Smoked Salmon on Potato Pancakes with Whipped Cream Cheese

overhead view of Smoked Salmon on Potato Pancakes with Whipped Cream Cheese

Smoked Salmon on Potato Pancakes with Whipped Cream Cheese is the perfect appetiser or canapé when you are entertaining. Naturally gluten-free, very easy to prepare and always impressive.

overhead view of Smoked Salmon on Potato Pancakes with Whipped Cream Cheese

When we were young our whole family would gather at my aunt’s house on Christmas morning for a quick hello, present exchange and glass of Buck’s Fizz. There would be a crowd of us of every age range, greeting grannies, clutching presents and dressed in our Christmas finery. Plates of small squares of brown bread, barely buttered, and adorned with wafer thin slices of lemony smoked salmon would make their way across the room, swiped by eager fingers. This is how I first experienced smoked salmon and is the measure of any Christmas canapé I’ve had since, made even more delicious by the rose tinted nostalgia.

side view of Smoked Salmon on Potato Pancakes with Whipped Cream Cheese

So every Christmas I also serve smoked salmon to my small gathering. I don’t eat the brown bread anymore but have replaced it with the most light and fluffy potato pancakes. Naturally gluten-free, made with mashed potato, potato flour and eggs. They are incredibly easy to whip up on Christmas morning but you can also make them a couple of days in advance and just warm them up in the oven to refresh them. Although do serve them at room temperature as you don’t want the cream cheese to melt.

Speaking of cream cheese, I feel it’s an utterly necessary accompaniment to my smoked salmon these days. Whipped up with crème fraiche, a spritz of fresh lemon and slathered thickly onto the pancakes, it’s the ideal cool backdrop to the delicate salmon. However, instead of the restrained slice of smoked salmon we used to have on our bread years ago, I like to pile these potato pancakes high so they look beautifully impressive. One or two of these pancakes per person will be plenty.

overhead view of Smoked Salmon on Potato Pancakes with Whipped Cream Cheese

If you make this Smoked Salmon on Potato Pancakes with Whipped Cream Cheese then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own kitchen creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your creations and variations of my recipes.

Smoked Salmon on Potato Pancakes with Whipped Cream Cheese

Smoked Salmon on Potato Pancakes with Whipped Cream Cheese is the perfect appetiser or canapé when you are entertaining. Naturally gluten-free, very easy to prepare and always impressive.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time18 mins
Total Time1 hr 33 mins
Course: Appetiser
Cuisine: British
Keyword: potato pancake recipe, smoked salmon and cream cheese potato pancakes
Servings: 10 pancakes
Calories: 202kcal
Author: Georgina Hartley


Potato Pancakes

  • 300 g peeled potatoes quartered
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 50 g potato flour
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives + extra to sprinkle
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ghee or butter
  • 300 g smoked salmon

Whipped Cream Cheese

  • 200 g cream cheese
  • 100 g crème fraiche
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • pinch of salt


  • Place the peeled potatoes in a large saucepan of salted water and bring up to a boil. Turn down to simmer for 12-15 minutes until the potatoes are quite soft.
  • Remove from the heat and drain. Mash the potatoes with a pinch of salt and place in the fridge to chill for at least an hour.
  • Mix the cooled mashed potato in a large bowl with the eggs, egg whites, potato flour, chives and salt and pepper and beat together with a wooden spoon until smooth.
  • Place a cast iron pan or large griddle on a low heat and melt the ghee or butter.
  • Drop a heaped dessert spoon of the potato batter into the pan, smoothing out a little so it makes an even circle. You should be able to fit four of these potato pancakes in the pan, depending on its size.
  • Cook the pancakes for 3-4 minutes on the first side, then flip and cook for another couple of minutes on the second. Remove the pancakes from the pan and pat dry with kitchen paper to remove the excess butter.
  • Cook the rest of the pancakes in batches until all the batter has been used up.
  • Set the pancakes to one side whilst you prepare the whipped cream cheese.
  • Beat together the cream cheese, crème fraiche, lemon juice and salt until light and creamy.
  • Spoon the cream cheese onto each pancake, smoothing into a slight swirl, then pile high with smoked salmon. Garnish with snipped chives, a squeeze of lemon and plenty of cracked black pepper. Serve immediately.


