The Netherlands' favorite healthy snack, brined herring, can seem a little daunting to the uninitiated. Smoked herring, on the other hand, while still quintessentially Dutch, seems to appeal to more people. It must be a textural thing...
We often simply serve smoked herring on bread or crackers with our horseradish sauce. But, combine smoked herring with some leftover mashed potatoes, and you'll have fabulously flavorful fishcakes that are full of omega fatty acids. They're always a crowd-pleaser.
You could, of course, make mashed potatoes especially for this recipe (or, if you're feeling particularly lazy, grab a pack of good quality ready-made mashed potatoes from your supermarket), but we think you'll agree that this is fridge-raid food - handy for one of those occasions when you have nothing in the house but a bit of day-old mashed potatoes and a packet of smoked fish.
There's a particularly smug joy that comes from whipping up a good meal from seemingly nothing. We've used smoked herring here, but these fishcakes are just as good when made with smoked mackerel or smoked salmon.
- For Fishcakes:
- 1 cup (250 g) leftover mashed potatoes
- 1 tsp. flat leaf parsley (finely chopped)
- 1 spring onion (finely sliced)
- Pinch of paprika
- 1 lemon
- 2 eggs
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 3.5 oz (100 g) smoked herring (flaked)
- For Breading & Frying:
- 1/2 cup All-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup Bread crumbs
- 1 tbsp. Butter
- 3 tbsp. Olive oil
- In a large bowl, combine the mashed potatoes, parsley, spring onion and paprika.
- Using a fine grater (we like to use a Microplane grater for this), zest about 1/4 of the lemon (yellow skin only) and add the zest to the potato mixture.
- Break the eggs into a shallow soup bowl, whisk, and add 1 tbsp of the eggs to the mash. Mix well.
- Set the rest of the eggs aside until later.
- Using your hands, carefully flake the herring, removing any skin or bones.
- Fold the flaked fish through the potato mixture.
- Cover a tray or large plate with plastic wrap. Form 8 evenly sized balls with the fish mixture and place on the tray, pressing gently down with the palm of your hand to form 8 fishcake patties.
- Cover patties with plastic wrap and rest in the fridge for at least 20 minutes (or overnight, if making ahead of time).
- Assemble three soup bowls: one with the leftover beaten egg from earlier in the recipe, one with flour, and one with fresh breadcrumbs (we like panko crumbs).
- Dredge the herring fishcakes in the flour, making sure that they are evenly coated. Shake off any excess flour.
- Dunk the fishcakes briefly, one by one, in the soup bowl with the beaten egg mix, allowing any excess egg to drip off.
- Now transfer the fishcakes, one by one, to the dish with the bread crumbs. Toss each one in the bread crumbs until it is thoroughly coated.
- Add butter and olive oil (you'll need about 1 tbsp. butter and 3 tbsp. olive oil) to a large frying pan and heat until the butter turns foamy.
- Add half of the fishcakes and cook until the bread crumbs turn golden and crispy - they'll need about 3 minutes a side.
- Remove the fishcakes from the frying pan and allow to drain on kitchen paper.
- Repeat the process with the other 4 fishcakes.
Tip: Don't overcrowd the pan. If you don't have a large frying pan, make several batches in a smaller skillet, and keep the earlier batches warm in a preheated oven.