Taste of the sea: Top 8 fish cakes

Taste of the sea: Top 8 fish cakes

For an instant supper or lunch, fishcakes can be nourishing, warming and tasty. To complete a balanced meal, all it takes is some stirfried or roasted root vegetables. 

They can be cut small, tossed in oil and cooked in the oven at 200C/gas 6 for 20 to 30 minutes with the fishcakes.

The base of fishcakes is usually potato with fish, smoked and/or fresh, with various additions of spices and flavourings for interest. 

At home we can easily make them from leftover cooked potatoes. This is a good reason to be economical with fuel and time and to cook enough for two day’s meals in one pot.

Leftover fish is well used in fish cakes. Just about any type works. 

Smoked salmon, trout or haddock — good ‘fridge standbys — or a can of tuna work too. 

Toss the fish in a little curry or tomato paste or freshly grated turmeric, but if using dried spices, toss them in a pan first to get rid of the dry taste.

A hardboiled egg, grated finely, is also delicious and adds to the nutritional value. 

Chopped, fresh tomatoes and seasonal herbs are good too. Taste and season well with salt and pepper. 

To finish, mould the mixture into whatever shape you fancy and dip into flour or finely-ground porridge oats or seeds, or dip in flour, egg and breadcrumbs for extra crispness. 

Fry or bake as with shop-bought versions.

Cinnamon Cottage Thai Fish cakes €4.50 each

Taste of the sea: Top 8 fish cakes

Substantial cakes, one per person is easily enough, have typically lively and light Thai spices of lemongrass and fresh coriander (and a hint of paprika), providing a clean palate even after frying, with no fatty aftertaste.

The mix of smoked colie, salmon and cod is well balanced, the smoked element subtle and warm. Delicious!

Tasters loved the generous amount of fish and scored them tops.

Score: 9.25

Marks & Spencer 2 cod fillet fishcakes €6

Taste of the sea: Top 8 fish cakes

Cod fillet pieces 32% and potatoes have an unctuous creamy parsley sauce oozing from the centre.

Deliciously crunchy breadcrumbs make a good finish. ‘Lovely’ was the consensus.

We also enjoyed smoked salmon & rocket packed with 26% salmon and 16% smoked salmon, and much less potato than the others.

It comes with a creamy lemon mayo on the side.

Score: 9

Baxter and Greene at Dunnes €4.95 each

Taste of the sea: Top 8 fish cakes

Fresh spring onion and fennel leaves are mixed through white fish which was overpowered by a lot of potato.

Needs sauce on the side to moisten it. Looking homemade, the fresh herbs are lively.

‘Good effort!’ was the cry of appreciation that there were no nasty dry herbs.

Made on site at Bishopstown Court Shopping Centre food hall.

Score: 7.25

Dunnes fishcakes €4.95 for four

Taste of the sea: Top 8 fish cakes

Those who don’t like the smell of fish cooking will favour this clever form of cooking in the bag method.

However, the steam doesn’t allow the breadcrumbs to crisp up, but busy parents said it was worth it.

Not very fishy, but close to fish fingers which our child taster liked.

A little heavy, and cloying, but one of them per person would be enough with lots of tasty veg.

Fair enough value. Sold singly.

Score: 7

SuperValu Signature Tastes chunky cod & chorizo 290g €4.49

Taste of the sea: Top 8 fish cakes

A well balanced combination of 37% cod, potato, 6.2% chorizo, and a welcome rich and salty 3.3% manchego cheese works well.

Pumpkin seeds on top add further textural interest.

Two per pack, one per portion is satisfying. Good value.

Score: 9

Aldi Specially Selected Melt in the Middle cod fish cakes €2.79

Taste of the sea: Top 8 fish cakes

Tasters were impressed with the creamy, cheesy filling which gently burst through the main body of the low flavoured fish and potato blend.

The breadcrumb outside casing of the two fishcakes crisped up well and was tasty.

Good value.

Score: 8.5

Hederman smoked fish cakes €3.50 each

Taste of the sea: Top 8 fish cakes

We bought two flavoured with chilli and one with tarragon and peas.

Of the two, the chilli were favoured by adults with sophisticated palates, who liked the green spring onion tops and chilli kick with the softness of the sweet chilli sauce.

In attractive mound shapes, the consensus was that both types were low in fish, though the smoked flakes were nicely chunky.

Everyone appreciated the natural texture. We bought at the English Market stall.

Score: 8.75

Ballycotton Sea Food Plain Cod €1.60

Taste of the sea: Top 8 fish cakes

With two cakes per pack, tasters preferred the plain cod to the Colcannon (€1.99) which is made with smoked haddock which they found too salty and with a dried thyme flavour.

Both had a solid, natural potato texture, but were too light on fish for satisfaction.

Score: 6.5

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