Adapted from an old recipe in Olive Magazine (I’m pretty sure)
*I like to use ghee when shallow frying due to its high smoking point. Feel free to use butter but keep a close eye to make sure it doesn’t burn.


Calories: 202kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 79mg | Sodium: 447mg | Potassium: 283mg | Fiber: 1g | Vitamin A: 10% | Vitamin C: 4.8% | Calcium: 4.7% | Iron: 8.5%


I have been using this Ghee Easy Organic Ghee, 850 g ever since I completed my last Whole30. I fell in love with this ingredient for its lovely clean taste and also because it’s so good to fry with as it doesn’t burn like butter due to its high smoking point.

One of my very favourite saucepans is my cast iron skillet pan and it is what I used for making these potato pancakes. I originally asked Luke to get me this for Christmas a couple of years ago as I was keen on an implement that could be easily transferred from hob to oven and this is ideal. I use it a lot for cooking whole chicken breasts, by searing the chicken on in the skillet on the hob and then finishing off for 10 minutes in the oven. It’s now invaluable to me and the pan I have is the Dust 40510-617-0 Frypan with cast iron handle, cast iron, black, 26 cm which I love love love.

This post is not sponsored but the images above are affiliate links which means if you decide you want to use these link to make your purchases then Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. I will only recommend products I use in my kitchen and love. To learn more about how the data processing works when using these Amazon affiliate links then please visit my privacy policy page.

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Simple Salmon Fishcakes

These Simple Salmon Fishcakes were one of my Nan’s most celebrated recipes. Home comfort cooking at its best.

Simple Salmon Fishcakes

This recipe was originally published on the blog in 2014. I have modified it to a gluten-free recipe and included new photos.

This pregnancy I was a little more on the ball as regards making freezer meals for the first few weeks of Beau’s life. I always had intended to do the same for Cole but I was little prepared for quite how much of an overwhelming time having a newborn would be and I just assumed I would be fine making my own simple meals everyday. Now with a toddler, a newborn and a husband who is back at work I am so grateful to have carved out some time for meal prepping a couple of months ago and I am reaping the rewards now.

One of the pre-requisites for my freezer meals was an emphasis on comfort food and real homely cooking. The first meal I craved after coming home from the hospital was a lasagne which is my mum’s signature dish. It reminds me of family and felt like the perfect meal to welcome our new bundle of joy home with. I also have stashed in the freezer a Shepherd’s Pie, these Barbecue Spare Ribs and a batch of my late grandmother’s Simple Salmon Fishcakes.

Simple Salmon Fishcakes

Now, my Nan wasn’t a great cook, she was very much a child of rations, plain food and making do, but there are a few things in her repertoire which I crave as an adult and get such a childish pleasure from. Her trifle was in a class of its own, made from Bird’s custard, tinned fruit puree and a packet of sponge fingers, but it couldn’t be bettered. Her beef stew consisted of beef simply stewed with potato and carrots until it had boiled down to almost a thickened soup, but its comfort factor cannot be surpassed. It was her salmon fishcakes though which our family has always considered her culinary masterpiece.

When we needed a bit of cheering up, perhaps we’d had a long week at school, it would perk us up no end when we’d get home from school on a Saturday lunchtime (yes, we went to school on Saturdays, don’t ask) and Mum would say that Nan had made us some fishcakes for a treat. There was no better reward for double maths, double chemistry on a Saturday (seriously that was the weekend lesson plan, sadists ran our school) and we could easily eat the whole plateful she had made us to last the weekend in a single sitting.

