Salmon and sorrel fishcakes with mustard sauce

Salmon and sorrel fishcakes with mustard sauce

Leiths How to Cook
Peter Cassidy

The potatoes and salmon must be cooked in advance to allow them time to cool. Alternatively, you can use leftover mashed potatoes and cooked fish.

For the fishcakes


Quantity Ingredient
300g potatoes
400g salmon fillet
5-10 sorrel leaves, depending on size
2 eggs
2 teaspoons anchovy essence
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
plain flour, to coat
dried white breadcrumbs, to coat
oil, for shallow-frying
freshly ground black pepper

For the sauce

Quantity Ingredient
300ml Fish stock
150ml dry vermouth
20g butter
20g plain flour
100ml double cream
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
5-10 sorrel leaves

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
Wilted spinach


  1. Peel the potatoes and cut into large, even-sized chunks. Place in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Add salt and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well and mash with a potato masher, or pass through a ricer, or push them through a sieve using a wooden spoon. Set aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, put the salmon in a frying pan with a large pinch of salt, cover with water and heat gently until barely simmering (a small bubble should break the surface only occasionally). Poach the salmon for 5 minutes, then take off the heat. Leave in the water for a further 5 minutes to finish cooking, then remove the fish from the pan. Set aside to cool.
  3. Finely shred the sorrel for the fishcakes and beat the eggs. Put the cooled potato in a bowl and stir in the sorrel, anchovy essence and mustard. Flake one-third of the salmon into the potato mixture and stir well. Add a little of the beaten egg to bind. Season well with salt and pepper, then flake the remaining salmon into the bowl and gently fold it in, trying to keep the flakes as large as possible.
  4. Divide the mixture into 4 large or 8 small portions. Flour your hands and shape the portions into cakes. Place some flour on one plate, the remaining beaten egg on another and some breadcrumbs on a third plate. Dust each cake with flour, coat in egg, then cover in breadcrumbs and set aside on a clean plate. They can be made in advance up to this stage and refrigerated until needed.
  5. Heat the oven to 190°C. For the sauce, put the stock and vermouth in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer until reduced by half. Melt the butter in another pan, then stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and add the reduced liquid to the sauce slowly, stirring to avoid lumps. Return to the heat, bring to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in the cream and mustard and simmer until the sauce is the required consistency; it should be slightly syrupy. Season and set aside until the fishcakes are cooked.
  6. Pour oil into a frying pan to a depth of 1 cm and heat over a medium to high heat. When hot, fry the fishcakes until brown on both sides (you may need to do this in batches, depending on the size of the pan). Transfer the browned fishcakes to a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, heat the sauce, adding a little water if it has thickened too much while it has cooled. Shred the sorrel as finely as possible and stir it into the hot sauce only just before serving, to preserve the colour.
  8. Serve the fishcakes with the sauce and wilted spinach.


  • Sorrel is not always available to buy, but it is easy to grow, even in a window box. If you can’t get it, use a few sprigs of basil, tarragon or dill in its place.


  • Salmon fishcakes with dill and lemon sauce: Omit the sorrel from the fishcakes and sauce. Finely grate the zest of 1 large lemon; add half to the fish mixture and half to the sauce. Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1 tablespoon finely chopped dill to the fish mixture. Stir 1 teaspoon chopped dill and a little lemon juice into the sauce. Serve the fishcakes with lemon wedges.

    Haddock and caper fishcakes: Replace the salmon with haddock or smoked haddock. Omit the sorrel. Add 1 tablespoon chopped parsley and 1 tablespoon chopped capers to the mixture. Serve with tartare (rather than sorrel) sauce.
Leiths School of food and wine
cookery course
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