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Apr 17, 2020

Irish Fish Cakes

These fish cakes are one of my favorite treats from Ireland. They can be made with salmon, cod, hake, halibut, rockfish, or any flaky seafood you have access too.

Irish Fish Cakes

Fish cakes are popular in pubs along the coast of Ireland. They are pretty much a comfort food, and take the ubiquitous potato and combine it with the bounty from the coasts of the country.

These fish cakes are also a great way to use any leftover cooked fish you might have on hand. You can also use a mixture of seafood. For these, I used a mixture of cod and salmon.

Fish Cakes

Here's what you will need to make these fish cakes. 

Starchy potatoes, such as russets.

Ketchup (just a little bit)

Minced fresh parsley

Minced fresh tarragon



Lemon juice

Bread crumbs

Salt and pepper

Oil for shallow-frying

1 pound of mixed fish fillets

Irish Cod Cakes

How to prepare your seafood for these fish cakes. 

If you are using fresh or thawed raw fish, the easiest way to prepare it is to poach it. Place the fish in a skillet, just cover it with water and bring it to a simmer, cover, and cook for 5 minutes or so, until cooked.

You can also use leftover pan-fried or baked fish in these fish cakes.

Halibut and salmon cakes

How to make fish cakes: 

First, peel and cut you potatoes into chunks and simmer them in water until they are tender. Next, mash the potatoes and add the ketchup, herbs, lemon juice, and one egg. Stir in the fish and form the mixture into patties.

Dip the patties into flour, then a beaten egg, and then bread crumbs.

After you have chilled the patties in the refrigerator, fry them for five minutes per side.

raw Halibut and salmon cakes

Serving suggestions for Irish fish cakes. 

I served these fish cakes with a light watercress salad with vinaigrette. They also go well with...

Fennel, pomegranate, and arugula salad

Zucchini Parmesan Salad

Thai Cabbage Salad

Tomato and Fennel Salad

Roasted Corn and Zucchini Salad

Halibut and salmon cakes in a bowl

This month, the Fish Friday Foodies are posting seafood recipes inspired by our travels. Our host is Culinary Adventures with Camilla.

I decided to choose Ireland for my fish inspiration. I have been to Ireland twice, mostly because my husband was born in Dublin and still has relatives there.

We took our kids there when the youngest graduated from high school. They had so much fun meeting their cousins and enjoying the younger drinking age.

When we went back the second time, we drove the southern route, staying in Galway, Kenmare, Waterford, Kinsale, Wicklow, and Dublin. One of the towns, Kinsale is a gorgeous seaside town in County Cork. It is probably the first Irish culinary capitol, and pioneered fine dining in the country. We had so much fun visiting the pubs of Kinsale, and enjoyed these fish cakes.

These fish cakes are one of my favorite treats from Ireland. They can be made with salmon, cod, hake, halibut, rockfish, or any flaky seafood you have access too.

Here is everyone's inspired dish!

Irish Fish Cakes

Irish Fish Cakes
Yield: 12 fish cakes
These fish cakes are one of my favorite treats from Ireland. They can be made with salmon, cod, hake, halibut, rockfish, or any flaky seafood you have access too.


  • 1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, coarsely chopped, and boiled until tender. 
  • 1 pound mixed fish filets, such as cod, halibut, salmon, turbot, rockfish, or hake. 
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 large eggs, separated and beaten
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour 
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup oil, for frying
  • Salt and pepper


How to cook Irish Fish Cakes

  1. Mash the cooked potatoes until smooth. 
  2. Place the fish filets in a sauté pan, cover with water, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for five minutes. 
  3. Drain the fish and, when cool, and flake the fish into large chunks with a fork. 
  4. Mix the potatoes with the fish. Add the ketchup, lemon juice, herbs, and salt and pepper. 
  5. Add one beaten egg and mix. 
  6. Form the mixture into 12 patties. 
  7. Dip the patties into the flour, then the beaten eggs, and then the bread crumbs. 
  8. Refrigerate the patties for thirty minutes. 
  9. Heat the oil in a skillet and cook the patties in batches over medium heat for 5 minutes on each side. 
  10. Serve with a salad of your choice. 
Fat (grams)
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fish cakes, potato cakes
side dish, main dish

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Would you like to comment?

  1. What fun! I have never been to Ireland, but will definitely take a virtual trip there soon with this fantastic recipe. Funny you mention the younger drinking age. When my son went to Italy and Greece, the school was VERY clear that even though drinking was legally allowed, they were NOT going to allow any of the kids to be drinking during the trip. Thanks for joining me.

    1. That's funny. My son had his first beer on the flight over!

  2. This sounds wonderful and I happen to have some leftover fish that I threw in the freezer until I could come across this recipe!!

  3. Ireland is super high on my to visit list - these look wonderful! I need to give them a try soon!

    1. It's a wonderful country! You can take a trip there with these fish cakes!

  4. Karen! You brought fresh memories back, loved these delicious fish cakes, enjoyed them during my visit to Ireland. Must try these!

  5. Dear Karen, How far ahead could I make these and store them in the fridge?

    1. I would say a day ahead at the maximum. Thanks!


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