June 23, 2024


Food, couldn't ask for more.

Cook this: Nan’s fish cakes from Cook More, Waste Less

A fish cake ‘is one of the best ways to repurpose leftover fish,’ says Christine Tizzard

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Our cookbook of the week is Cook More, Waste Less by food stylist and recipe developer Christine Tizzard. Over the next two days, we’ll feature another recipe from the book and an interview with the author.


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To try another recipe from the book, check out: Packed peppers.

Newfoundlander Christine Tizzard is particular about her fish cakes.

“I just love fish cakes, and I am very picky about them,” says the author, now based in Caledonia, Ont. Too often, they’re packed with more potatoes than fish, she adds, or aren’t seasoned enough, “making for bland fish cakes.”

On the East Coast, cod cakes are a staple, says Tizzard. Once commonly made with salt cod and saltine cracker crumbs, today they usually feature fresh cooked fish and potatoes. “A fish cake is, for me, one of the best ways to repurpose leftover fish.”

An ideal vehicle for any cooked white fish you like (or salmon or well-soaked salt cod, as detailed in the recipe), they’re also a great way to use up leftover cooked potatoes and celery tops, which may have otherwise ended up in the bin.


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Tizzard is a fan of more fish, less filler — many of the fish cakes she’s come across have been the opposite. “I hate it when you order them and it’s all potato or breadcrumbs,” she says. “It’s just like, ‘Where’s the fish?’”

In true East Coast style, enjoy Tizzard’s fish cakes with chow chow and tartar sauce on the side (she includes recipes for both in Cook More, Waste Less).

Cook More, Waste Less by Christine Tizzard
In her second cookbook, food stylist and recipe developer Christine Tizzard shares strategies for tackling household food waste. Photo by Appetite by Random House


Uses up: cooked fish, cooked potatoes, celery tops

Total time: 30 minutes

Keeps for: up to 3 days in the fridge (cooked), or up to 3 days in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer (uncooked). Thaw in the fridge overnight before cooking.

Can substitute:

  • Cooked fish with well-soaked salt cod, cooked 5 minutes in boiling water and drained well
  • Potatoes with 1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs or crushed crackers
  • Dill with savory, thyme, sage, chives, oregano or curry powder
  • Celery tops with bell pepper


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2 cups (about 3/4 lb) cooked mashed potatoes (see substitutions)
1/4 cup finely chopped onions
1/4 cup finely chopped celery tops (see substitutions)
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley and/or parsley stems
2 tbsp chopped fresh dill (see substitutions)
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/8 tsp ground or freshly grated nutmeg
1 egg, beaten
2 good pinches of salt
Pinch pepper
1 lb cooked boneless skinless salmon, cod, trout (any white fish really), flaked (see substitutions)
1/4 cup oil or butter

Optional add-ins:
2 tsp ground sumac
Chili powder
Citrus zest
Favourite hot sauce

For serving (optional):
Chow chow
Tartar sauce

Step 1

In a large mixing bowl, combine the mashed potatoes with the onions, celery tops, parsley, dill, paprika, nutmeg and any optional add-ins.


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Step 2

Mix in the egg, salt, and pepper. Fold in the flaked fish.

Step 3

Using your hands, portion out about 1/4 cup of the mixture. Form it into a fish cake about 2 to 3 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick and place on the baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the mixture. If you have the time, place in the fridge for 20 minutes to allow them to firm up and hold their shape better during frying.

Step 4

Preheat a large cast-iron pan or sauté pan over medium heat. Add the oil and fry the cakes until well browned on both sides, 7 to 9 minutes total.

Step 5

Make your meal a real East Coast one and serve the fish cakes with some chow chow and tartar sauce.

Makes: twelve 2 1/2-inch cakes

Recipe and image excerpted fromF Copyright © 2021 Christine Tizzard. Photography © Reena Newman. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.



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