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Fish cakes with chermoula paste

Recipe: Fish cakes with chermoula paste (South Africa)


South Africans tend to love a bit of spice in their food and some years ago, we enjoyed this dish as a light lunch after a tasting at Catherine Marshall's in Stellenbosch.

Chermoula paste is middle eastern in origin and available from good supermarkets but it's definitely worth making your own.

Not only is it great with these fish cakes, it also works wonderfully as a topping for grilled fish.

Enjoy these with a bottle of two of Cathy's fresh and zesty sauvignon blanc, now with 12.5% off!

 Fish cakes with chermoula paste



1 x half bunch of coriander, chopped

1 x half bunch of flat leaf parsley, chopped

3 x garlic cloves, crushed

1 x tsp toasted ground cumin

1 x tsp sweet paprika

1 x pinch of cayenne pepper

4 x tbsp olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


800g hake fillets (or sustainable white fish alternative)

4 x potatoes, peeled and boiled

15ml chermoula paste

2 x eggs

80g breadcrumbs

Seasoned plain flour for coating

Vegetable oil for frying.


  1. Blend the chermoula ingredients in food processor and taste, adjusting seasoning to suit.
  2. Grill or poach the fish, then flake with a fork, being careful to remove any skin and bones.
  3. Mash potatoes and add to fish, mixing with 15ml of chermoula paste and enough breadcrumbs to bind.
  4. Shape into fish cakes about 2cm thick.
  5. Dip in the seasoned flour and pan fry in hot oil until golden for about 5 minutes on either side.
  6. Serve with a simple green salad (Cathy added mint and basil leaves to hers for extra delicious freshness).

Enjoy with Catherine Marshall sauvignon blanc, for tropical fruits and minerality that matches brilliantly with the zingy fich cakes.

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