Simple Salmon Fishcakes

These are probably the most simple salmon fishcakes you will come across and they have a very special and secret ingredient, tinned salmon. When I first found out that was how she made them I was taken aback. It just seemed so wrong. But really the taste is unique, and despite how much I love a good fresh salmon fishcake, Nan’s are imbued with a more intensely sweet flavour which is entirely different. And to be honest, there isn’t a whole lot of salmon in these anyway. These fishcakes are more like mashed potato cakes kissed with a sweet blush of salmon. However that salmon flavour perfumes the whole cake.

When I asked Nan once how she made them she just said mashed potato and tinned salmon. That was her recipe and really all you needed to know in her eyes. Now, I’ve taken a liberty or two with my Nan’s recipe as I have added a few snipped parsley leaves, just because I couldn’t resist. I also included a generous amount of ground white pepper for a bit more of a kick and salt, which I know Nan definitely wouldn’t have used. She didn’t really buy into seasoning. Plus these days I have been making my Simple Salmon Fishcakes gluten-free and to be honest there is no discernable taste difference from the original version. I just swapped out the plain wheat flour for Doves Farm plain gluten-free flour and whizzed up a loaf of good gluten-free bread in the food processor to make the breadcrumbs. It made a huge amount so I have stashed the leftover breadcrumbs in the freezer for future meals. So useful and you can use the breadcrumbs straight from frozen.

Simple Salmon Fishcakes

The way to serve Nan’s fishcakes is and always will be non-negotiable, with brown sauce. It is in fact the only time I will ever eat brown sauce as if I’m pressed I’m not sure I really like it. However, here, when the crunchy crumbed shell of the fishcake which encases the sweetly soft interior is paired with the deep tang of the brown sauce the result is sublime. It’s the only thing in the whole world I feel like eating at the moment. Do note though that a lot of brown sauces are not gluten-free due to the malt vinegar and sometimes rye flour which is used. I prefer to make my own (you must remind me to post the recipe!) but otherwise Tesco’s own brand is gluten-free.

Simple Salmon Fishcakes

These Simple Salmon Fishcakes were one of my Nan’s most celebrated recipes. Home comfort cooking at its best.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time3 hrs 50 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: British
Keyword: salmon fishcake recipe, salmon fishcakes, simple salmon fishcakes
Servings: 6 Fishcakes
Calories: 397kcal
Author: Georgina Hartley


  • 800 g potatoes
  • 75 g salted butter at room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 170 g wild skinless and boneless red salmon 1 tin
  • 2 tablespoons parsley leaves finely chopped
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 100 g gluten-free breadcrumbs
  • 75 g gluten-free plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil


  • Peel and quarter the potatoes then place in a large pan of salted boiling water.
  • Bring the potatoes back to the boil then simmer for 20 minutes until the potatoes are soft.
  • Drain the potatoes, then add them back into the pan with the butter. Add the white pepper then mash until the potato is incredibly smooth.*
  • Tip the mashed potato into a bowl and leave to cool for an hour then cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours until the potato is cold.
  • Drain the salmon and mix into the cold potato and the parsley leaves with a fork until evenly dispersed.
  • Shape the fishcakes into patties of equal weight, about 125g, then place on a plate and put back in the fridge to settle for half an hour.
  • Arrange the flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs into three separate bowls, then remove the fishcakes from the fridge and coat each fishcake; first with a light dusting of flour, then with the egg, then the breadcrumbs.
  • Pour the olive oil into a wide heavy based saucepan and heat until sizzling. Then turn the heat down to low.
  • Shallow fry the fishcakes in two batches, 5 minutes on each side, spooning some of the oil up the sides of the fishcakes to ensure they are golden all over, then place on kitchen towel to absorb the excess oil.
  • Serve the fishcakes with a light salad and plenty of brown sauce.
  • These fishcakes freeze very well so make a huge stash for emergencies and re-heat in the oven.


*If you use leftover mashed potato then these fishcakes come together in a snap. If you’re making the mashed potato especially for the fishcakes then you must wait for them to cool completely in the fridge as warm potato will fall apart when you’re shaping the fishcakes.
*I actually use a potato ricer for mashing my potatoes which ensures lump free and smooth mash without any gummy texture. To achieve this I place the salted butter into the saucepan and pass the potato through the potato ricer into the pan of butter, then give a jolly good stir into the butter once all the potato has been riced.


