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Victorian Era Fish Cakes

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“I absolutely hated fish cakes as a kid, probably because my mother bought cheap cod...They always tasted, I dunno, chalky? But thanks to this recipe that I found in The Great Victorian Cookbook by John Midgley, published in 1995, I may yet change my mind about fish cakes! Tweaked from the original recipe and placed here for future use and safekeeping!”
4 fish cakes

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Poach the fish fillets with the carrot, onion, celery, bay leaf, leeks and the parsley sprigs in enough water to cover the fish, by bringing to a boil and then reducing to low and simmering for approximately 15 minutes.
  2. Remove the fish and mash with a fork; then mix in the mashed potato, ONE of the beaten eggs and the remaining ingredients EXCEPT for the breadcrumbs, the oil and the remaining beaten egg.
  3. With floured hands, form mixture into 4 cakes; dip each cake into the remaining beaten egg and then coat with the breadcrumbs.
  4. Heat about an inch of olive oil in a non-stick skillet and just before the oil starts to smoke, carefully add the fish cakes over medium heat until golden on both sides.
  5. It has been said that Victorian cooks served the fish cakes over a sorrel or spinach based sauce.
  6. Cooktime includes both the poaching time for the fish and frytime for the formed fish cakes.

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