Recipe: Smoked Mackerel Fish Cakes

This dish can be a rich and satisfying main course or appetizer.

This uncommon take on a common catch yields a rich and satisfying main course or appetizer. Any smoked mackerel lends itself to this treatment. King mackerel, both popular and readily available, makes a great candidate and a varietal presentation for this dish.

Recipe: Smoked Mackerel Fish Cakes
A dry, fragrant white, such as a California sauvignon blanc, nicely complements the richness of the mackerel cakes. Bill Doster
Recipe: Smoked Mackerel Fish Cakes
Flour hands first, then form ­mixture into 3-ounce cakes and lightly ­dust each with flour on the outside. Bill Doster

Fish Cakes

  • 1 pound smoked mackerel fillets
  • 1 pound peeled, halved and cooked russet potatoes
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh grated horseradish
  • 1 tsp. whole grain mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. chives
  • salt and pepper
  • Tabasco sauce
  • flour for dusting
  • olive oil for frying
Recipe: Smoked Mackerel Fish Cakes
Heat oil to just ­below its smoking point. Oil should reach halfway up the sides of the cakes. Bill Doster

1. Mash cooked potatoes with grated garlic, butter, horseradish, sugar and mustard to a firm consistency.

2. Flake the mackerel fillets into the potato mixture, being careful to discard bones and skin.


3. Season with Tabasco, salt and pepper. Remember smoked mackerel is salty, so taste while seasoning.

4. Float hands in flour, form the mixture into 3-ounce patties, and dust lightly with flour.

5. Fry in hot (just below smoking) olive oil until golden brown.


Citrus Tartar Sauce

  • 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. parsley, chopped
  • 3 gherkins, chopped
  • 2 tsp. capers, chopped
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • chopped orange and grapefruit segments to taste

1. Mix all ingredients in bowl, except citrus.

2. Season to taste with salt, pepper and Tabasco.

3. Add citrus segments to taste.