Cod & celeriac fish cakes with polenta crust

by Ursula Ferrigno

Ursula Ferrigno’s take on the classic fish dish, served with a garlicky sauce


700g fillet of white fish such as cod, skin on
5 tbsp milk
1 medium celeriac, peeled
300g old potatoes, peeled
1 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
1 tbsp capers in brine, roughly chopped
1 tbsp chopped lemon thyme
1 large egg, beaten
Polenta, for dusting

For the sauce:
100ml crème fraiche
100g mayonnaise
1 small garlic clove, crushed
A handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped

Groundnut oil, for frying
1 lemon, cut into wedges, to serve
Wild rocket and frisse, to serve


Put the fish in a sauté pan with the milk. Cover and cook gently for 10 mins. Allow to cool in the pan.

Meanwhile, cut the celeriac and potatoes into even-sized chunks. Place in a pan and cover with cold water. Boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until tender—approximately 15 mins, depending on the size of the pieces. Drain well and mash, adding the parsley.

Remove the fish from the pan and flake into pieces, discarding any skin and checking for bones. Add to the mashed potatoes and celeriac. Add the capers and thyme, then season to taste. Add the beaten egg and mix well, then divide into 12 pieces. Shape into cakes, and dust with polenta on both sides. Transfer to a tray and chill until required.

To make the sauce, mix the crème fraiche, mayonnaise, crushed garlic and parsley together and transfer to a serving bowl.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the fishcakes in batches, until golden on each side. Keep warm. Serve with the sauce, lemon wedges and leaves. 

Recipe: Ursula Ferrigno