Fish cakes bring back nostalgic memories to me. They’re a classic East Coast dish that I feel doesn’t get enough credit for being insanely delicious! 

We’ve been working on this recipe for a while and, it really is a lovely dish. And with most things here in the East Coast Kitchen, we try to give it a twist but keep it fairly close to the original. Give it a try, and let us know what you think! 

This History of East Coast Fish Cakes

This delicious dish can be found in most Nova Scotian restaurants. Often, fish cakes are served in the mornings with a side of beans. 

Fish cakes are usually made with salted codfish, potatoes and eggs, but if you want to spice up the recipe it is easy to add additional ingredients you want! This dish uses salted cod because years before refrigeration was invented, Maritimers would salt their cod to use in the off-season.   

You’re gonna love this one. Make sure you give it a try!

Fish cakes. The unsung hero of the traditional East Coast recipe book

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Prep Time 30 minutes
Ready in 1 hour


  • 200 g salt cod
  • 3-4 russet potatoes
  • 2 lemons zested
  • 1 bunch chopped dill
  • 1 small leek
  • cup summer savoury
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste


  • In large pot filled with cold salted water*, boil 3-4 peeled russet potatoes until tender. You should be able to pass a knife through easily, still with a slight bit of resistance.
  • Remove from pot and pass through a ricer or food mill. If you don't have a ricer a solid mashed potato works too. Set aside and allow to cool.
  • While the potatoes are cooling rinse cod with cold water. Agitating the chunks to clean off all the salt. Rinse and repeat until water in the bowl is clear.
  • Slice your leek down the middle length ways, making sure to remove the tendrils at the base of the leek. Chop into 1/2inch pieces, sauté over medium heat for 5min, or until the leeks start to brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Pick dill from stems and give a coarse chop. The finer the chop the more distributed the flavour will be. Remember to save a few sprigs for garnishing.
  • In a bowl combine potatoes, leeks, cod, lemon, dill, summer savoury, salt and pepper with 1/2 cup panko and one egg. Combine until the dill and summer savoury had been distributed fully throughout the mixture. Taste and season accordingly. If you want more cod, add more cod, or dill or lemon. Play around and find your favourite combination.
  • We generally try to make each fish cakes the size of a hockey puck. Feel free to make them as big or as small as you like.
  • In a small bowl crack two eggs and beat together. Dredge each fish cake in the eggs and then coat in panko.
  • In a large frying pan (Cast iron works best) over medium high, add 1/4 cup oil. Gently place each fish cakes in the hot oil. Panko and brown rather quickly so keep an eye out. 90seconds on each side or until golden brown. Transfer from oil onto a wire rack and drain off the oil.

Andy’s Notes

You should be able to taste the salt in the water. An unseasoned potato is an unhappy potato.
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