Smoked Mackrel Fish Cakes by Chef Nina Timm

“My Smoked Mackerel Fish Cakes are a breeze to make and they freeze beautifully, so you can make a whole heap and freeze them. To come home after a long day at work, you can fry 1 or 2 per person and make a salad. Maybe a few potato wedges on the side and you have a delicious meal.” 

– Chef Nina Timm


makes 8 – 10 depending on the size


  • 6 fillets Three Streams Peppered Mackerel
  • zest of 1 – 2 lemons ( I used 2 small ones)
  • 125 ml chopped parsley or coriander
  • 1 jumbo egg – or 2 medium
  • oil for frying

For the crumbing station

  • 250 ml flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 500 ml Panko breadcrumbs (available from Chinese Grocery Stores)
  • salt and pepper


Remove the skin off the fish fillets and flake the fish with your fingers. Make sure you remove all the little bones.

Add all the other ingredients and mix. Shape into 8 even-sized patties. I use a cookie cutter to ensure even sizes.

Prepare the crumbing station.

Whisk the 4 eggs in a bowl, add a little salt.

Place the flour and panko crumbs in another two bowls and also season with a little salt and pepper.

Dip each fish cake in the flour, then the egg mix and lastly in the panko crumbs.

Place on a plate and repeat with all the other fish cakes.

Place the fish cakes in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.

Heat the oil in a pan and fry the fishcakes on both sides until golden brown.

Serve with the tartare sauce.


Tartare Sauce

  • 200 ml good quality mayonnaise
  • 45 ml/3 T chopped gherkins
  • 30 ml/2 T chopped capers
  • 1 small red onion – finely chopped
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 45 ml/3 T chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste


Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, mix and serve immediately or store in a glass jar until needed.