To Fry or Not to Fry, Potato Cakes

There are some dishes that I instantly like and want to cook again after only one try. And then there are others which are very delicious but not something I would cook again. While these potato cakes are very tasty, they unfortunately fall on the latter category.

I have a very small and poorly ventilated kitchen. If I pan fry or deep fry anything, the greasy odours would linger for a long time. And boy, these yummy little potato, cheese and thyme cakes take a lot of pan-frying. I had to cook, eat and photograph the potato cakes in batches because I could only  fit three small cakes on my small frying pan. So, the cooking time could have easily been improved by using a larger pan. Note to self, do not be miserly, please get a medium sized frying pan during the upcoming boxing-day sale. Poor ventilation is a little harder to tackle, though.

While trying this recipe reaffirmed my dislike for frying, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, the chef who came up with this recipe is right. The flavours of potato, cheese and thyme come together very nicely.

The potato cakes taste heavenly with a bit of sweet chilli sauce and are very tasty as next day’s lunch. They taste a little like hash brown. But they are a little bit better because they contain calcium and protein from the low fat cheese, albeit in small amounts. On second thought, I would probably cook these again, but maybe as a potato, cheese and thyme bake.

© 2012 Lusiana Njo

Yummy potato, cheese and thyme cakes


Potato, Cheese and Thyme Cakes

Modified from a recipe by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall featured in the ABC (Australia) Delicious Magazine, November 2012

Makes about 20 palm-sized cakes

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Peel, rinse and chop 500 g/1 lb 2 oz potatoes. Boil the potatoes for about 12-15 minutes. Drain and leave the potatoes to cool. Place ¼ cup (35 g) plain flour on a wide, shallow tray. Mash the potatoes roughly with a fork.

Add 100g low fat grated tasty/mature cheddar cheese and ½ tsp dried thyme (1 tsp fresh) to the mashed potato. Season with some iodised salt (lightly, cheese can be very salty) and ground pepper. Mix well. Take a small handful of the potato mixture. Shape it into a ball and flatten it on your palm to form a cake. Coat the cake lightly on both sides with flour.

Brush or spray some oil on a non-stick frying pan. Heat the pan on a medium/high heat. Fry the cakes for 6-8 minutes on each side. Drain on a plate lined with paper towel. Serve the potato cakes warm with sweet chilli sauce (optional).



8 thoughts on “To Fry or Not to Fry, Potato Cakes

  1. When I read the title of the post i thought it was going to be like a hash brown, but it sounds more like a fishcake with cheese. I used to get something like this from the fish and chip shop when i lived in the north of england, filled with either cheese or mince meat, though it wasn’t a pancake more of a ball shape.

    Will need to give this ago.

  2. Lusi, I know exactly what you mean. Back when I lived in an apartment, I was into Indonesian cooking very much, and that greasy smell lingers! Now, whenever I cook anything that generate smell, I put a small bowl of vinegar by the stove, and somehow it helps absorb the smell. Sometimes if I’m dilligent, after cooking, I even spray half water/vinegar into the air, and anything that has fabric on it.

    Now though, I have an electric fryer. I remember frying krupuk in my garage, which…. ha ha… the garage ended up with the greasy smell for several days! I think that was the last time I fried anything 🙂

    1. Yes, Anny it’s so true about small space & lingering cooking smell. I will try to use the vinegar trick. I use a fair bit of it for cleaning etc.

      Aaaah…. krupuk… I’ve resorted to microwaving them, oil-free & mess-free. Microwaved krupuk lacks ‘crunch’ and is uneven (burnt, perfectly cooked & uncooked in different parts). But I simply eat around the not-so-good parts. 🙂

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