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Dot's Fish Cakes
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    Dot's Fish Cakes

    I spent a few weeks on the island of St. Helena (in the South Atlantic) a couple of years back where one of the infamous island specialties are fish cakes. There are probably 20 recipes for them over the island, but the best are the fish cakes made by a colorful (and rather frisky) old woman named Dot. She runs a little diner, but most people stop by to meet her and to try some of her awesome fish cakes. She makes two kinds--one mild and one spicy.

    The measurements are in metric, so you may have to check a conversion table in one of your cookbooks to some of the measurements from grams into pounds. Note: A 'rasher' of bacon is one thick strip. 'Mixed Spice' is a locally spice mixture similar to Emeril's Essence (recipe below). Also, the local chiles on St. Helena are similar in heat to fresh Cayenne. I normally use Serranos when I make these.

  • 250 g fresh, premium-quality tuna (Other boned/boneless fish can be used also)
  • 300 g potatoes
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 Pinch thyme
  • 1 small/medium egg
  • tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon 'mixed spice
  • 1 rasher of bacon - diced (optional)
  • Salt to season
  • Hot chili peppers - chopped finely
    Emeril's Essence Creole Seasoning:
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

    Yield: 2/3 cup

    Peel and boil potatoes in lightly salted water until soft. Drain and mash - leave to cool. Shred fish with knife until fine. Add to mashed potato. Heat frying pan on medium heat. Add approx. 2 tablespoons cooking oil. Fry onion, parsley, thyme, spice, salt, (chili) (bacon) until slightly browned. Cool, then add to fish and mashed potato. Add egg and mix together. Form patties with hands to about inch to inch thick and about 3 inches round. Heat cooking oil in pan on medium heat. Fry patties until brown on both sides.

    Test one fishcake first by frying. If fishcake does not fry properly - dust patties with flour before frying. Add extra egg if mixture breaks when frying. Taste before cooking other patties - add extra salt or chiles etc if desired. Do not cook on high heat.

    On St. Helena, fish cakes are traditionally served on hamburger buns with ketchup (which they locally refer to as tomato sauce) and with rice pilaf and vegetables. Can be eaten hot or cold.

    From: Dot of St. Helena Island
    Posted By: Islandman (, Via: Chile Head Mailing List
    Post Date: Sun, 20 May 2001



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