Today’s recipe is a really good one for the kids to get stuck into: Salmon fish cakes with chives. They're simple, quick and tasty. Using frozen salmon fillets, there's no need to crumb them before baking. It's a perfect weeknight option for all the family.
Cooking with kids is a lovely family activity, not to mention the benefits of hands-on learning about where food comes from and the importance of healthy eating. This week, I’m exploring using frozen fish to create fun, healthy fish recipes that you can make with your kids.
Packed with protein, vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, oily fish is a great option for family meals. And to make this salmon fishcake recipe even easier, I use leftover mashed potato.
So, let's get started making these fab salmon fishcakes that are great fun for little hands to make.
- 2 frozen salmon fillets, fresh or frozen (or two small cans, drained)
- 200g (7.05 oz) leftover mashed potato
- 1 tbsp chopped chives (optional)
- a tiny pinch of salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil (plus some to grease the tray)
Preheat the oven to 200C (180C fan / 400F). If you're using canned salmon, you can skip to step two, otherwise, cook the salmon according to pack instructions. Allow to cool, then flake the salmon with a fork.
Place the potato, salmon, salt, pepper and chives (if using) in a bowl.
Add the olive oil and mix together well with a fork.
Roll into eight equally sized balls and place on an oiled baking sheet. They'll weigh about 50g (1.8 oz) each.
Flatten each ball with the palm of your hand to create patties.
Bake for 20 minutes until just firm and golden, then serve as soon as cooled enough to be eaten safely.
Serve with plenty of veg and salad.
Pointers, tricks and troubleshooting tips for the perfect easy, baked, no-crumb salmon fish cakes
Are these salmon fishcakes easy to make?
This is such a straightforward recipe to make, with a few simple steps it's a great one to get the kids involved with in the kitchen. Take everyone's mind off their busy day and get stuck into cooking. Using canned fish would make this recipe even speedier.
Will I need any special equipment for salmon fishcakes?
Everything you need should be easy to find in the average kitchen. You’ll just need a large bowl to combine all the ingredients, chopping board and knife, weighing scales, a baking sheet, and some oven gloves!
How can I tell if salmon has gone off?
For this recipe, I used frozen salmon which I find handy to have in the freezer, if you’re using fresh salmon the signs of spoilage are the same.
Firstly check the use-by date and make sure the salmon has been stored correctly according to the packet instructions.
Before cooking check if the salmon looks the right colour they should look fresh and pink, not dull or grey.
Frozen salmon probably won’t have much odor but you can check fresh salmon, it will smell mildly of fish, but not unpleasantly so. If there is any strong ammonia or really strong fishy smell this is a sure sign the salmon has gone off and should be discarded.
You can also check the texture, it should feel firm and not fall apart when you press it.
Is this recipe suitable for vegetarians or vegans?
As this recipe contains fish it would not be suitable for vegetarians or vegans. I haven’t tried creating a vegetarian version of this yet but you may be able to make something similar using grated cheese and extra leftover veg or tofu instead of the fish. Let me know how you get on in the comments below.
Are salmon fishcakes gluten-free?
Yes, delightfully as this fishcake recipe isn’t finished with a fiddly layer of breadcrumbs it's suitable for someone who needs to avoid gluten in their diet. You get such a lovely crunch on the outside of these fishcakes that you won’t even miss the breadcrumbs.
Make sure to check all ingredients are gluten-free, and anything you decide to serve these fishcakes with.
Are salmon fishcakes healthy?
This is a lovely easy dinner that is simple to make, and pretty healthy too. Salmon is full of protein, omega 3 fatty acids, and vitamin D which are all great for growing kids.
The potato brings carbohydrates to help fill them up and give them energy. Serve your fishcakes with their favourite veggies for a healthy weeknight dinner.
Are salmon fishcakes safe to eat while pregnant?
At the time of writing the NHS advice is to not eat more than 2 portions of oily fish a week whilst pregnant, so these fishcakes would count as one of those. Other than that, as long as all the ingredients are in good condition and the fish cakes are prepared hygienically and cooked properly these fishcakes shouldn’t pose a risk to pregnant or breastfeeding people.
If you have any questions or concerns please speak to a qualified health professional, A Mummy Too does not offer medical advice.
Are salmon fishcakes suitable for babies and toddlers?
Yes, these fishcakes are a perfect recipe for all the family. As long as little ones are over 6 months old and eating solid foods comfortably. Let the fishcakes cool down before feeding them to small children as they are really hot straight out of the oven.
The softness from the potatoes makes fishcakes a great texture for fussy eaters that may be put off by a whole piece of fish.
The NHS recommends girls have no more than 2 portions of oily fish, and boys no more than 4 portions a week, so keep an eye on this with your meal plans.
What goes well with salmon fishcakes?
With the potato in the fishcake you’re getting the carbohydrate element of the meal leaving plenty of room of the plate for veggies.
These simple fish cakes are perfect with a squeeze of lemon juice, served with fresh steamed veggies like peas, broccoli, and carrots, or a lovely crunchy salad of rocket and tomatoes.
Can I make this recipe without chives?
If you don’t have any chives you can just leave them out. I love the freshness and the gentle hint of onion flavour they bring.
Dill or parsley would be good alternatives, both classics with fish. If you like the flavour a teaspoon of tartar sauce instead is delightful too. You could also finely slice a small spring onion instead of the chives.
I haven’t got salmon, can I use a different fish?
Yes, this recipe is really flexible, you can use it as a guide and simply use a different type of fish instead, any white flaky fish will work or something like mackerel is lovely too.
