Smoked Fish Cakes with Watercress and Sauce Gribiche

Sauce gribiche is a French sauce traditionally served over boiled veal head and while I’m all for being adventurous by stepping out of my comfort zone,  I know I would never eat the head of any animal! However, thankfully there are other alternatives to enjoy this sauce such as being spooned over fish, asparagus, salad greens, poultry etc. The ingredients in the sauce can vary from chef to chef especially when the sauce can be anywhere from a vinaigrette to the consistency of a thick mayo.  Sean Armstrong’s version reminds me more of tartar sauce.  Either way it’s delicious!  Try to allow an hour for the flavors to develop before serving, if you have time.

Serves 4
adapted from Sean Armstrong’s Kitchen

3 large potatoes, peeled
1 large cup flaked smoked fish
small handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
small bunch chives, chopped
zest of 1 lemon
zest of 1 lime
1 red chili, seeds removed, chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
olive oil

Sauce Gribiche:

2 tablespoons finely chopped gherkins
2 tablespoons chopped capers
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons roughly chopped tarragon
2 cooked egg whites, finely chopped
6 tablespoons mayonnaise
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the sauce gribiche, place all ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine.

Cook potatoes in cold, salted water and bring to a boil. Cook until tender and drain in a colander and leave to cool. If the potatoes are too hot they will brown the fresh herbs (not an attractive look!). Roughly mash, season with salt and pepper. Combine the smoked fish, herbs, lemon and lime zest and chili in a bowl and mix to combine. Add the potato to this and combine.

Heat the oven to 180c (350f). Divide the fish mixture into 4 pieces and shape into patties. Coat in breadcrumbs. Heat a large heavy-based ovenproof frying pan on the stove. Drizzle the pan with generous amounts of olive oil and place fish cakes in the pan. Cook on medium heat for roughly 5 minutes. Remove from heat, turn fish cakes over and bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until the fish cakes are golden brown.  Warm 4 plates, dress the watercress and place a handful in the center of each. Top with a fish cake and a dollop of sauce gribiche.

The Culinary Chase’s Note: I used oven-smoked salmon strips from St. Mary’s River Smokehouse which is a household favorite of ours.  Enjoy!


  1. SofiaRaj on August 11, 2011 at 09:39

    Great information, thanks to share, It looks awesome delicious & Yummeeeeeeeeee……… Cakes is better option for gift. Send cakes to your loved ones.

  2. Kitchen Bounty on August 11, 2011 at 23:58

    I loooooove fish cakes and it befuddles me why more people don’t make them. They are economic and so gourmet, especially with a sauce!

  3. The Culinary Chase on August 12, 2011 at 00:29

    Thanks Sofia. Cheers!

  4. on March 13, 2017 at 09:53

    An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a co-worker
    who had been doing a little research on this. And
    he actually ordered me lunch due to the fact that I found it
    for him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thanks for the meal!!
    But yeah, thanx for spending the time to discuss this
    subject here on your web site.