Lunch boxes

Taking a lunch box to school or work can be much healthier than buying meals and unhealthy snacks every day.

Fish cakes with pilchards

Makes about 20 fish cakes

These fish cakes are a great way to enjoy pilchards, which are a source of healthy fats, calcium from the bones and lean protein. They are ideal for lunch boxes and the kids love them.


1 x 425 g tin pilchards in tomato sauce

2 eggs, beaten

1 small onion, grated

1 carrot or baby marrow, grated

½ cup (125 ml) self-raising flour

5 tbsp (75 ml) oats

½ tsp (2,5 ml) salt

lemon juice and black pepper to taste

3 tbsp (45 ml) chopped fresh parsley

3 tbsp (45 ml) chopped fresh coriander or more parsley

1 tbsp (15 ml) tomato sauce or chutney

1 tbsp (15 ml) sunflower or olive oil for frying


  1. Flake fish in the tomato sauce with the small, edible bones, using a fork.
  2. Mix fish with the remaining ingredients, except the oil.
  3. Heat a thin layer of oil in a frying pan and place spoonfuls of the batter in the pan.
  4. Fry on both sides until golden brown and cooked. Drain on paper towel. Repeat with the rest of the oil and batter.
  5. Allow to cool and pack into lunch boxes with salad ingredients, baby potatoes in the skin and fresh fruit.


  1. Replace pilchards with any fish of your choice, like tuna or leftover hake or snoek and add another 2 tbsp (30 ml) tomato sauce.
  2. Enjoy fish cakes for supper and serve with lemon wedges, a green salad and a baked potato per person.

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