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Salmon Fish Cakes with Sorrel and Watercress Salad in a Caper and Lemon Dressing

Stunning salmon fishcakes from Rick Stein. The homemade fishcakes are served with fresh sorrel and watercress salad and a sharp caper and lemon dressing.


These fish cakes have plenty of fresh tarragon in them, which goes very well with salmon I always think, and they’re served with a simple salad and quite a sharp dressing to cut the richness of the deep-frying. If you can’t get sorrel leaves, don’t worry, just use some other small salad leaves, but sorrel does add a slightly tart accent which is most pleasing with the fish cakes.

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900g (2lb) potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
750g (1½lb) cooked salmon
25g (1oz) butter, melted
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
15g (½oz) chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp salt
50g (2oz) plain flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
2 eggs, beaten
150g (5oz) fresh white breadcrumbs
15g (½oz) sorrel leaves, torn into small pieces
15g (½oz) watercress, divided into sprigs
Freshly ground black pepper
Sunflower oil for deep-frying
For the caper and lemon dressing:
Juice of 1 small lemon
85ml (3fl oz) olive oil
2 tbsp capers, well drained, rinsed and finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp chopped fresh chives
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill or fennel herb

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Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until tender Drain well, tip back into the pan and mash until smooth. Leave to cool slightly.

Break the salmon into small flakes, removing any bones and skin. Put into a bowl with the mashed potatoes, melted butter herbs, salt and some black pepper Mix together well. Shape the mixture into 8 rounds about 2.5 cm (1 in) thick, cover with cling film and chill for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk all the ingredients for the dressing together and season to taste.

Pour the oil into a pan until it is no more than half full and heat to 180°C/350°F, or until a small piece of bread dropped into it browns and rises to the surface in 1½ minutes. Dip the fish cakes into the seasoned flour then the beaten eggs and finally the breadcrumbs, pressing them on well to give an even coating. Deep-fry them in batches for about 4 minutes, until crisp and golden. Lift out and drain briefly on kitchen paper. Keep warm in a low oven while you cook the rest.

Toss the sorrel and watercress with 1 tablespoon of the dressing. Put the fish cakes on 4 warmed plates, pile the dressed salad leaves to one side and spoon a little more dressing over the remainder of the plate.

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