These delicious gluten-free fish cakes are very easy to make, and a great recipe to add more fish to your diet. You can either use fresh fish, or canned fish such as salmon or tuna.
What you'll love about the recipe
- An easy way to add more oily fish to your diet if you use salmon or mackerel
- Use canned fish to make the recipe super speedy
- A budget-friendly fish recipe
- Perfect for using up leftover potatoes or cooked fish
- Gluten free fish cakes freeze well and can be prepared ahead of time
- A filling and healthy midweek meal
Cooked fish. You can either used canned fish (which is already cooked in the can), leftover cooked fish, or quickly poach some fish for this recipe. I used canned pink salmon, or you could also use a tin of mackerel or tuna.
White fish works well in these gluten free fish cakes too. If you've got some leftover cooked fish, that's ideal. Otherwise you could quickly poach a fillet of fish whilst the potatoes are cooking. Just pop it in a pan and half cover with boiling water. Cover the pan and simmer gently for 6-8 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish. The cooked fish should flake through easily. Drain well.
You could also use a packet of cooked smoked mackerel. Or if you enjoy smoked fish, use the recipe to make gluten free smoked haddock fish cakes.
Potatoes. You can either use freshly cooked potatoes, or leftovers if you've got them. Although some types of potato are better for mashing, I just use whatever I've got. Other than a really waxy salad potato, you can mash most varieties.
Egg. You'll need an egg to bind the fish cakes together.
Flavourings. Both potatoes and fish are quite mild in flavour, so you'll need to season the mix well, and add a few extra flavours. Some lemon zest is good. Herbs add both colour and flavour. I used some chopped chives, but you could also use dill, parsley or basil. Or try of teaspoon of spice such as toasted cumin or fennel seeds.
I like to add a handful of cheddar cheese to the recipe. It's optional, but a small amount will add a nice cheesy richness and help the fishcakes to turn a lovely golden brown.
How to make gluten free fishcakes
Scrub the potatoes - I don't peel them as the peel practically disappears in the fish cakes. And you'll retain more fibre and vitamins by leaving the skins on. Cut them into dice approximately 1.5 cm.
Pop the potatoes into a pan and cover with boiling water. Bring to the boil, put a lid on the pan and simmer for about 7 or 8 minutes. Different types of potatoes can cook differently, so check that they are cooked with the point of a knife.
Remove from the heat and drain well.
Mash the potatoes until they are smooth. Don't be tempted to mash your potatoes with a hand blender, otherwise the texture will become gluey and unpleasant. There's no need to add butter or milk as you would if you were making normal mash.
Transfer the mash to a bowl and add the drained cooked fish, egg, seasoning, lemon zest, herbs and cheese if using. Mix together gently with a fork. The ingredients should be blended, but try to keep some of the texture of the fish.
Roughly divide the mixture into 8 portions in the bowl. Then using your hands, shape each portion into a flattened ball, approximately 1.5 cm in thickness.
At this point, the fish cakes will be quite soft, so it's best to refrigerate them for about 30 minutes. If you want to make them ahead of time, you could actually leave them in the fridge for up to 48 hours at this point. Or if you're really short of time, pop them in the freezer for 10 minutes. It'll make them easier to cook.
Heat a large non stick frying pan on a medium heat, and add a drizzle of oil. Make sure that the pan and oil are really hot so that the fish cakes don't stick. Then fry the fish cakes for about 4 minutes on each side until golden.
Don't overcrowd the pan, it's best to cook the fish cakes in 2 batches.
If you prefer, rather than frying the fish cakes, you can cook them under the grill. Brush with a little olive oil or butter to help them to brown, and cook under a preheated grill for 3-4 minutes per side.
Serving and storage
Serve these gluten free fish cakes with a big salad or pile of veggies. They go really well with greens (try this perpetual spinach recipe) or waldorf salad. Or try them alongside this lemon-y courgette salad.
Fish cakes go perfectly with parsley sauce (gluten free of course!). You could also add some healthy tomato ketchup, or make a quick tartar sauce with Greek yogurt and some finely chopped gherkins and capers. Or treat yourself to some healthy hollandaise.
You can store uncooked or cooked fish cakes in the fridge for 2-3 days. Gluten free fish cakes also freeze well.
Frequently asked questions
Fish cakes often contain gluten, both as a binder and as a coating. Breadcrumbs are often used in the body of a fish cake, and some recipes also use flour. Many fish cakes are dipped in egg and then breadcrumbs to add a crisp coating. These gluten free fish cakes contain no wheat or breadcrumbs.
Too much moisture in the recipe can result in fish cakes that don't hold together well. Make sure that you drain the both the potatoes and fish well. Chilling the fish cakes will also help to firm them up so that they don't fall apart.
Fish cakes are a great way enjoy fish. The NHS recommends a healthy balanced diet should include two portions of fish a week, including one of oily fish. This gluten free fish cakes recipe contains just fish, potatoes, an egg and seasoning and herbs. Making your own fish cakes is a great way to ensure that you avoid the additives and fillers which can be used in shop bought fish cakes.
Other gluten free fish recipes
Or if you've got some cans of fish, you could try these tuna and sweetcorn fritters, tuna and sweetcorn quiche or this quick tuna pate. Or for a quick oily fish recipe using tinned fish, try this mackerel pate or sardine pate recipe.
Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a rating and/or comment at the bottom of the page. Your feedback and questions are much appreciated.
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Gluten Free Fish Cakes
- sauce pan
- frying pan
- potato masher
- 400 g potatoes
- 400 g cooked fish well drained
- 1 egg beaten
- small bunch of chives
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- salt and pepper
- drizzle of oil for frying
- 50 g grated cheddar
- Scrub the potatoes, and cut into cubes approx 1.5 cm.
- Add the potatoes to a pan, and cover with boiling water and a pinch of salt. Bring up to the boil and simmer for 7 minutes. The potatoes should be tender to the point of a knife.
- Drain well and mash until smooth. Transfer to a bowl.
- Add the cooked fish, beaten egg, chives, seasoning, lemon zest and cheddar if using. Stir gently with a fork to mix . Take care so that the fish still retains some texture.
- Using your hands, shape the mixture into 8 fishcakes .
- Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up. You can leave them for up to 48 hours at this stage. (If you're in a rush, pop them in the freezer for 10 minutes.)
- Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat and add a drizzle of olive oil. Fry the fishcakes on both sides for about 4 minutes until crisp and golden.
Please note nutritional information is for guidance only