Baked “Pastrav Afumat” (Smoked Trout) fishcakes
These fishcakes are the posh version of the smoked mackerel fishcake (same method and quantities) and are just a little bit more subtle and refined. Romania teems with decent trout and its easy to find the smoked version. I often flake it into a rucola salad and add some citrus slices and a light vinaigrette for a fast lunch or dinner party starter. But as a comfort food you can’t beat the combination of mashed potato, smoked fish and a crunchy coating. The beauty of this recipe is that it can be served as a starter with a tzatiki sauce or as a main course with some green salad, crudités or a beetroot salad.
These are easy to make and instead of frying them, I bake them, which reduces the fat content dramatically, stops your kitchen smelling like a fish and chip shop and lets you do other things while they bake!
Gadgets & Gizmos
A baking tray, a potato masher is handy but a fork will do
Ingredients: serves four
600g of mashed potato (no butter or milk added)
200g smoked trout
A bunch of parsley roughly chopped
A bunch of spring onions finely chopped
Some lemon zest (1 lemon)
Salt and pepper
1 egg for the mixture
1 egg for the coating process beaten in a shallow bowl
1 packet of breadcrumbs, ‘panko” if you can find them, or home made slightly coarse ones.
You can also flavor with horseradish or tarragon – whatever your favorite fish flavorings are.
Cut and peel the potatoes (approx 650-700g before peeling and cooking) and boil in salted water.
As the potatoes boil, line the baking tray with aluminum foil or baking paper. Brush with oil. (do this before your hands are covered in potato fish mixture, which of course I have never tried to do at all).
Beat the one egg in a shallow bowl.
Cover a plate with a thick layer of breadcrumbs.
Cook the potatoes until they are nice and soft and “mash-able”. Drain them and mash/crush with a fork. They do not need to be a perfect puree- a little potato texture is nice here. Don’t be tempted to blend or blitz or else you will end up with potato glue – handy for wallpapering but not what we want here. The potato mash should cool down fairly quickly – I speed things up by running cold water over them as I drain them in a colander. The mix should be cool when you add the fish.
Flake the fish, keeping an eye out for bones. Do this with your fingers because then you are more likely to feel any errant bones.
Mix in the parsley, lemon zest, salt, pepper and one egg
Scoop into little patties and mold with your hands.
With a fork and spoon dip into the beaten egg mixture and drop carefully onto the breadcrumbs. Roll around (the fishcakes not you) until coated and place on the baking tray.
Bake for 30 mins at 180C. You may need to turn them over once to achieve an even golden color on both sides.
Enjoy with a tzatiki sauce or even a tahini and coriander sauce as pictured here due to the yoghurt running out. Garnish with lemon wedges if you want extra lemon flavor.