Potato Bakes/Fries (syn free fish cake anyone)? (Updated September 2018)

(As of September 2018 – instant mash is no longer syn free. I’m leaving this recipe up for the moment but will be experimenting with using real mash instead and will post a full update once I’ve done so).

From growing up, through my student days, and beyond, I’ve always liked fish cakes. Particularly if I was going to a fish and chip shop and didn’t fancy sausage or saveloy. And now I can have syn free fish cakes – all the better.

Fishcakes and mushy peas anyone?
Home made fish cakes (but could have anything in it) with minted mushy peas, mushrooms and mini peppers

Of course those ones you get in the supermarket freezers (and at the chippy) are coated in breadcrumbs and have goodness knows what else added to them.  That said – they don’t typically have many syns attached (the supermarket ones anyhow, the chippy ones have more as they’re deep-fried).

So – can i have my fish cake and eat it and still stick to plan? Of course, and it’s simple and it’s dirt cheap to make, and if you don’t want fish – well – almost anything will work.


  • Instant Mash (Update September 2018 – no longer syn free – please check Syns Online/the app for updated syn values)
  • Hot water
  • Fish (or other filling)
  • Herbs/spices (totally optional)

Yeap – that’s it. As I said on the About Me page – I don’t do complex cooking very often.

Choice of fish – anything.  I typically use tins of tuna, occasionally I may have tinned salmon available. I’ve also used fish pie mix when I’ve been able to get some that has been reduced in price.  You will need to be poach this in water first and leave it to cool before flaking it up. I’ve used smoked haddock and cod (again when it’s been reduced in price). It’s all makes for nice syn free fish cakes (unless you use smoked mackerel).

Other fillings – bacon and cheese bake (either synning the cheese or using it from your Healthy Extra A allowance), or boil some mixed veg up, and make a vegetable bake/burger.  I have also pondered if the pulled pork recipe from the Slimming World website would work in this as one way of using up left overs but there’s never any left overs left to try it.


  1. Make up the amount of instant mash to suit how many you’re feeding using slightly less water than you would usually.- You want it to be a bit firmer then if you were serving it directly on the plate.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients
  3. Mix well
  4. Make into “cakes” and bake in a preheated oven set at 200c for about 20minutes (turning half way through). There’s no other way about this part but to get your hands in there and form them by hand, it’s a dirty job but someone’s got to do it.
  5. Alternatively fry in a hot frying pan (sprayed with a bit of Fry light) for about 10minutes each side.


I like them (when done with fish) with some mushy peas and my usual selection of roasted mushrooms, onions, peppers. Sometimes I’ll fry an egg or two to go on top as well.

If you make more than you need, put a layer of cling film over a plate. Put the surplus fish cakes/bakes onto the plate and cover with cling film before putting in the fridge.




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