Cooking, Light Bites, Seafood
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Salmon Fish Cakes

I was at a BBQ at a friends house at the weekend and came home with lots of leftovers. These leftovers included a side of uncooked salmon and leftover boiled potatoes. I also raided their herb garden and came home with a bouquet of herbs including chives, mint, basil, thyme and rosemary. What to make? Could be fish pie but it’s not Winter (although it feels like it again today) and I wanted something light with some salad on the side. Quick and easy was also important. I had one of those days yesterday and wanted to sit down with a glass of wine, pronto. So, fish cakes it was. Perfect, ready in half an hour and before I knew it I was plonked in front of the tv browsing a stash of cookbooks while watching some food shows, Sanjeev Baskars India, and, dare I say it, Big Brother. Don’t judge me. I was weak. It wasn’t me, yer honour! ;)

Food like this makes me think back to Home Economics class when I was 13 and the first time I made potato cakes. I was amazed that you could make something so nice with leftovers and so quickly. Some mashed potato, flour, butter, egg & seasoning, cooked like a pancake and served in slices. YUM! Home Economics wasn’t always such a success, mind. I was very giddy and one day tipped a whole bag of salt into my homemade vegetable soup by accident. I am feeling very nostalgic for those days and have been trying to source the Home Economics book we had – All about home economics: A complete course in Intermediate Certificate and Day Vocational Certificate home economics byt Deirdre Madden, but to no avail. If anyone knows where I can get a copy I’d be thrilled!

Anyway, back to the fish cakes. They’re so easy. Really. I like my fish cakes to have more salmon than potato but that’s down to your individual preference. Play around with quantities until you get the consistency you want. I used chives but you could use flat leaf parsley or a selection of herbs. The quantities below will serve four. I chose to make 4 big cakes but 8 small ones is good too. I served one each with a side salad of rocket, quartered cherry tomatoes & finely sliced red onion in a balsamic and olive oil dressing – (one third vinegar to oil plus seasoning).


300g cooked salmon, skin and bones removed & flaked
200g mashed potato, with a little butter, about 30g (or margarine/olive oil if you can’t have butter)
1 egg, beaten
dry breadcrumbs, I used japanese panko breacrumbs
a little flour & beaten egg for breadcrumbing
2 tbsp chopped chives
oil for frying


Add the flaked salmon to the mashed potato and mix thoroughly. Add enough beaten egg to moisten without getting too wet, you should still be able to mould a ball with it. I used half an egg. If you use too much you can always add some breadcrumbs to dry it, although I prefer to have mainly salmon inside so would avoid this step if possible.
Add the chives and season with S&P.
Divide the mixture into 4 or 8 and with floured hands create some ball shapes. Flatten them into rounds. Dip in some flour, tip off the excess, then some beaten egg and finally the breadcrumbs.
Shallow fry for about 5 minutes on each side until crisp and golden.




  1. Wow…the photos look delicious ;-) I am going to make fish cakes right now;-)
    Do you know that the word salmon, for the fish comes from the French saumon which in turn comes from the Latin salmonem which is derived from the Latin root salire which means “to leap”. From salire we get such words as resilience, salient, insult and even sauté comes from this word.

    Salmon are those fish that have to return to where they were born and in order to swim upstream, they have to jump out of the water.. and that’s how they got their name.
    Funny, right?

  2. Thanks Marina! Very interesting. Enjoy the fish cakes.

    Chris, salmon is goood! Enjoy :-)

  3. Ant says

    Hi Niamh, how’s things…

    Yum yum i love fish…

    I hope this can be of some help to you..
    here are the ISBN numbers of that book you were looking for if they’re of any use to you in your quest …

    ISBN-10: 0861211782
    ISBN-13: 978-0861211784



  4. Hello there! I am god thanks, how are you??

    I sourced the ISBN numbers alright, but no joy, booo! I’ll have to scour the second hand shops next time I am home.

