Recipe: Fishcakes with Tomatilla-Cilantro Salsa

I like fish.  I like potatoes.  I guess that is why I decided to give this one a go.

My first attempt of making this I used around 2 1/4 cups of mashed potatoes.  I figured, hey potatoes are good right?  The fishcakes were still yummy but lacked the consistency and texture I had anticipated.  They were definitely more creamy on the inside than meaty… and I wanted meaty.

I also opted to bake instead of fry my fishcakes.  I’m just big on frying things.  Nothing was lost in baking instead of frying.  They were still just as crispy on the outside, thanks no doubt to the panko crumbs.  This was the first time I had used panko for breading and definitely wasn’t the last.  It does the whole crispy coating thing in a way that breadcrumbs or flours just can’t.

And finally this was my first experience with tomatillas.  Wow, I had been missing out!  I don’t know what I expected them to be like, but was very surprised they reminded me of the tart cherries from my grandmother’s cherry tree, only without the hint of that cherry sweetness.  The tartness of the tomatillas and the lime-ness of the cilantro complimented the fishcakes perfectly.


  • 1 to 2 1/4 cups cold mashed potatoes
  • 14-15 ounces of canned salmon
  • 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter, melted (if the mashed potato hasn’t got any butter in it)
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Grated zest of half a lemon
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 egg

Coating and frying:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cups of matzo meal or panko
  • 1/4 cups of unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • In a large bowl, mix together all the fishcake ingredients–using your hands helps
  • Cover a baking sheet with plastic wrap, form fat, palm-sized patties. Place these on the baking sheet and put in the refrigerator to firm up for about 20 minutes to an hour–or considerably longer, if that helps.
  • Beat the eggs in a shallow soup bowl and sprinkle the matzo meal or panko onto a dinner plate. One by one, dip the fishcakes into the beaten egg and then into the matzo or Panko sprinkling and dredging over, as you help coat them.
  • When you’re done, put the butter and oil in a large frying pan, heat till it begins to fizzle and then fry the fishcakes on each side, until the crusts are golden and speckled brown in parts, and the warmed through.
  • If you decide to go the over route like I did, place them on a non stick pan and bake at about 450 until browned and crispy and warmed through.

Serve fishcakes with the Tomatilla-Cilantro sauce

Tomatilla-Cilantro Salsa

  • 1 Tablespoon butter or oil
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 3/4 cup roughly chopped tomatillas
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1 large poblano pepper, seeded and chopped roughly (You can use canned poblanos or substitute a bell pepper. I used a bell pepper and it was fine.)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 3/4 cup light sour cream
  • lime juice
  • salt and pepper
  • Heat the butter or oil and add the flour, stirring and cooking over medium heat for a minute or two until it’s a smooth paste.
  • Remove from heat and add flour paste, tomatillas, onions, cilantro, poblano, and stock to a food processor or blender. Process until smooth.
  • Pour into a small saucepan and heat until boiling and very thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in the sour cream and add lime juice, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Can be made several days ahead and stored in the fridge.


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