These Newfoundland-Style Fish Cakes Are the Ultimate Comfort Food

Use up your leftover fish with this delicious Newfoundland-style cod cakes recipe from Christine Tizzard’s new book Cook More, Waste Less.

Newfoundland cod cakes were and still are a staple growing up on the East Coast of Canada. Traditionally made with salt cod and crumbled saltine crackers, now they have advanced to fresh cooked fish and potatoes. I’m picky about my cod cakes though, for two very specific reasons. They often have: 1) WAY too much potato and not enough fish. 2) Not enough seasoning, making for bland fish cakes. These down-home favorites, on the other hand, are packed with fish seasoned to perfection—match made in heaven for leftover fish and potatoes.

(Related: Transform Your Roast Chicken Leftovers With This Easy Recipe)

Nan’s Fish Cakes

Uses up: cooked fish, cooked potatoes, celery tops

Makes twelve 2 1/2-inch cakes

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 ½ cup dry breadcrumbs or crushed crackers
  • Dill with savory, thyme, sage, chives, oregano, or curry powder
  • Celery tops with bell pepper


  • 2 cups (about ¾ lb) cooked mashed potatoes (see substitutions)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onions
  • ¼ cup finely chopped celery tops (see substitutions)
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley and/or parsley stems
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill (see substitutions)
  • 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)
  • ¼ cup oil or butter

Optional Add-Ins

  • 2 tsp ground sumac
  • Chili powder
  • Citrus zest
  • Favorite hot sauce

For Serving (Optional)

  • Chow Chow (page 199)
  • Best Tartar Sauce (page 197)


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the mashed potatoes with the onions, celery tops, parsley, dill, paprika, nutmeg, and any optional add-ins.
  2. Mix in the egg, salt, and Fold in the flaked fish.
  3. Using your hands, portion out about ¼ 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 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.
  4. Preheat a large cast-iron pan or sauté pan over medium Add the oil and fry the cakes until well browned on both sides, 7 to 9 minutes total.
  5. Make your meal a real East Coast one and serve the fish cakes with some Chow Chow (page 199) and the Best Tartar Sauce (page 197).

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Excerpted from Cook More, Waste Less by Christine Tizzard 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.

Next, This Slow Cooker Apple Butter Is the Comfort Food You Need Right Now

Originally Published in Best Health Canada