Crafted by Clare Heal - Journalist-turned-chef based in London


Feeds 2-3

The smoky, savoury, salty flavour of smoked cods roe lends itself beautifully to fishcakes. Great with a side salad as a light meal or try them in a bun with mayonnaise. 


  • 2 medium floury potatoes 
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 smoked cod’s roe (approx. 250-300g)
  • A few sprigs dill
  • A few sprigs parsley
  • Black pepper


  1. Fill a saucepan with cold water. Peel the potatoes, chop them into even-sized chunks and add to the pan along with a generous pinch of salt. Bring to the boil and cook until easily pierced with a cutlery knife.
  2. Meanwhile dice the onion and put it in a small pan with the olive oil and a pinch of salt. Sweat over a low heat until soft and translucent. 
  3. Finely chop the herbs. 
  4. Drain the potatoes and allow to steam dry and cool for a few minutes before mashing. You should have about 150g mash. 
  5. Skin the roe and put it in a bowl. Add the potato, onion, herbs and a generous grinding of black pepper. Mix well to combine and taste to check the seasoning. Add more pepper if needed – the roe is salty so it’s unlikely to need any extra salt. 
  6. Shape into six patties and place them on a board. Cover and chill for 30 minutes or so. This helps them firm up although they remain tender so treat them carefully.
  7. Cover a plate with flour and, one by one, dust the outside of each fishcake.
  8. Put a large frying pan over a medium-high heat and add some vegetable oil. Fry the fishcakes, a few at a time – don’t crowd the pan – for one or two minutes each side. They should be golden brown and slightly crispy. Serve immediately with a squeeze of lemon.


  1. For a crisper outside, prepare two more plates alongside the flour. One egg beaten with a little milk and one of breadcrumbs (panko works best here). After coating in flour dip each fishcake in the egg mixture and then in the breadcrumbs. These will need a little more oil for frying. 
  2. You can also cook the fishcakes in the oven at 180°C for 20 minutes. They won’t be crispy and will have a slightly denser texture but will still be very tasty,
  3. Instead of six large cakes you could make 20 or so bite-sized balls, deep-fry in batches and serve them as a canapé or party snack.


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