Yorkshire Fish Cake Recipe

Yorkshire Fish Cake Recipe

This Yorkshire Fish Cake recipe was sent in by Barry Mills, a Visit Cleveleys reader. At the time, a conversation had taken place on Facebook about fishcakes, and in particular Yorkshire ones, which I’d never heard of. It turns out that in the Huddersfield/Batley/West Yorkshire area a fishcake isn’t mashed fish and potato, it’s slices that are deep fried in batter.

This has been a popular post ever since it was first published some years ago. There are several of your comments below the recipe, debating the origins of where this dish comes from.

Are you familiar with Yorkshire fish cakes? Here’s Barry’s recipe for you to try.

Yorkshire Fish Cake Recipe

For the Batter

175g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
125ml water
150ml malt vinegar (sarsons type stuff)

For the Fish Cakes

Some Slices of peeled potato, about 5mm in thickness
Some plain flour
Cod or Haddock, skinned and boned, about 500g
Vegetable oil for deep frying (or a fryer)


Preheat deep fat fryer to about 190c

For the batter, put the flour and salt in a bowl, and the water and vinegar and whisk up until its smooth.

Now get the potato pieces, and trim your fish to be about the same size. Dip the fish in plain flour and shake off the excess. It needs to fit in between two pieces of potato to make a sandwich. Now you have your potato and fish ‘sandwich’.

Dip the ‘sandwich’ into the batter and then drop it into the hot oil. They usually drop to the bottom. Be careful if you have a basket because the batter can get stuck in it.

Make a few and drop them in as well. After about 5-6 minutes they should be floating. Flip them over and cook the other side for about the same amount of time.

Remove from the fryer and drain on kitchen paper.

Serve with chips – or just eat them as they are.

Yum Yum..

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What do you think? Leave a comment below

  1. Avatar

    These “cakes” were the first thing I had from the fish shop when I went to see my grandma in Bradford . I absolutely loved them. When I first had the things they call fish cakes in London I was so disappointed in the mush that was inside them. I come from London but used to visit Bradford regularly to see my grandparents from tiny. I only wished they sold them in our chippys. I be there regularly!

  2. Avatar

    Me and my wife are from Sheffield and have a nice Cake Butty when we come up from St Albans visiting family. Sometimes, my wife will have a couple in just one weekend. Nobody at work has ever heard of them and think they are weird. They are proper fish cakes, not mashed fish and herbs in breadcrumbs

  3. Avatar

    Yorkshire fishcakes were born in Sheffield (all this is according to my Grandad who passed on many years ago). But he used to tell me stories about the war when i was about 8yrs old (I’m 46 now) so we’re going back awhile, but according to him, in the 2nd world war, all the steel mills and foundries in Sheffield were major suppliers to the British arms industry. Being such an important industrial city it was to be a target by the Germans. To cut a long story short, fish was running low, so a chip shop owner decided to make sure as many customers as possible could have fish. He made a fish and potato sandwich (to replace a full battered fish) which was battered. Also for the people who couldn’t afford this, a potato fritter (just the same but no fish) …but I have been told other stories too, that the idea of fishcakes and potato fritters actually were spin offs from Spam fritters.

    1. Avatar

      Paul (above) is absolutely correct. Sheffield is the birthplace of the ‘Yorkshire Fish cake’ – my dad ran a chippy over in Ferham Park in Rotherham (just off the Tinsley Viaduct) and he was given a recipe which was published back in the 1800’s by the telegraph (I have forgotten the date and haven’t seen that print since he passed some 10 years ago) and that mentioned ‘Sheffield Fish Cake’ – exactly what you see here- potato/fish/potato/ batter. I remember making these in the prep room in the back of the chippy and we used to sell out by 6:15pm – and sold over 100 a day. I was busy and I enjoyed working with my dad – good memories and to this day, even though I live in Wendell, North Carolina in the USA, I still make Yorkshire fish cakes.
      My 16 year old (who was born in NY) says these are ‘the bomb’ and begs me to make them! Good lad – Making Sheffield proud! What’s his name? …Benjamin Sheffield, of course!

  4. Avatar

    I have never heard them referred to as ‘Yorkshire’ fish cakes. They maybe a Northern version, as , as a youngster back in the 50’s, all chippy’s in the Lancashire market/mill towns, served exactly this type of fishcake. I remember to our horror that the mushy mixed up versions began to appear towards the end of the 70’s, when fryers began using more pre-prepared ingredients and adding to the choices on offer. Fortunately, the more traditional chippy’s still made the sliced fish cakes as before.

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