    Hope you’re well, and thanks for stopping by :-)


  5. Hi

    Love your blog, is my first time posting.

    I will try this recipe, as I also love fishcakes.

    You should save a book search in ebay (if you haven’t done so already). Do a regular search, then click the option that says ‘save this search’. You’ll get an email when someone lists the product.

    And that was very interesting on the word history Marina!


  6. Hi S, thanks! Very kind of you to say :) I hope that you enjoyed the recipe and thanks for the tip on ebay! Clever.

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  8. Niamh… i wish these were on my table :( hats off to ur experiments and also like to appreciate u for sharing these with us :) :) thanks alot…

  9. kate says

    Hi, did you get the book? Deirdre Madden was my mum. She died 11 years ago,. She’d be delighted that you remember that book. I can try to get my hands on a copy for you if you didn’t get it.

    • ashling coleman says

      Hi Kate – My name is Ashling Coleman and I am 35 yrs old. I was the ‘Young Home Economist of the year” back in 1990 in I am avid fan of your mothers and I was sorry to hear that she passed. I loved my intercert home -economics book. I had a second hand copy of “all about home economics” which fell apart and was thrown out much to my regret. I would pay any amount to get a copy. I have searched online for a copy and I contacted the publisher Folens to see if they had. My friend was a student of your mothers at Cahal Bruagh Street and I even called there!! If you could direct me as to where I could buy a copy – her recipes were great and always simple to master. I only wished she had published a cook book. I am living in New York now but I travel home frequently. Thank You

    • patricia says

      I still have this book. My Mum kept it and i borrowed it and havnt given it back. it is great for going back to basics.
      Im sure there are thousands of copies in peoples attics over Ireland. I always remember making the meatballs in my home economics class and it was the first time i had tasted them…I still remember it 20 years later yum, yum…

    • Valerie Horan says

      Hi Kate, I’m very sorry to hear your Mam passed away. I loved her “All about Home Economics” book in school and still regret 20 odd years later that I never realised the value of it and held on to it. I seen it at my friend’s house last night. and she borrowed it from a neighbour and loves it. Maybe it is to to get it back in print.. I would love to have a copy again. Take care Kate

    • Deirdre says

      Dear Kate
      I’m so sorry to read about your mother. I loved her book, and she came across as being a lovely person in the book – as well as making Home Economics a pleasant subject!
      I would love to get my hands on this book. I wish it would be re-published like Soundings!
      May your mother RIP, Kate.

    • Hi Kate,

      Sorry to hear your Mam passed away. I have very fond memories of that book. Mine somehow disappeared at home – My Mam cannot even remember it so we don’t know if she sold it or lost it. Is there any chance you could get me a copy? I’ve been looking for it for years. Perhaps a reprint would be a great idea. Plenty of people seem to want a copy!

  10. Lynn Chisholm says

    Hi there,
    The book in question is easily available on Amazon.UK.
    Check it out.

    • Hi Lynn, sadly it’s not. The one I am looking for is All about Home Economics for Intermediate & Vocational Cert. Super hard to locate as people have kept their own and it has been out of print for years.

  11. I know it is an old blog post but just to let you know I have just put a copy of that book on if you would like to have a look.

  12. Hi Niamh,
    Did you ever find this book? I too have been looking for it for years but no luck. I think if we contact the Ray Darcy Show and see can we get it reprinted. After all Sounding was reprinted this year :)

  13. Deirdre says

    I missed out on that book on eBay :(

    I would definitely go buy this book if it was re-published.

  14. So sorry you missed out on the book – I was hoping it was you who won. Lovely to see Deirdre’s daughter posting here – I’m 100% sure that the book would be a run away hit! Would be great if it was re-released.

    • Deirdre says

      Thanks Liz. I was silly, I sat waiting until the last minute to put in my final bid – but eBay rules have changed since I last bought anything there and they no longer state what the highest bid to date is! I put in €25 but it ran out of time. I’ll know better next time! I hope the person who won it gets great joy from it!

