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A love-song to the senses which allows its ingredients to sing. Like a Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers duet, fish and potato come together like Islands in the Stream to make a mouthwatering classic. But don't be fooled into thinking these two flavour powerhouses are divas. They are backed up by a trio of herbs and spices that come together in harmony to create a versatile Fishcake that can be enjoyed as a main meal or snack.

How to make Fishcakes

St Helena Fishcakes

Course Appetizer, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine Saint, Saint Helena, Saint Helena Island, St Helena, St Helena Island
Author The Saint Cooks
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 18 Fishcakes


  • 450 g Fish (Saints love Tuna, but works with any Fish)
  • 450 g  Potatoes
  • 1 Onion (Large, Chopped)
  • 2 Rashers of Bacon (Finely Chopped)
  • 1 Chilli
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  • Wash fish.  Shred or mince fish with a knife until very fine.
  • Peel, dice and boil potatoes.  Then mash them.
  • Heat oil and fry onion, bacon and chill until onion starts to brown.  Remove from heat.
  • Combine the onion, bacon and chill with the potatoes.
  • Add the fish to the mixture while potatoes are still hot and mix it together.  Then mix in the beaten egg, and season with Salt and Pepper.
  • Form patties with your hands (about 5 cm in diameter), flatten slightly and dust with flour if necessary. 
    Tip 1: Wash hands regularly to prevent the mixture from sticking to your hands when forming patties.  
    Tip 2: Uncooked patties can be frozen for frying later.  Defrost patties completely before frying.
  • Fry patties in hot oil until both sides are golden brown.
  • Serve as a main meal with rice and vegetables, or as a snack in a roll.


Serving suggestion: Saints like their Fishcakes with some Rice and Vegetables with some Onion gravy.  Or in a nice crusty roll with some Onions and their favourite sauce.

Fishcake recipe

Fishcake recipe card available

Beautifully printed, set of wipe clean recipe cards with stunning images of St Helena

Memories about Fishcakes

   Memory from Emma-Jane Richards

As a child, it always felt like all our weekly meals were fish in some form or another.  Fish Curry, Fish Mince, Fried fish, Roe, conger bones, ‘bite’ mackerel soup, Tuna Plo’, Fish in Batter and of course Fish Cakes.  I remember watching my nanny standing in her small kitchen rolling ‘bite’ fish cakes into perfect round patties rocking from side to side as she hummed hymns as she worked.  I think of her singing in her kitchen every time I’m making fishcakes in my kitchen, even now 30 years later, as if it was yesterday. Papa, Daddy and my uncles would always be fishing on the rocks and on a boat.  And I can remember my Dad would bring home soldiers, Jacks, Grouper and sometimes conger in a big blue bucket for my Mum to make all kinds of delicious fish meals.  

Fishcakes were always my favourite.  Mummy would serve it with onion gravy and string beans for dinner and any that were left over were used for my school lunch the next day.  I can remember as a kid loving fishcake sandwiches.  Fresh bread from Solomon’s bakery, a fishcake mashed up and smothered in salad cream….hmmmm makes my mouth water just thinking about it.  

   Memory from Robin Richards

The taste of a hot fishcake straight from the frying pan is a food delight, and an underrated part of Saint culture.  I realised the special place Fishcakes hold in Saint Helenian culture the day I organised a demonstration of how to make them Saint style to a group of visiting yachtsmen.  People watched fascinated as the herds were mixed in with the mashed potato, and heeps of fresh fish.  The simple process of shaping the fishcakes, then directly into some hot oil – beautiful!  So fresh and true to its ingredients.

I still struggle to shape the fishcake as well as my Mum, or Emma-Jane.  There is still one or three which break away upon frying.  I like to think of those as the cook’s reward.

Share a memory about Fishcakes

We would love to hear what made the recipe special for you.
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What makes St Helena food so tasty


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