Smoked haddock and cheddar fish cakes with watercress sauce

Serve these smoky, cheesy seafood bites with a bright green dipping sauce as a party nibble or an appetizer to share. These delicious fish cakes combine the rich flavors of smoked haddock and cheddar to create a delicious mix of textures. The watercress sauce gives the dish a refreshing and spicy touch. Perfect for impressing guests or enjoying with loved ones, these fish cakes are sure to be a crowd pleaser. So get ready to indulge in this irresistible flavor combination and make your gatherings even more memorable.


  • 425g floury potatoes, cut into large pieces
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 peppercorns
  • small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, leaves and stems separated
  • 225g smoked haddock fillets with skin on (we used dyed haddock to give the mash a nice golden color)
  • 200 g unsmoked haddock fillets with skin
  • 75g mature British cheddar, grated
  • 4 spring onions, ½ sliced ​​very finely, ½ roughly chopped
  • 50g plain flour
  • 2 medium eggs, beaten
  • 100g fresh breadcrumbs
  • Sunflower oil, for frying
  • 50g watercress (weighed after removing the thickest stems)
  • 4 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 2 lemons, 1 juiced, 1 cut into small wedges for serving (optional)


Safe frying

You can find tips for deep-frying the fish cakes in our Instructions for safe frying.

Preparation steps

  1. Place potatoes, bay leaf, peppercorns and parsley stalks in a large pot of cold water.

  2. Cover with a lid, bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes until tender.

  3. Using a slotted spoon, place the potatoes in a colander and let them steam dry.

  4. Reduce the heat, add the fish and gently poach for 5 minutes, until it falls apart easily.

  5. Place the potatoes in a large bowl and let the fish drain in the colander for a few minutes.

  6. Add the cheese, some pepper and some salt to the potatoes and mash well.

  7. Chop up about half of the fish, removing the skin and bones, and puree it as well.

  8. Add the remaining fish in large pieces, sprinkle over the chopped spring onions and mix gently.

  9. Roll the mixture into golf ball-sized cakes.

  10. Place the flour on a plate and season.

  11. Place the egg and breadcrumbs in two shallow bowls.

  12. Roll each fish cake first in the flour, then in the egg, then in the breadcrumbs.

  13. Sit on parchment-lined trays that fit in your refrigerator.

  14. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.

  15. Fill a deep skillet with 1-2cm sunflower oil and heat until shimmering.

  16. Fry a few fish cakes at a time, turning regularly.

  17. If the oil becomes too crumbly, change it halfway through.

  18. You can serve them immediately or let them cool and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

  19. Before the party, simply heat in the oven at 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4 for 30 minutes.

  20. Make the dipping sauce up to 1 hour before serving – add the coarsely chopped scallions, parsley leaves, watercress, canola oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 5 tablespoons water to a food processor or blender.

  21. Whip until the consistency of cream.

  22. Pile the warm fish cakes on a platter with a bowl of watercress sauce on the side.

  23. If you like, add a few lemon wedges for squeezing.

Nutritional Information

245 11g 3g 20g 1g 2g 15g 1g

Equipment and tools

  • Big pot
  • frying pan
  • mixing bowl
  • Sieve
  • dulcimer
  • Knife
  • Food processor (optional)
  • Large plate or baking sheet
  • slotted spoon
  • Paper towels

Allergen information

  • This recipe contains fish, dairy (cheddar) and eggs.
  • Please consider any allergies or dietary restrictions before consumption.

Storage and leftovers

  • Leftover fish cakes can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Heat the fish cakes in the preheated oven at 180°C (350°F) for about 15-20 minutes or until heated through.
  • The watercress sauce can be stored separately in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Health Benefits of Smoked Haddock and Cheddar Fish Cakes with Watercress Sauce

Smoked Haddock and Cheddar Fish Cakes with Watercress Sauce are not only a delicious meal but also have numerous health benefits. From providing essential nutrients to promoting heart health, these fish cakes offer a healthy and nutritious option.

1. Rich in protein

The combination of smoked haddock, unsmoked haddock and cheddar cheese makes these fish cakes a rich source of protein. Protein is essential for the growth and repair of tissue in our body. It also helps build and maintain muscle mass.

2. Omega-3 fatty acids

Smoked haddock is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and have positive effects on heart health. They can help reduce the risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure and improve overall cardiovascular health.

3. Nutrient-rich potatoes

The fish cakes are made from floury potatoes, which are rich in vitamins and minerals. Potatoes are a good source of vitamin C, potassium and vitamin B6. They also contain fiber, which aids digestion and promotes a healthy intestine.

4. Antioxidant-rich watercress

The watercress sauce that accompanies the fish cakes provides a nutritional boost. Watercress is a leafy green vegetable packed with antioxidants, vitamins A, C and K, and minerals such as calcium and iron. These antioxidants help fight free radicals and support a strong immune system.

5. Calcium from Cheddar cheese

The addition of mature British cheddar cheese not only enhances the flavor but also provides calcium. Calcium is necessary for maintaining strong bones and teeth. It also plays an important role in nerve function and muscle contraction.

6. Vitamin-rich herbs

Using flat-leaf parsley in the fish cakes not only provides a kick of freshness, but also a good portion of vitamins and minerals. Parsley is particularly rich in vitamin K, which is important for blood clotting and bone health.

7. Healthy cooking methods

The fish cakes are fried with sunflower oil, which is a healthier alternative to other oils. Sunflower oil is low in saturated fat and high in vitamin E, making it a good choice for cooking.

By combining these nutritious ingredients and healthy cooking methods, Smoked Haddock and Cheddar Fish Cakes with Watercress Sauce provide a balanced meal that not only satisfies the taste buds but also benefits your overall well-being.

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