Yorkshire Fishcake – Three Twists

Yorkshire fishcake is an English staple that many of our readers are likely familiar with. While you may love popping down to the shop to have a few made on the spot for you, it’s very possible that you’ve never made them at home! DreamyHome is here to fix that with a few twists that should give your Yorkshire fishcakes an extra bit of life. And best of all? There’s no faff, no filler, and no made-up story about my legendary family recipe handed down through centuries. I just like to cook and figured I’d help bring a bit of change to the table.

Yorkshire fishcakes are an English staple originating from Sheffield, consisting of a piece of whitefish layered between potatoes. It is then battered and deep-fried.

Let’s get into it, shall we?

Yorkshire Fishcake – The Basics

Here are the ingredients you’ll need as a base for this – the additional ingredients for the various twists will be included in their respective sections.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large potato
  • 150 grams fish (I chose cod, any fish will work here)
  • 125 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda. This will change with the beer-battered recipe.
  • 1 litre of canola or vegetable oil. Do not fry with olive oil. It breaks down at the temperatures we’re frying at.

This recipe makes 4-6 cakes.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour

The Base Recipe:

  1. Mix your flour, salt, and baking soda in a bowl.
  2. Add cold water, whisking it to a paste (it needs to coat the cake, as we’re not double-dredging)
  3. Let the batter stand in the fridge until you’re ready to start.
  4. Peel and slice your potato on a mandolin. It needs to be roughly 4 mm thick – it’s going in raw, too thick and it will not cook.
  5. Cut the fish to the same size. Use a potato slice as a guide, if needed.
  6. Sandwich the fish between two slices of potato, and dredge in batter.

Now you deep fry the cake. Using a tall pan or pot, heat vegetable or canola oil to 150 ° C. Alternatively, you can use lard, though I prefer oil. Cook until golden, drain excess oil, and eat!

Twist #1 – Oregon Beer Batter

This is what we call the Oregon to Yorkshire Fishcake. Inspired by the flavours of the American Pacific Northwest, we’re gonna change a few things. In addition to the above ingredients, you’ll need:

  • 250 mL of your favourite beer (this replaces the baking soda and water)
    • I’ve found that good, strong ales work best here. Belgian, English, or German are good, though Oregonian (American) beer is best if you can find it.
  • 150 grams salmon (replacing the whitefish)
  • 1 egg
  • Panko breading
  • 2 tsp each of:
    • black pepper
    • salt
    • garlic powder
  • 1 tsp each of:
    • Cayenne pepper (more if you like spice)
    • Paprika
  • 1 sprig dill, for garnish

For the batter:

  1. Combine flour, seasonings and egg, whisking in the beer until you reach the desired consistency. It should be thin, though this is up to personal preference.
  2. Complete steps 3-6 from above. Dredge in the batter, followed by Panko crumbs.
  3. Deep fry, garnish with dill when ready to serve.
  4. Eat with your second beer (or third, if it mysteriously disappeared).

Twist #2 – Pommes Anne Fishcake

This will use everything from the base recipe, with one change – we’re making Pommes Anne to sandwich the fish between. For those unfamiliar, Pommes Anne is a French potato recipe that makes crisp, flakey layered potatoes. Think potatoes, but with the consistency of a crisp croissant.

You’ll need:

  • Copious amounts of butter
  • 2 large potatoes (rather than one)

The process:

  1. Melt half a stick of butter with some olive oil in a pan. Let the butter foam, then cut heat.
  2. Thinly slice your potatoes just as you did above. Now, layer them tightly in the pan in a shingle pattern (overlapping). They can be slightly thicker, as you’re par-cooking the potatoes in this method.
    1. Do this with only 2-3 layers, seasoning with salt and pepper as you layer. Traditional Pommes Anne would require a much larger amount of layering, but that’s not what we’re doing.
  3. Turn the heat back onto medium-high heat, adding butter and olive oil to soak the potatoes.
  4. Cover the pan, letting the potatoes steam for 1 minute. Turn up the heat to brown them if needed, then remove after browning both sides. The potatoes should have formed a “cake” of sorts.
    1. You don’t want them fully cooked – they’re meant to be extra crisp and buttery, not overcooked.
  5. Complete the basic recipe’s steps 1-6, frying in vegetable or canola oil.

Twist #3 – Cajun Fishcake

This recipe makes liberal use of spice – so if you’re not a fan of spicy things, this isn’t for you.

You’ll need:

  • 3 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp each of:
    • Cayenne pepper (extra if you like spice)
    • White pepper
    • Black pepper
    • Onion powder
    • Dried oregano
    • Thyme
    • The zest of one lemon
  • 1 tsp each of:
    • Salt (kosher)
    • Garlic powder
  • The juice of one lemon
  • 1 tbsp Worchestershire Sauce
  • Sprig of thyme and rosemary, for garnish

Complete all steps of the basic recipe, adding the seasoning to the batter’s dry ingredients. Replace part of the water with lemon juice and Worchestershire. Garnish with a lemon wedge, rosemary, and thyme. Best enjoyed with a light beer (like a lager or hefeweizen) on a hot day.

Final Thoughts

Yorkshire fishcake is an English staple – but just like all other foods, they’re not immune to improvement over time. Some people may take offence to this, but it’s the truth! The best part of cooking is being able to impart a delicious meal with a bit of your own personality, second only to the smiles on the faces of those you fed.

Don’t ever settle for the “same old” meal – variety is the spice of life, and ensuring that you’re mixing things up will make your stomach and tastebuds much, much happier. And if you’re a fan of deep-fried potatoes (who isn’t) check out our guide to making crisp chips without a deep fat fryer!

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About the Author Harry Thompson

Involved in home renovations throughout his life, Harry is an expert in everything to do with home and garden DIY. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking and tending to his garden.