What We're Eating Friday: Lenten Edition

Hello there! For the Lenten season, we eat a bit lighter and I've even decided (attempted) to stay away from sweets and chocolate, although that's proving a bit difficult for my sweet tooth, who should take all of the blame. On Fridays, we eat fish, and this recipe is the perfect chance to stock your freezer with an easy fish main course that will make your Friday night dinner successful all through Lent. I love that the cakes include fish and potato, so all I have to do is steam a vegetable to make a complete meal!

The Best Fishcakes Ever

(makes 8 large fishcakes), adapted from this recipe

Tartare sauce ingredients:

  • 250 ml (1 cup) good mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp capers, rinsed, drained & chopped
  • 2 tsp. creamed horseradish
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp. Italian parsley

Fishcake ingredients:

  • 900 grams (2 lbs.) fresh or frozen skinless, boneless fish fillets, thawed (I use 1 lb. of cod and 1 lb. of salmon)
  • 4 dried bay leaves
  • 300 ml (1-1/4 c.) milk
  • 700 grams (1-1/2 lbs.) Maris Piper or Russet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped chives
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 170 grams (1-1/2 c.) plain, stale breadcrumbs
  • Canola or vegetable oil, for frying


  1. Mix all ingredients together for the tartare sauce. Set aside.
  2. Add fish and bay leaves to a large frying pan. Pour the milk over and 1/4 pint (1/2 cup) of water. Cover & bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for 10 minutes.
  3. Put the potatoes in a pan and cover with boiling water. Add a pinch of salt and bring back to boil, and simmer for 10 minutes, until tender when pierced with a fork. 
  4. Lift the fish out of the milk with a slotted spoon & put on a plate to cool. Drain the potatoes in a colander and return to hot pan to dry out for a few minutes. Mash with a potato masher, until you have a light, dry, fluffy mash. Add 2 Tbsp. of the tartare sauce, then lemon zest, parsley and chives. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Drain liquid off of the fish & flake into large chunks with your hands into the potato mixture. Add the eggs. Using your hands, gently mix the fish and potatoes together, so that the fish flakes don't break up too much. Put to one side to cool.
  6. Spread the breadcrumbs on a baking sheet. Divide the fishcake mixture into 8, or weigh the mixture to get perfectly even fishcakes. Using your hands, patty the cakes and push both sides into the breadcrumbs. Transfer to a clean baking sheet & chill for 30 minutes (This step helps to keep the cakes firm while frying, but if you're in a hurry, you can skip this step.)
  7. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large frying pan. Fry 4 fishcakes at a time until golden-brown, about 5 minutes per side. Serve with lemon wedges & tartare sauce. 
  8. If freezing: Remove from oil and drain on a paper towel lined plate before moving to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Add sheet to freezer until frozen hard and then put in a freezer Ziplock bag. To reheat: Thaw completely. Add thawed fishcakes to a parchment paper-lined sheet tray and heat at 425 degrees for 20 minutes, or until top and bottom are crispy.