3 mins

Recipe of the week: St Helena Fish Cakes

Magnificent, rugged and steeped in history, the Island of St Helena is fiercely proud of its gastronomy. Try it for yourself with this delicious recipe from the Island's tourist board

St Helena (Fotolia)

With British, Malay and Chinese influences, the cuisine of St Helena, a remote island in the South Atlantic, offers wondrous variety.

The Island's single origin Arabica coffee is reputed to be some of the best, and most distinctive, in the world, a solace for the exiled Napoleon Bonaparte who was imprisoned on the Island from 1815 until his death, and just as good today.

When they're in need of something a little stronger, islanders, known as 'Saints', reach for a bottle of Tungi spirit. Produced in the world's most remote distillery, this potent liquor is made from locally grown prickly pears.

Traditional dishes all have a unique St Helenian twist, with spices and curries commonplace. As you might expect, fresh fish also features prominently. Yellowfin tuna is a staple of the St Helenian diet and tuna fish cakes are a speciality.

Accessible only by the Royal Mail ship which makes the five-day crossing from Cape Town once a month, St Helena is one of the world's most remote islands. Luckily you can get a taste of island life at home with this fantastic traditional recipe from the St Helena Tourist Board.

St Helena Fish Cakes

Serves 4


250g fresh tuna
300g potatoes

1 small onion, finely chopped
1 pinch of thyme
1 small/medium egg
1/2 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 rasher of bacon, diced
Salt to season
1 chilli, chopped finely
2 1/2 tablespoons of paprika
2 tablespoons of salt
2 tablespoons of garlic powder
1 tablespoon of black pepper
1 tablespoon of onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme


Peel and boil potatoes in lightly salted water until soft. Drain, mash and leave to cool.
Shred the fish with a knife until fine. Add the mashed potato.
Heat a frying pan on a medium heat with 2 tablespoons of cooking oil.
Fry the onion, parsley, thyme, spice, salt, chilli and bacon until lightly browned.
Cool, then add to fish and mashed potato. Add the egg and mix together.
Form patties with hands to about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch thick and about 3 inches round.
Heat a frying pan on a medium heat with 2 tablespoons of cooking oil.
Fry patties until brown on both sides.

St Helena Fish Cakes are traditionally served on hamburger buns with ketchup, rice pilaf and vegetables.

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