  15. Hi Deirdre and Liz,
    I am so delighted to see so many people interested in getting this book. I have a plan up my sleeve and will let you know if I get the ball rolling. I put it out on facebook to see if anyone had a copy and it turns out the girls I was in school with love it and still use it :) So obviously they will not part with theirs and rightly so. I also found lots of ladies who would love a copy so if my plan works I will post a comment on here letting you know what it is :) Sorry for the cloak and daggers but if it doesn’t work there is no point in posting anything about it!
    Best of luck with your search in the mean time. I hope to have some news next week so keep an eye on here :)

  16. Deirdre says

    Sounds exciting Sara……….. I’ll watch this space………… I’d say it would be a popular Christmas gift to give to women aged 35-45!

    To Kate – your mother may have gone to the better world, but she certainly hasn’t been forgotten!

  17. Hi Guys,
    I saw that on too when I was searching. I saw it first and then saw this page! Yes it would make a great gift. I’m sure lots of people would like it. I mentioned it to some who don’t know it and showed interest!
    Thanks for you help :)

  18. Good morning Deirdre & Liz,
    So the plan is….. drum roll! A friend of mine emailed The Tubridy Show telling the story of the book and that we are looking for a few copies. They asked her to speak on air but she didn’t want to so she passed on the emails to me. I then emailed the show and had a lovely phone call with a researcher this morning. The lady said she would highlight it and they may talk about it on air Tues or Wed this week (20th/21st). She asked me if they wanted to talk to me on air about it would I be willing so I said yes. So if you can tune in both days (I hope they do talk about it!) I think it would be great to have the support. If more people contact the show about the book it will show them how popular it is. And who knows maybe we’ll all get a copy or it might even get republished if the demand is high enough!

  19. Great stuff! I actually just sold a copy of the book on ebay – I never did home ec but ended up with a copy during an attic clear out – sold for £23.50 and lots of bidding so definetly loads of demand. If you do a google search for the book you will find quite a few threads (on and for example) where people are looking for the book. Would be fantastic for everyone if re issued. I’m just about to buy the exploring english book that has just been re issued – loved that book and can’t describe the feeling seeing the cover again in the book shop! Best of luck on Thur/Fri will be listening!

  20. Exploring English was republished??? That’s gas. Soundings was republished too, well that gives me some hope! It’s Tuesday or Wednesday this week so you might miss it if you can’t listen then! Well done on selling the book. I saw all the discussions regarding the book, it gave me the boot in the back side to get this campaign going!

  21. I was at school in the sixties-we used a similar book-was it called “all in the cooking”?I have no idea what ever happened to it but i would love to have it again-i have more time for baking now that i’m retired!! I’m so excited reading the blog and hearing (on tubridy this week) of all the interest in these books and i too would be very interested in any of these books being reprinted-good luck with that and i’l be “watching this space”!!

  22. Nick Beacroft says

    Just read Jamie Oliver’s salmon fishcake recipe from his latest book and he has a nice twist using bacon as a wrap around. Looks very tasty.

  23. Guys. I’m blown away. I’ve just been looking at this thread again and realized that I posted here a year ago! As you’ve seen, we have now reprinted it and it’s available in all good bookshops and on thank you all for your support. My mum would be so chuffed – and a bit embarrassed at all the fuss! Sarah, it was great to meet you on Wednesday. NIamh, I adore your website. I would love to meet up next time I’m in London or when you are next home! xxxx K

    • Hi Kate! I really appreciated your email to let me know and as promised will post about it today :) Hugely looking forward to receiving it. Well done again. And see you in Dublin or London soon – that would be lovely. x

  24. Well done Kate!!!!! Delighted you got it reprinted. Will cross post to the Dubray book shop facebook page to make sure they stock it!

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