A Life In Food – Recipes – Gluten Free Salmon Fishcakes with Beetroot & Radish Salsa

salmon fishcakes with beetroot salsa

Gluten Free Salmon Fishcakes with Beetroot & Radish Salsa

Better late than never!  Here is the promised second beetroot recipe, not exactly focused on beetroot but nevertheless, the little purple chaps are definitely in there somewhere.

This a variation on several Italian themed fishcake recipes using polenta.  I have seen a version that uses salt cod, also soaking the polenta in hot water and including in the main mix (in Maxine Clark’s Flavours of Tuscany). Nigella Lawson’s recipe recommends the use of tinned salmon over fresh fish, and let’s be honest, we should be grateful for some way of using the otherwise inedible pink tinned mush (though I’ve found it goes well on rye bread with watercress if you use just the first 6 ingredients below)…

Most traditional fishcake recipes blend very little fish with a lot of potato before frying, whereas this makes a high protein and low carb (as well as gluten free) alternative to anyone on a low carb/slow carb diet.



1 tin salmon
1 whole spring onion chopped (green included)
1 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tsp hot or sweet smoked paprika to taste
1 tsp carraway seeds
ground pepper to taste
50g polenta (or as little as you can get away with)
2 tbsp groundnut or rapeseed oil (for frying)

1/2 beetroot
1 radish
1/2 tomato
1 tbsp raspberry vinegar (or strawberry vinegar)
1 tbsp rapeseed oil (cold pressed)
1/4 tsp celery oil
Dash of tabasco

Lettuce or Endives
Balsamic Vinegar

  1. Mix and mash together first 6 ingredients well with a fork.
  2. Shaped the mixture into pattys (makes 2 with some left over – make a sandwich!) – pack them together well.
  3. Place some polenta on a small plate, coat the pattys each side and ‘scoop’ the polenta over the sides to ensure all the surface area is covered.
  4. Fry them in groundnut or rapeseed oil over a medium heat for 5 minutes each side until golden brown.  Keep the shape of the pattys by pressing with a fish slice every so often if necessary.
  5. Meanwhile, dice equal quantities (around 0.75cm squares) of beetroot, radish and tomato.
  6. Mix together and dress with rapeseed oil, raspberry vinegar and 1/4 tsp celery salt.  Add a dash of tabasco. Taste and adjust quantities (raspberry vinegar can vary on the sweet/sour balance so add some white wine vinegar if necessary).
  7. Place fishcakes onto lettuce or endives lightly dressed with balsamic vinegar.
  8. Spoon the salsa mixture over, including some of the liquid.


– Chop the spring onions as finely as you can – you don’t want big chunks getting in contact with the pan otherwise they’ll burn (spot the dark bit in the picture above).

– The Salsa can be made in larger quantities and used with other white fish; you may want to add salt depending on what it’s being used with. 

– They can take a while to fry (hence the burnt spring onion), which is probably due to the moisture in the mixture; be patient and persevere!