Calories: 397kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 415mg | Potassium: 662mg | Fiber: 5g | Vitamin A: 9.7% | Vitamin C: 20.6% | Calcium: 13.6% | Iron: 28.9%

Fish Soup with Rouille

Fish Soup with Rouille
When I told my Mum I was making fish soup this week I could hear her nostalgia through the phone line as we both thought of the same thing, Dad’s fish soup. The memories of it are powerful, a deep tomato sauce spicy and imbued with pungent garlic. Our bowls would be overfilled with prawns, mussels, cod and salmon and we would always without fail eat it with hunks of white crusty bread slathered with salted butter which we would plunge into our soup bowls, gathering up fish and as it dripped with tomato sauce.

That said, this is nothing like my father’s fish soup so sorry if you are now longing for that dish instead of this one. When I began my soup that is exactly what I had intended but then halfway through the preparation I became sidetracked by the thought of the wonderful bouillabaisse I had at Ondine in Edinburgh last year which relies more on a stock based soup instead of tomato. So in the end this turned into a very bastardised version of that.

Now, the first thing you need to do when making a bouillibaissey type soup is to make your fish stock…

Guys, I could not be bothered with making a fish stock. Sometimes you just don’t want the faff to deal with fish heads and bones, cooking for hours then straining and blah blah blah. I had some chicken stock in the freezer so that was fine by me I decided. I will not decry you if you want to be less lazy than me, although I might think you were trying to show me up. You could buy fresh fish stock from the fishmonger which would make your version more authentic but I’d still be on top as I made my stock myself, despite the chefs in Provence scoffing and shaking their heads in disgust at me. Basically what I’m saying is that you need stock and you can be lazy about it. But not too lazy, heaven forfend did I hear you utter Knorr?

Fish Soup with Rouille

I served my soup with a rouille which is a traditional accompaniment to bouillabaisse and made with lots of garlic, saffron, bread and olive oil. However, I have messed around with that too and used white potato as a base for it instead of bread. Actually I used jersey royals which I’m sure in some circles I would be shot for. Restaurants tell us jersey royals should be prepared one way only, the soil should be lightly brushed away then the potato grazed with boiling water and served plainly with a kiss of butter so we can appreciate their sheer potato royalty. Well, I boiled it until it fell apart then blitzed it in my processor with oodles of garlic, chipotle, egg and olive oil. Yum. Although it was just laziness again as when I noticed I had a few jersey royals in, suddenly the shop with the correct floury potato seemed so far away. The good thing about using jersies is that you don’t need to peel them, I think it added to the flavour, although if you want a smoother rouille, you might want to do without the peel.

The rouille should have the consistency of a mayonnaise and if I haven’t done so already in this post I would just like to shame myself further as when I made the rouille I had to taste it, to check for seasoning, make sure I wasn’t adding too much chipotle in there etc. Then when I had got it just right, I took a few more tastes just to make sure. Yeah, that’s okay so far, but even then when I was so positively sure that I had got the flavour balance perfectly, I took just a few more spoonfuls. Then some more. Then some more. So, this sauce is like that. Prettee tastee.

It was lucky that I was spending the afternoon by myself as no one would have come near me after that, I went to say hello to the cat and it shot out of the room faster than a celebrity responding to the ice bucket challenge. So the rouille had depleted somewhat before it made it to the photos, but this recipe makes tonnes so you don’t need to worry if chef gets a little carried away. You only really need a dollop of it on your soup, but you may not be able to stop there and maybe possibly it might need to have its own bowl with a spoon for you to attack when you’ve finished your soup. That’s okay, there’s no judging here. But be warned, it is garlicky and then some.