Don’t forget you can also use tinned fish which can make this recipe a great store cupboard dinner. If you’re using tinned fish that comes in oil, use this oil in the fishcake mix rather than adding more.
Can I add extra herbs or spice to this recipe?
I love the simplicity of this recipe just using chives but if you like to play around then feel free to give different herbs a go or even a little spice if you like.
If not everyone likes spice you could serve them with a dollop of chili jam for those that do like it hot.
How should I store salmon fishcakes?
As I’ve used leftover mashed potato these fishcakes should be eaten up when they are first made as it’s not a good idea to reheat food more than a couple of times.
That said, if you’ve made your fishcakes with freshly cooked potato, and fish then you can keep any leftovers in a suitable container, they will keep in the fridge for a couple of days.
How long do salmon fishcakes keep?
When using leftovers you can only really reheat them up once so these fishcakes need to be eaten when you make them.
Can I leave salmon fishcakes out on the counter?
No, other than for serving these fishcakes need to be eaten up straight after they’ve been cooked so they should not sit out on the counter for any length of time.
Can I make salmon fishcakes ahead?
This recipe is made using leftover mash potato so some of it is already made ahead. You could also cook the fish the day before if you know you’ll be in a rush, or using tinned fish can be a real time saver too.
Can I keep salmon fishcakes in the refrigerator or freezer?
No, this recipe is made using leftovers that should only be reheated once, these fishcakes will need to be eaten fresh out of the oven.
Can I make salmon fishcakes in a different quantity?
It’s really easy to make more or less of these fishcakes. Head down to the recipe card below and you’ll see the servings are set to 8, we usually have 2 each for a weeknight meal.
Click on that number and a little slider will pop up that you can move up or down to get the number you want to make. All the ingredients will update automatically so you’re ready to go.
Can I make this recipe with a food processor?
If you wanted to you could use a food processor to bring together all the ingredients, but as the fish is flaked and potato is already mashed there's really no need to get more technical than a bowl and fork to mix these fishcakes together.
Can I fry these fishcakes on the hob?
I like to bake these fishcakes in the oven for a number of reasons. Firstly it's easier to simply pop them in the oven and forget about them whilst we prepare the rest of dinner, whereas on the hob they will need to be watched more closely.
It uses less oil to bake them, as you just need a little to stop them from sticking to the tray, rather than enough to stop them sticking with the high heat of a frying pan.
And finally, when you bake them the fishcakes don’t need turning over, cooking beautifully all the way through. To cook them in a frying pan you would need to flip to cook both sides, and without an egg and breadcrumb crust, they are more likely to fall apart.
How can I make sure my salmon fishcakes are perfectly cooked?
Before you put the fishcakes on the tray make sure to add a little oil so they don’t stick.
Roll out the balls and press them down. Once in the oven, you can keep an eye on the fishcakes through the oven door.
They should be lovely and golden and crisp on the edges after about 20 minutes.
If you have a probe thermometer and want to double-check they are cooked right through, insert it into one of the fishcakes and check they’ve reached 71C(160F).
Why did my fishcakes turn out dry and burnt?
This is probably because they’ve been left in the oven too long, or the oven was too hot.
Next time, try setting a timer for 15 minutes, so you can check on the fishcakes and see how they are going.
If you find things often burn in your oven it might be worth investing in an oven thermometer so you can check the actual temperature in the oven. Another thing to try would be to set the oven 10-20 degrees lower than a recipe advises and see if that helps.
Why did my fishcakes turn out wet and fall apart?
If you’ve used particularly creamy wet mashed potato this may affect how you’re fishcakes turn out.
And when using tinned fish make sure to drain the fish of any liquid in the tin so you’re not adding all that extra moisture.
Fishcakes are quite delicate things so try not to handle them too much. Oil the tray so the fishcakes don’t stick and there's no need to flip them partway through cooking as this risks them falling apart.
Why did my dish taste bland?
This is a simple recipe that lets all the ingredients sing, if it tastes bland to you, the adults can add extra seasoning at the table.
How can I add/change the flavours in this dish?
You can use this recipe as a bit of a guide, play around with the types of fish, and different herbs and flavours.
As well as salmon you can use any flakey white fish or mackerel, make sure to remove any bones.
Tinned fish works well too and you can get some that come in different flavoured oils or sauces which could be fun to experiment with.
Alternative herbs you could try are dill and parsley as well as spring onion.
If you want to lift these to another level try adding a teaspoon of tartar sauce or horseradish sauce if you like it to add a bit of tart heat to the fishcakes.
Print this recipe for later
And here's that salmon fishcakes recipe in a quick printable format so you can have it to hand while you try it out.
Salmon fish cakes
- 2 salmon fillets fresh or frozen (or two small cans, drained)
- 200 g (¾ cup) mashed potato
- 1 tbsp chopped chives optional
- 1 tiny pinch salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil plus some to grease the tray
- Preheat the oven to 200C (180C fan / 400F). If you're using canned salmon, you can skip to step two, otherwise, cook the salmon according to pack instructions. Allow to cool, then flake the salmon with a fork.
- Place the potato, salmon, salt, pepper and chives (if using) in a bowl.
- Add the olive oil and mix together well with a fork.
- Roll into eight equally sized balls and place on an oiled baking sheet. They'll weigh about 50g (1.8 oz) each.
- Flatten each ball with the palm of your hand to create patties.
- Bake for 20 minutes until just firm and golden, then serve as soon as cooled enough to be eaten safely.
Pin these no-crumb salmon fish cakes for later
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