork or your hands.

Step 4: Making the fish cake mixture

  • Add the flaked fish to the bowl of potatoes and herbs. Mix everything thoroughly until everything is well incorporated. Taste it and adjust it to add more salt or pepper if needed.
  • Shape the mixture into small patties that are about 7 to 8 cm wide.

Step 5: Frying the fish cakes

  • Heat up enough olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. You want enough oil so that when you add your patties, they’re sitting halfway submerged in it.
  • Fry your patties on each side for about three minutes or until golden brown. You can cook them in batches if necessary.
  • Once cooked on both sides, remove from heat and place them onto a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil.

Now you’re ready to serve!

Substitutions and Variations

 These fish cakes will have you dreaming of the Scottish Highlands.
These fish cakes will have you dreaming of the Scottish Highlands.

The beauty of cooking lies in the endless possibilities you have to tweak and experiment with a recipe to make it your own. In the case of Scottish fish cakes, there are many ways you can substitute or vary ingredients to suit your taste or dietary requirements.

One substitution you can make is using a different type of fish or a combination of fish. Instead of using only cod, salmon or smoked haddock, try mixing them up to create a unique blend of flavors. You could even use canned salmon for a more affordable option, or opt for baked fish for a healthier twist.

If you’re looking for a vegetarian version of this recipe, simply omit the fish and add some extra veggies like spinach, carrots or peas. Mashed sweet potato could also be used as an alternative to regular potato for a different taste and texture.

Another variation would be to flavor the fish cakes differently by experimenting with different herbs and spices. Swap the basil and parsley for thyme and rosemary, add some chili flakes for heat or even grate in some ginger for an Asian-inspired twist.

If you’re gluten-free, swap out the plain flour with gluten-free flour or cornstarch as a binding agent. You could also try making these into small bite-size portions rather than full-sized cakes for an appetizer or snack.

Whatever substitutions or variations you decide on, don’t be afraid to experiment and make this Scottish fish cake recipe your own!

Serving and Pairing

 A delightful combination of fresh fish and mashed potatoes.
A delightful combination of fresh fish and mashed potatoes.

When it comes to serving and pairing these Scottish Fish Cakes, there are endless possibilities to explore. You can enjoy them as a main course for lunch or dinner, or even as a tasty snack on their own. I like to serve my fish cakes with a fresh salad on the side, either made up of greens, carrots, or cucumbers for an extra crunch.

If you’re looking for something more filling, try serving your fish cakes with a side of buttery mashed potatoes, those extra carbs will do wonders if you’re feeling tired and in need of a little energy boost. Alternatively, roasted vegetables such as broccoli or cauliflower will make a hearty and nutritious addition to your plate.

For those who love sauces with their meals, tartar sauce is always a classic choice when it comes to fish dishes. However, if you are looking for a different taste sensation, Hollandaise sauce is an excellent alternative to consider. It’s a buttery sauce that’s made by emulsifying lemon juice and egg yolks in melted butter – the perfect accompaniment to any dish containing seafood!

Finally, when it comes to pairing wine with these delicious Scottish Fish Cakes recipe food com recommends white wine. A light Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc pairs well with the richness of the fish cakes while also offering refreshing citrus notes that complement the lemon used in the recipe. If you prefer red wines, try a light-bodied Pinot Noir or Sangria. These pair well with some of the smokier flavors from the haddock or salmon fillets that went into making these classic fish cakes.

Whatever pairing you choose, be sure to savor each bite of your Scottish Fish Cakes – they certainly make for a great meal that’s rich in flavor!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Packed with protein and oh so satisfying.
Packed with protein and oh so satisfying.

One great thing about Scottish fish cakes is that they are perfect for making ahead of time. You can prepare and shape the fish cakes several hours or even a day before cooking them. Just make sure to cover them tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator until ready to cook.

Additionally, if you have any leftover fish cakes, they can easily be stored in the fridge for up to three days in an airtight container. When reheating, it’s best to use an oven or toaster oven set to 350°F (180°C) for about 10-15 minutes. You can also use a skillet over medium heat with a little bit of oil or butter for about 5 minutes on each side until they are heated through and crispy again.

If you want to freeze your Scottish fish cakes, you can do so before or after cooking them. To freeze before cooking, simply shape the fish cakes and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze them for a few hours until solid and then transfer them to an airtight container or freezer bag. They will keep for up to two months in the freezer.

To cook them from frozen, allow them to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then follow the cooking instructions as usual. For fish cakes that have already been cooked, again, allow them to thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat using one of the methods mentioned above.

Overall, Scottish fish cakes are a versatile dish that can be made ahead of time and stored for later consumption without sacrificing their delicious taste and texture.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Perfect for lunch or dinner, or even as a snack.
Perfect for lunch or dinner, or even as a snack.

