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    John Whaite's frying pan fishcake with pickled radishes

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    John Whaite's frying pan fishcake with pickled radishes

    Fishcakes, while a classic form of comfort food, can be a little fiddly what with the shaping, chilling and frying. And even the most nimble flippers will encounter stubborn, stuck-to-the-pan nuggets at some point in their life. This version is a cross between a giant fishcake and a potato cake and requires no flipping whatsoever. Just top with the vibrant pickled radishes, slice in the pan and serve

    • Christmas
    • Preparation time: 30 minutes
    • Cooking time: 30 minutes

    Serves: 6 - 8


    For the pickled radishes
    200g radishes, very finely sliced
    80ml red wine vinegar
    50g caster sugar
    1 tsp fennel seeds

    For the Fishcake
    500g Maris Piper potatoes, unpeeled and quartered
    1 onion, peeled and quartered
    230g pack boneless hot smoked mackerel fillets, skinned and broken into chunks
    200g smoked salmon, chopped
    3 salad onions, very finely chopped
    25g pack parsley, roughly chopped
    20g pack dill, fronds only, roughly chopped
    1 tsp horseradish sauce
    1 tbsp nonpareille capers, drained and roughly chopped
    1 Waitrose British Blacktail Medium Free Range Egg
    50g potato flour (or Smash)
    150g cooked, peeled prawns, defrosted if frozen
    1 tbsp sunflower oil, for frying  


    1 First make the pickled radishes so the flavours have time to meld. Put the radish slices into a bowl and add a pinch of salt. In a small saucepan combine the vinegar, sugar and fennel seeds and bring to a boil. Pour the hot liquid over the radishes, cover the bowl with clingfilm, and leave at room temperature while you make the fishcake. If you wanted, you could make these in a sterilised jar and they’ll keep in the fridge for up to 3 months.

    2 For the fishcake, put the potatoes, onion, and a very generous pinch of salt into a large saucepan and add enough water to cover the potatoes. Bring the water to the boil and cook for 20-25 minutes, until you can easily pierce a potato with a sharp knife. Drain the potatoes, discarding the water and onion, then return them to the pan and leave them, off the heat, to steam for 5 minutes or so.

    3 Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Mash the potatoes until they’re fairly smooth, then add the remaining fishcake ingredients (except the oil for frying) and fold everything together into what resembles mashed potato, studded with other bits. Season well.

    4 In a large, deep-sided, ovenproof frying or sauté pan about 26cm in size, warm the oil over a medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, and only when it’s hot, add the potato mixture, patting it down with a fish slice or the back of a spoon, into a fairly flat pancake the size of the base of the pan. Turn the heat down to medium and cook, undisturbed, for 5 minutes. Then put the pan into the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes, until lightly golden and the fishcake feels set when gently prodded. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes, before sprinkling over the drained pickled radishes.

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