Tag Archives: cod

Newfoundland Cod Fish Cakes

24 Apr

Last fall, my aunt packed up her belongings and trekked out to Newfoundland to take up a one-year teaching position at Memorial University.  She recently returned home, but the holidays were the first time I’d seen her since she moved out east.  Always an incredibly thoughtful and generous person, she brought back little pieces of Newfoundland for each of her family members.

Stunning Newfoundland photo #1, courtesy of my Aunt

Stunning Newfoundland photo #1, courtesy of my aunt

Stunning Newfoundland photo #2, courtesy of my Aunt

Stunning Newfoundland photo #2, courtesy of my aunt

My gift—surprise, surprise! – revolved around cooking.  My aunt knows me well. I received two recipe books featuring Newfie and Atlantic cuisine along with savory, an herb commonly used in Atlantic cooking.  The first word that came to my mind while flipping through the cookbooks was ‘comfort.’  Lots of stews, casseroles, and baked goods.  Amongst the homey, high-calorie, or downright bizarre recipes (Caribou Ringalls, anyone?), a picture of cod cakes caught my eye.


The recipe naturally called for salt cod, but a variation using fresh or frozen fish was listed.  The cakes were easy to prepare: poach fish fillets in salted water, flake, and add to a mash of potatoes, parsnip, onion, and egg.  The batter was on the soft side, so a delicate hand was needed when flipping the cakes within the fry pan. The end result was a cake with a mashed potato texture and just a hint of fish flavour.  A great dish for those who want to eat more fish but dislike the taste or texture.

These cod cakes take care of both your protein and starch, so all you need is a couple of colourful vegetables or a salad for a complete meal.  We paired ours with Brussels sprouts and beets, but the options are limitless.


Fish Cakes
(from Traditional Recipes of Atlantic Canada)

1 pound cod or haddock fillets*
2 small onions, chopped
6-8 potatoes, cooked and mashed (3 cups)
2-3 parsnips, cooked
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
½ tsp to 1 tablespoon savory (or parsley, or sage)
1 egg, well beaten
¼ cup flour (or 1 cup fine breadcrumbs)

  1. Poach fish in 1 cup salted, simmering water for 5 to 10 minutes. Drain well and flake into small pieces.
  2. Cook onions in ¼ cup water, covered, until tender and soft. Remove lid and set aside.
  3. Mash together fish, potatoes, parsnips, and butter.  Add onions and water in which they were cooked. Season with savory, salt and pepper to taste. Add beaten egg and mix well. Chill until cool and firm.
  4. Form into 3-inch round patties and coat lightly with flour (or fine breadcrumbs).
  5. Coat a non-stick pan with cooking spray and set over medium-high heat.  Fry fish cakes 3 minutes on each side, turning once, until crisp and golden.

*If you have access to salt cod, substitute poached fresh or frozen cod for 1 pound salt cod. Cover with cold water overnight for 6-8 hours, simmer in fresh water for 5-10 minutes, then drain, remove bones, and flake the fish.

Makes 6 fish cakes. Per cake: 300 kcal, 47 g CHO, 5 g fibre, 4 g fat (0.3 g saturated), 19 g protein