Now that you have gathered all the necessary ingredients and followed the instructions to make these delicious Scottish fish cakes, it’s time to talk about some tips and tricks that will help you achieve perfect results every time.

1. Use fresh ingredients: Fresh ingredients are an essential part of any recipe, and this one is no exception. When buying fish, make sure it has a clean ocean smell and bright skin. Choose potatoes that are firm and blemish-free.

2. Don’t overwork the mixture: When you’re combining the mashed potatoes and flaked fish, be careful not to overmix the mixture. Overworking can cause the cakes to become dense and heavy.

3. Chill the mixture for at least an hour: Once you’ve mixed everything together, it’s a good idea to chill the mixture for at least an hour before forming into cakes. This “resting” period allows the flavors to meld together and makes it easier to shape them.

4. Fry in batches: To prevent overcrowding the pan, fry the fish cakes in batches. This will allow each cake to get evenly cooked without sticking together.

5. Drain excess oil: After removing the fried fish cakes from the pan, place them on a paper towel-lined plate or wire rack to drain any excess oil.

6. Serve with a side sauce: While these Scottish fish cakes are delicious on their own, serving them with a side sauce can take them to the next level. Try tartar sauce, lemon aioli or even tomato chutney on top!

By following these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy perfectly crispy and flavorful Scottish fish cakes every time!


Now that you know how to make Scottish fish cakes, it’s important to address some of the common questions that may arise during the process. In this section, we’ll go over some frequently asked questions and provide detailed answers to ensure that you can create perfect fish cakes every time. So, let’s dive into those FAQs!

How do you keep fish cakes from falling apart?

Have you ever experienced the frustration of fish cakes disintegrating while frying them? This commonly happens when the potato mash is too moist. To prevent this, the trick is to prepare a potato mash that is slightly dry with some lumps present, as they add desirable texture. It’s crucial to ensure that the potatoes are properly drained before mashing them.

What are fish cakes made of UK?

To make delicious fish cakes, it’s important to choose lean fish such as corvina or cuttlefish. These types of fish are preferred because they contain less fat, which can affect the texture and taste of the fishcakes. In addition to the fish, you’ll need to have some basic ingredients on hand, such as salt, sugar, flour, and starch. These components are crucial to creating the perfect fish cake recipe.

What is the binder for fish cakes?

To provide structure to your fish cake, it’s important to include an additional ingredient that can act as a binder alongside the egg. While breadcrumbs are a traditional option, you could also consider incorporating crushed crackers, almond flour, or smashed potatoes into your mixture.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, I encourage you to try this Scottish Fish Cakes recipe for a truly unique and flavorful dish that will make your taste buds dance with joy. With a combination of smoked haddock, salmon fillet, and mashed potatoes, these fish cakes are hearty and satisfying while also being simple to make. Plus, the addition of fresh herbs like parsley and basil gives the dish an added pop of flavor.

But don’t just take my word for it – give it a try! Whether you’re looking for a new spin on classic fish cakes or want to impress your friends and family with a delicious meal, this Scottish Fish Cakes recipe is sure to be a hit. So grab some potatoes, eggs, shallots, and of course, some fresh fish, and get cooking! I guarantee you won’t regret it.

Scottish Fish Cakes

Scottish Fish Cakes Recipe

You won't find these at your favourite local seafood joint.
Cuisine Scottish
Keyword < 4 Hours, Broil, European, Free Of..., Fruit, Grains, Inexpensive, Lunch, Oven, Potato, Scottish, Stove Top, Vegetable, Weeknight
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Calories 388.3kcal


  • 1 1/2 potatoes, peeled and boiled
  • 1/2 lb salmon fillet, diced
  • 1/2 lb cod, fillet diced
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 large shallots, chopped
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 orange, juice only
  • 1 lemon, juice only


  • Marinate the salmon and cod in orange and lemon juice, salt and pepper, basil, parsley and olive oil.
  • Boil potatoes until cooked, drain them and then bake them in the oven (at low heat) for 10 minutes.
  • Mash the potatoes and (while potato is still hot) mix in the fish and the marinade.
  • Set the mixture aside to cool down.
  • When the mixture is cold, add the beaten eggs and mix in.
  • Take handfuls of the mixture and shape into large egg-sized balls, flatten to about 1-inch-thick rounds.
  • Bake under a hot broiler for 2 minutes.


Serving: 196g | Calories: 388.3kcal | Carbohydrates: 22.6g | Protein: 27.1g | Fat: 21.9g | Saturated Fat: 3.5g | Cholesterol: 159.7mg | Sodium: 111.4mg | Fiber: 3.9g | Sugar: 3.9g

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