It’s a bit of a family Friday today as I’ve talked about my Mum, my Dad and now I’m going to talk about my sister who gave me these gorgeous fish bowls last Christmas which she brought back for me from Spain. As soon as I opened them I was imagining bowls of rich fish soup and so I’m thrilled that the meal that I was planning 8 months ago has now finally come to pass. So now you know that I am always late as well as lazy.

Fish Soup with Rouille

Fish Soup with Rouille
Serves 4

600g Monkfish
500g Salmon fillet
8 Prawns
60ml olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 celery stick, diced
1 leek, sliced into thin rounds
½ fennel bulb, peeled and finely diced
1 carrot, diced
1 red chilli, diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tbsp sun-blush tomatoes (optional)
1 beefsteak tomato, diced
2 tbsp tomato puree
¼ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp sweet paprika
Grated zest of ½ small orange
120ml white wine
A pinch of saffron
1 litre stock, fish or chicken or vegetable

For the Rouille
300g cooked potato
A pinch of saffron
1 tsp chipotle in adobo (or harissa)
2 garlic cloves
1 egg yolk
½ tsp salt
black pepper
100-150ml light olive oil

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onion, celery and leek. Cook for 3-4 minutes then add the fennel, carrot, chilli and garlic cloves. Stir it all together on a gentle heat for about 15 minutes until the vegetables start to soften.
  2. Add the sun-blush tomatoes if you are using them, then stir in the beefsteak tomato, tomato puree, cumin, paprika and the orange zest. Cook for 5 minutes, then as the tomato is beginning to break down, add the white wine and saffron.
  3. Stir the wine through and as it begins to bubble pour in the stock and add seasoning.
  4. Turn the heat down to low and place the lid on the saucepan, cook for 30 minutes so the flavours get to know each other and the vegetables cook all the way through.
  5. Remove the saucepan from the heat and using an immersion blender, whizz up the soup so that it’s completely smooth. Check for seasoning.
  6. Prepare your fish by washing, removing the skin from the salmon and dicing the salmon and the monkfish. De-vein the prawns by snipping along their back shell with a sharp pair of kitchen scissors, then pulling out the long black thread buried just underneath the surface of their backs.
  7. Chill the fish until ready to use.
  8. Heat up the soup on a gentle heat then once piping hot, add the fish and place the lid on the saucepan. Cook for about 5 minutes until the prawns turn pink and the monkfish and salmon are cooked all the way through. Try not to disturb the fish too much as you don’t want it to break up.
  9. Serve with a garnish of parsley and the rouille.
  10. To make the rouille, put the cooked potato in a food processor, along with the saffron, chipotle in adobo, garlic cloves and salt and pepper and mix together.
  11. Once it’s all turned to a lovely puree then add the egg yolk and whizz again.
  12. With the food processor on, pour in the olive oil in a very slow and steady stream as if you were making mayonnaise. How much depends on the potatoes you are using but you want it to be a thick mayonnaise consistency.
  13. When it’s ready, check for seasoning before removing it from the food processor and serving.

Sesame Salmon Tartare: Day 22 of Whole30

Sesame Salmon Tartare
So I am finally on my last week of Whole30. I will not lie to you, it has been difficult. It isn’t so much the everyday eating which is all well and good as I love a bit of a salad, I am happy to eat my fair share of protein and I will wolf down pretty much any vegetable you put in front of me. However, I have felt a bit out at sea when I plain don’t want to cook or am out and about and have to rely on someone else’s cooking.

Salmon Marinade  |  Stroud Green Larder

Salmon Tartare  |  Stroud Green Larder

Good luck to you if you want to eat at a restaurant on the Whole30, it’s not an easy prospect due to restrictions on carbs, dairy, legumes and sugar but I just about managed it this weekend due to The Maynard in Crouch End’s hog roast stall. It was a bit of a palaver as I had to order the two components of my meal separately. I went into the pub to order the side salad off their normal bar menu and then once it had arrived I went out to the front of the pub to the special hog roast stall they had set up that day to order my pork sans brioche burger. It worked well in my favour though as I think he took pity on me for just ordering a pile of meat and served me the biggest portion of pork you can imagine. It ended up being a delicious lunch but it was the third pub we had gone into to try and find food and my hunger was beginning to turn me into the Hulk.

