Some time ago I wrote about my love for tinned sardines, despite them being looked down upon as the food of plebs.  Adeeyoyo left a comment about being nostalgic for sardine fishcakes she’d eaten in the canteen of a previous employer, and I promised to make them and post a recipe for her.  It’s been some time, but I try to stick to my word and here they are:


(To make 12 large fishcakes)

1 420g tin pilchards/sardines in tomato sauce

Equal volume of mashed potato (leftover from roast chicken meal the night before)

1 large onion, finely chopped

3 large eggs

1 chopped green chilli (optional)

Pour off half the tomato sauce and refrigerate.

Mash sardines and rest of sauce and add to potatoes, add onion and eggs and mix well.

Heat an oiled pan, add spoonfuls of the mixture (I used stacking rings to get an even shape) and fry on medium heat for about 5 minutes each side.  The fishcakes will appear slightly ‘soggy’ but will become firm with cooling.

Serve cold, with a green salad, lemon wedges and the reserved tomato sauce.

I’ve calculated that this meal costs R21 in total and can feed 6 people.  It’s delicious, nutritious and low fat.  Plebian?  Maybe, but in this day and age I reckon it’s a right winner.


52 Comments Add yours

  1. justchef says:

    I ❤ pilchards!!!

    You really should have sprayed that dry cucumber with something like hairspray *runs and hides*

    1. theonlycin says:

      *takes a mouthful of Merlot, gargles, and spits in Chantelle’s eye*

      1. justchef says:

        See what happens when one has too much wine at ones disposal!

      2. theonlycin says:

        *considers next mouthful carefully and reaches for Jeyes Fluid instead*

      3. justchef says:

        Ha-li-ha – I’m telling Madmom about all your wastage!

      4. theonlycin says:

        Not Madmom! *hides behind the wheelie bin*

      5. justchef says:

        LOL! I’m sure you’ll be safe there!

      6. nrhatch says:

        Having fun, girls??? 8)

      7. theonlycin says:

        LOL, Nancy, Chantelle is very naughty 😉

    2. Madmom says:

      I saw that! Leave my Jeyes Fluid alone!

  2. Supa says:

    I like! 🙂

  3. adeeyoyo says:

    What a lovely surprise – I had forgotten all about it! Thank you so much Cindy. The chef used to make them with the chillie variety of pilchards and thicken the left over sauce to serve separately. Delicious 😀

    1. theonlycin says:

      You’re welcome, adee 😀

  4. I am going to copy, past and print – this sounds delish!!

  5. deepercolors says:

    I know the things are supposed to be good for you. My Godmother in Texas swears by them and she’s 90. But bleccch. Definitely an acquired taste for me. No thanks. Thanks, but no thanks. :-\

    1. theonlycin says:

      Never mind, I’ll whip up something else for you :-/

  6. Rosemary says:

    This is a family favourite. Pleb food rules!

  7. buttercup600 says:

    I have not had fishcakes since I was in SA last…..time to introduce the Aussies to your recipe…:) 🙂 🙂 xxx

    1. theonlycin says:

      The Aussies are so spoilt for choice with fresh seafood; do they even have tinned sardines?

      1. buttercup600 says:

        yep…every choice under the sun..(the only way I have ever seen them eating it is on toast with melted cheese) ..already printed your recipe..fishcakes coming up very very soon …I’ll keep you informed 🙂 🙂 xx

      2. theonlycin says:

        Look forward to it 🙂

  8. Yvette says:

    These look good!..and so does the “real” photo! I was only thinking about tuna patties the other day haven’t made them in along time…not really in the Italian cusine menu!!

    1. theonlycin says:

      No, I shouldn’t imagine the Italians would eat them 🙂

  9. suzicate says:

    I’ve never had sardine cakes. they look just like salmon cakes. And it’s been a long time since I’ve even had those.

    1. theonlycin says:

      They’re a lot like salmon cakes, suzicate.

  10. nrhatch says:

    Gorgeous photo, Cin!
    And 100% edible! No hairspray or shellac! 🙂

  11. slpmartin says:

    I could Photoshop that photo for you if you would like and send it back…perhaps add some steam or something. 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Lean closer to the screen so I can slap you upside the head, Charles …

  12. gospelwriter says:

    Well, I have to say, those fish cakes look darned good, although I’ve never cared for tinned sardines… I do like fish cakes – what the heck, maybe I’ll try it sometime 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Go on, give it a bash 🙂

  13. souldipper says:

    Cin, you could actually entice me to eat sardines! They look delicious and I’m starving. It’s lunch time and I have to do grocery shopping so I’d better find something or I’ll buy the store.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Remember sardines are brain food 🙂

  14. Tokeloshe says:

    I love the recipe! Great photo too.

    Thank you very much.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank YOU, Tok 😀

  15. oooh yummy. i love good fishcakes. the ones from wollies tasted like cardboard. I’ll have to add the tomato puree as my cans of sardines are all the plain ones.

    Now I know what I’ll be having for supper tonight, thanks for the idea

    1. theonlycin says:

      Hope you enjoyed 🙂

  16. Madmom says:

    Yums. I enjoy pilchards – pleb that I am. 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Three cheers for plebs !!! 🙂

  17. Naomi says:

    Not for me, courtesy of bad boarding house memories, but a great pic!

    1. theonlycin says:

      hahaha … would love to hear all about the boarding house 😀

  18. Jamie Dedes says:

    Love fish cakes and sardines … good solid old-fashioned food.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I think that – as an very inexpensive meal – it is solid gold.

  19. stilekke says:

    Haven`t had those in a while….will have to make a plan….or extract a promise of an invite when you do make them again….I love them with an omellette and lots of cheese and tomatoes…..yummy….

  20. Nothing wrong with Plebian Food, your fishcakes look delicious and I am going to try Sardines á la Cindy very soon !

  21. Tokeloshe says:

    I made them and they were delicious.

    Thanks for the recipe.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I’m so glad you liked them, Tok, hope you thought of me while you were eating 😀

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