Salmon and Sweet Potato Fishcakes with Lime Za’atar Yogurt | The Jewish Week | Food & Wine

Salmon and Sweet Potato Fishcakes with Lime Za’atar Yogurt

Salmon and Sweet Potato Fishcakes with Lime Za’atar Yogurt

Credit: Clare Winfield

Serves 4 as a main or 6 as an appetizer; makes around 
14 fishcakes

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I like to involve my kids in the preparation of these, as their little hands make surprisingly neat little cakes. This works really well as an appetizer served on a bed of the Fennel, Orange, and Carrot Salad or as a lovely family dinner. The fishcakes benefit from being made a little in advance and chilled so that they hold together better when fried.


3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 sweet potatoes, around 1lb 2oz
in total, scrubbed

4 skinless salmon fillets (or remove skin), about 1½lb in total

1 small bunch of dill

8 black peppercorns

1 small bunch of cilantro leaves,
finely chopped

juice of 1 lemon

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 eggs, beaten

2¼ cups medium matzo meal

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the lime za’atar yogurt

2 cups plain yogurt

1 tablespoon Za’atar

grated zest and juice of 2 limes


Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Rub 1 tablespoon of the oil into the sweet potatoes and season with salt and black pepper, then place them on a baking pan and roast for about 40 minutes to 1 hour, depending on their size, until cooked all the way through. Let cool while you make the fishcakes.

Place the salmon fillets in a wide, shallow pan with the dill and peppercorns, and barely cover with water. Gently poach, uncovered, for 8 to 10 minutes until just cooked through. Lift the salmon from the poaching liquid and flake into a large bowl.  

Halve the sweet potatoes, scoop out the flesh, and add to the fish along with the cilantro and lemon juice. Season well with salt and black pepper and mix together thoroughly. If you have the time, cover and chill the mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes to make the cakes easier to form. Shape the mixture into palm-sized cakes. 

Put the flour, eggs, and matzo meal in 3 separate shallow bowls. Season the flour with salt and black pepper, then coat the cakes in the seasoned flour, dip into the beaten egg, and then roll in the matzo meal. Repeat the egg and matzo meal coating for a second time if you want an extra-crispy fishcake. 

Place the fishcakes on a tray lined with nonstick parchment paper or foil and refrigerate until you are ready to fry.

Mix the ingredients for the lime za’atar yogurt together in a bowl, then cover and refrigerate until you are ready to serve.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a wide skillet and fry the fishcakes, in batches, over medium heat for around 3 minutes on each side until they are nicely golden.  

Serve with a generous spoonful of the yogurt on the side and a crisp salad.

Tip: If you can’t find matzo meal, you can substitute any other bread crumbs
of your choice; panko would be my next favorite.

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