What’s not to love about homemade fish cakes? They’ve always been a regular in our house, usually if we have leftover fish from another meal. Fish cakes are perfect for using up those leftovers and creating another satisfying dish.
However, recently something has changed. No longer are our fish cakes merely a vessel for using up leftovers. They’ve become a celebration of two main ingredients…
Sweet Potato Fish Cakes With Smoked Trout
A bit of experimentation in the kitchen and we’ve stumbled across the foodie treat that is sweet potato fish cakes with trout! Not just any old trout. This is local smoked trout and we love it!
When we lived in the UK, we loved to cook with sweet potato. But, when we came to Turkey, for reasons unknown, it was impossible to get your hands on any.
Two New Ingredients
Fortunately, over the last few years, that has started to change. And, whilst they’re certainly not in abundance, we are now able to buy sweet potatoes in the supermarkets.
We look forward to the day when local market stalls are stacked high with them because they certainly seem like a root vegetable that should grow easily, here.
And what about the smoked trout? We love all the fresh fish at Fethiye’s fish market but we also love smoked fish, too.
These days, we have a local fishmonger who sells lots of smoked and cured fish – the whole smoked trout, whilst not looking too pretty, is so tasty and really reasonably priced.
So, relatively recent, but now very regular ingredients in the house. And our healthy smoked trout and sweet potato fish cakes recipe was born.
Smoked Trout And Sweet Potato Fish Cakes Recipe
The smoked trout we use here is quite strong in flavour, but, because we’re making sweet potato fish cakes, the sweetness prevents the trout from becoming overpowering.
And we love an added bonus when we’re cooking up tasty dishes. If you’re making sweet potato fish cakes rather than using regular potatoes, you’ll get the added health benefits.
In Turkey, trout is usually farmed and doesn’t grow to a large size. Mountain and riverside restaurants advertise their ‘canlı alabalık’ (live trout) so you know you are eating it super fresh!
The trout is often served simply grilled with a side salad and homemade chips. One trout restaurant that we visited in Erciş in East Turkey, however, had trout cooked in various ways. All were sampled!
For our smoked trout and sweet potato fish cakes, we use two whole trout of the average size you find here in Turkey. Once the fish has been removed from the bones, there’s around 250g of fish chunks.
If, like us, you’re using whole smoked trout, the filleting is a really simple process. The skin is tough because the fish has been smoked so this peels away easily.
Remove The Fish From The Bones
In the collage photo above, you can see a straight line running along the length of the trout. Once the skin has been removed, you can run your thumb along this line and it will part your fish flesh.
Then you can just gently tease the fish away from the bone, giving you two narrow fillets from each side of the fish – four fillets in all.
Repeat the process with your second trout and you should have 8 narrow fillets. Give them a quick check for any small bones that might have come away from the carcass – nobody wants to eat a homemade fish cakes full of bones.
Create Your Sweet Potato Fish Cakes Mixture
Now, we’re just going to break the smoked trout up into chunks and add them to a mixing bowl. We like to add some extras, too.
For this sweet potato fish cakes recipe, we’re using finely chopped spring onion, parsley, dill and a squeeze of lemon juice. And some smashed sweet potato, too, of course.
We Also Need A Dip For Our Fish Cakes
And what are homemade fish cakes without a relish or a dip? There are lots of ideas you can play around with, here, for your sweet potato fishcakes.
We like a bit of a kick so this sweet and spicy chilli tomato relish is perfect for us. Some finely chopped spring onion sprinkled over the top for some extra crunch. Our Turkish homemade ketchup is also ideal.
Other dips that would work well here are a mustard mayonnaise, or, if you want to go Turkish, a chilli yoghurt dip would provide some contrast to the sweetness of the potato.
Smoked Trout & Sweet Potato Fish Cakes Recipe – Ingredients And Method
Okay, let’s make smoked trout and sweet potato fish cakes.
Smoked Trout & Sweet Potato Fish Cakes Recipe
- 5 medium-sized sweet potatoes peeled & cut into chunks
- 2 smoked trout around 250g, filleted & broken into chunks
- 1 bunch spring onions trimmed & finely chopped
- 1 fresh chilli finely chopped (optional)
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley or coriander, stems removed & finely chopped
- 1/2 bunch dill stems removed & roughly chopped
- salt & pepper to season
- 3 tbsp corn flour or galeta unu, see notes below for coating
- 3 tbsp sunflower oil for frying
- Add your sweet potatoes to a pan of boiling water and cook for 10 minutes before draining and allowing to cool.
- Meanwhile, add all other ingredients, except the oil and flour, to a mixing bowl and mix together, being careful not to let your smoked trout break down into flakes.
- When your sweet potato has cooked, smash it into a rough mash and add to your mixture.
- Stir everything together so that you have an even mix.
- Now take golf ball sized pieces of mixture and roll into a ball in your hands before patting flat to form your fish cakes.
- Keep going until you have used all the mixture and you have all your fish cakes.
- Now coat your fish cakes in the corn flour or galeta unu. You can do this by sprinkling it over each side of your fish cakes on a large serving plate or by dipping them individually into the flour.
- Heat your sunflower oil in a frying pan over a medium heat.
- Now fry your fish cakes in batches leaving them to fry for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden and crisp.
- Remove from the heat and serve immediately.
- Our smoked trout and sweet potato fish cakes recipe makes 12 small to medium-sized fish cakes. Feel free to make them bigger if you like so that you have fewer fish cakes.
- We used the Beauregards sweet potato with the purple-coloured skin and orange flesh. These are moister than other sweet potato varieties so that's why egg isn't necessary for the coating.
- In Turkey, it is possible to buy Galeta Unu. Although this translates as bread crumbs, 'un' is the Turkish word for flour. Galeta Unu resembles a coarse flour and is perfect for giving foods a crispy coating when fried. You can use corn flour if you can't get Galeta Unu.
- When you are frying your fish cakes, try to leave them in place before you flip them over so that they don't break up or lose their coating.
- If you want to make your sweet potato fish cakes ahead of time, you can leave them in the fridge and even cook them the following day.
And that’s how we make sweet potato fish cakes with smoked trout. Drizzle your fish cakes with a relish or sauce of your choice. Then serve with a simple salad.
On this occasion, we served our sweet potato fish cakes with a rocket, spring onion and semizotu garnish. Other perfect pairings would be a semizotu salatası (you can use watercress if you can’t find purslane) or a light and crunchy çoban salatası.
The great thing about homemade fish cakes is that once you get to the frying stage, you know everything is cooked. All we’re doing with the frying pan and the oil is creating a crisp coating.
And when it comes to the eating of your fish cakes, breaking through that coating with your fork and savouring all those flavours inside – bliss.
- If you follow this blog regularly, you’ll know we often share Turkish recipes. We do, however, also cook lots of dishes from all around the world.
- This smoked trout and sweet potato fish cakes recipe is not Turkish so you can find it, along with other dishes, in our section on International Recipes.
- If you want to, you can prepare your sweet potato fish cakes ahead of time and place them in the fridge before frying. We left some of ours in the fridge and cooked them up for lunch the following day.
- Smoked trout is also tasty on its own with a salad or as part of a potato salad.