Dressed Cucumber  |  Stroud Green Larder

Black and White Sesame Seeds  |  Stroud Green Larder

In my normal every day life I eat out at restaurants a lot. I like to try new food, sample the extraordinary dishes of talented chefs and also, since I spend so much time in the kitchen myself, I am always looking for a bit of a break where someone else can cook for me. It is my absolute bugbear, therefore, that when I am trying to watch what I eat there is so little catering for that in the big wide world. So excuse me if I have a mini tantrum; feel free to skip down to the part where I discuss the recipe below if you can’t bear it, I have some nice things to say about my new salmon invention. Still reading, okay, you were warned. I look forward to the days, as I know they will arrive soon, when more UK restaurants and pubs understand that you don’t need carbs to have an enriching, complex and exciting meal. Salads and vegetables should be celebrated and treated like the main event and not an afterthought or a side dish. I know I can eat like this at home so is it so difficult to eat like this out of home? A few restaurants already understand this kind of cooking implicitly, the Ottolenghi restaurants always have queues stretching out the door and round the corner and it’s no wonder, the sheer variety in their ingredients and flavours is outstanding. Bruno Loubet’s Grainstore in Kings Cross also prides itself on giving vegetables equal billing, if not the starring role, to the meat and their menu is always fantastic and innovative. However, until these kind of restaurants become more prolific and pubs offer a more diverse menu then we will have to satisfy ourselves at home.

Sesame Salmon Tartare  |  Stroud Green Larder

This sesame salmon tartare is a wonderful example of a carb free, sugar free and dairy free recipe which is just so satisfying and bounteous with all kinds of levels of flavour. It seems a bit fancy but it is really just a gussied up salad with no more skill required than just a bit of chopping and stirring. But then you taste it and you come right back to fancy again.

Sesame Salmon Tartare  |  Stroud Green LarderWhen you mention raw fish you tend to think of sushi or ceviche which can sound a bit clever and terrifying as you are dealing with raw fish. However, just make sure you trust where your fish is coming from and you’ll be fine to prepare either one at home. This recipe lies more on the ceviche side than the sushi side as the lime juice in the marinade ‘cooks’ the fish. The salmon is absolutely delicious on its own with a definite hint of umami but with the addition of lightly dressed cucumber and naked avocado it becomes a proper event. It’s the kind of food that requires you to sit at the table and savour every mouthful. Don’t skimp on the sesame seed garnish either, if you can’t get hold of the black sesames just use the white ones, as they provide such a welcome delicate crunch to compliment the soft salmon and the creamy avocado.

Sesame Salmon Tartare  |  Stroud Green Larder

This recipe is perhaps a tad too much for two but if you serve it for four then it’s an excellent starter if you are having people over to dinner.

Sesame Salmon Tartare
Serves 2-4

350g salmon fillet, skin removed
Juice of 3 limes
25ml sesame oil
25ml coconut aminos (or soy sauce if you are not Whole30)
1 chilli, sliced thinly
2 avocados
½ cucumber
2 tsp rice vinegar
2 tsp light olive oil
1 tsp black sesame seeds, lightly toasted
1 tsp white sesame seeds, lightly toasted

  1. In a medium sized bowl mix together the lime juice, sesame oil, coconut aminos and chilli.
  2. Then dice the salmon into small cubes and submerge into the marinade. Stir everything together so the marinade can fully absorb into the salmon then put cling film over the top and place into the fridge for 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, peel, de-stone and slice the avocado thinly, arrange it at the bottom of your serving dishes.
  4. Then prepare the dressing for the cucumber by mixing together the rice vinegar and olive oil.
  5. Peel and scoop out the seeds from the cucumber. Dice it very finely then add it to the dressing, mixing it all up thoroughly. Pile the cucumber on top of the avocado on your serving dishes.
  6. Then arrange your salmon on top and sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds.