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Recipe: Smoked Mackerel Fish Cakes

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

December 3, 2018
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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.

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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.

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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.

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