Hake fish cakes with mustard middles

Use white fish fillets in this self-saucing version of a seafood classic, with a hidden crème fraîche, cheddar and mustard filling

  • Prep:30 mins
    Cook:35 mins
    plus freezing
  • Serves 4
  • More effort

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 629
  • fat 32g
  • saturates 12g
  • carbs 49g
  • sugars 4g
  • fibre 3g
  • protein 33g
  • salt 1.1g


  • 450g floury potatoes, cut into chunks (we used Rooster potatoes)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a few peppercorns
  • 450g skinless hake fillet, cut into 4
  • bunch spring onions, finely shredded
  • 1 whole nutmeg
  • 3 tbsp plain flour, seasoned
  • 1 egg
  • 100g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2l vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • salad leaves, to serve
  • lemon wedges, to serve
  • 100g full-fat crème fraîche
  • 50g strong cheddar, grated
  • 1 egg yolk (reserve the white)
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard


Don't want to deep-fry?

The only way to ensure that the filling stays put is to seal in everything by deep-frying, which forms a firm layer of egg and crumbs around the outside. If you want to make them without the middles, simply shape and crumb, then fry in a little oil for 2 mins each side until golden. Finish in the oven as before. Mix the crème fraîche and mustard (omit the yolk and cheese), season, then serve alongside.



  1. Mix all the mustard middle ingredients together. Drape cling film across a muffin tin, then spoon the mix into 4 of the wells. Freeze for 30 mins or until solid.

  2. Put the potatoes, bay leaf and peppercorns in a pan of cold water, bring to the boil and cook for 20 mins or until tender. Remove and allow to steam-dry in a colander. Add the fish to the water and simmer for 5 mins until it is just cooked through at the thickest part.

  3. Mash the potatoes and stir in the spring onions, a little freshly grated nutmeg and some seasoning. Drain the hake, then flake it into the mash. Gently mix everything together and leave to cool.

  4. Divide the fish mixture into 4. Shape 1 fish cake at a time, moulding it into a ball. Make a well in the centre of the ball and push a frozen mustard middle into it, then shape the mash around it to make a smooth hockey-puck shape. Repeat with the remaining fish, then freeze for 15 mins.

  5. Using 3 shallow bowls, add the flour to one; put the egg and reserved egg white in another, and the breadcrumbs in the third. Beat the eggs with some seasoning. Thoroughly coat the fishcakes first in the flour, then the egg , then the breadcrumbs. Freeze the fish cakes until firm. Can be frozen for up to 1 month – defrost in the fridge for 2 hrs before cooking.

  6. When ready to cook, heat the oil to 180C in a large, deep saucepan (or use a fat fryer) and the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Fry the fish cakes for 7 mins, turning halfway, until crisp. Drain on kitchen paper, transfer to a baking sheet and bake for 5 mins (15 mins from frozen) so the middles are hot. Serve with dressed leaves and a lemon wedge.

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