Fish Pie.

Fish Pie.

I wouldn’t normally class a fish pie as Fine Dining so it doesn’t normally grace this blog. This one though was made a little bit differently. The filling has a few different steps, but a normal fish pie filling will be great. The topping however is designed to resemble a beach. The potato being the sea, a parsley and garlic foam represents the waves and some toasted panko breadcrumbs are the beach. Although they seem a bit of a gimmick, the beach is a fantastic texture added to a fish pie which is one dimensional on the texture front.

The other differences being a lightly cured salmon fillet. It just firms up the flesh and makes it hold its own flavour which sometimes get lost in the creamy sauce.[purerecipe]


  • 300g Salmon Fillet
  • 2 Tbsp each Sugar and Salt
  • 250g Raw with shells reserved Prawns
  • 250g Smoked Haddock
  • 300g Cubed Cod
  • 1kg, see link below Mashed Potato
  • 1 Tbsp Grain Mustard
  • Sauce

  • Large, sliced Onion
  • 4 Cloves Garlic
  • 75ml White Wine
  • Trimmings from the fillet above. Smoked Haddock
  • Reserved Prawn Shells
  • 250ml Fish Stock
  • 250ml Depending how decadent you want it just use less cream for a healthier version. Milk/Cream
  • 2 Tbsp. Agar Agar Flakes
  • 2 Tbsp Chopped Parsley
  • 1 tsp Dill
  • Foam(Waves)

  • 300ml Whole Milk
  • From the bunch 2 Tbsp Parsley stalks
  • 6 Garlic Cloves
  • Salt
  • 2 Tsp Soya Lecithin (Optional)
  • Beach.

  • 75g Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tbsp Oil


  1. Mix sugar and salt and rub into the salmon. Leave for an hour and then wash well with cold water. Cube.
  2. Make the sauce by softening the onions with the garlic, about 10 mins. Add the prawn shells and cook until they turn pink. Add the wine and reduce until evaporated, now add the haddock trimmings and fish stock. Reduce by half. Add your cream/milk mixture, I used 125ml of each. Stir in the agar agar and boil for 4 minutes. This ensures the flakes are properly activated and dissolved. Set aside to cool. It will solidify at room temperature.(About an hour to cool properly) If you can't find agar flakes just use one tablespoon of cornflour loosened with water.
  3. Bring the milk, garlic and parsley to a boil, take off the heat and let infuse. Season well with salt. 
  4. Once the sauce has solidified it needs to be pureed with a blender. Do this and add back to the pan with all the fish. Heat over a medium heat for about 5 minutes to cook the fish. Add the herbs.
  5. Add the breadcrumbs to the pan with the oil and stir until golden. Set aside.
  6. Have the mashed potato from this recipe warmed with the mustard added.
  7. Assemble the dish, add the sauce into an oven proof dish and top with the mashed potato. Smooth it over and with a spoon make crescent shapes to look like waves. Add the toasted breadcrumbs to half the dish. For the foam, heat to 60°c and add the soya lecithin. With an immersion blender whisk up and scoop the foam off the top.  If you don't have soya lecithin it will still work. The soya just helps the foam stay rigid for longer.


  1. Sorry, Dave, I am not a fan of the foam, not just your foam, it looks restaurant perfect, but any foam. Reminds me of frog spit, again, sorry.
    I really like the way you’ve represented the beach, though, and because of the above, I’d be inclined to make the mashed potatoes the sea.

  2. I’ve never had fish pie but your recipe sounds terrific and I love your presentation.

    • Dave Crichton

      Hi Karen, I never appreciated that fish pie is a very English dish like Cottage or Shepherds Pie. A good fish pie is so comforting at this time of year, yet so versatile with differing fish and herb combinations. It’s a great one to have in your repetoire.

  3. I have never eaten a fish pie. Yours looks so good!!

    • Dave Crichton

      Hi Judy, I was just saying to Karen that I didn’t appreciate fish pie being a novelty to North America. It’s such a great comforting dish done well, awful when bought from a supermarket for a dollar! Kids absolutely love fish pie though. Even if they don’t eat fish.

  4. I love fish pies David, and the foam is really a fun addition to the dish (my kids would LOVE to eat a fish pie shaped like a beach!!).

  5. I made a fish pie last week, didn’t come out quite the way i liked. Going to give this a go.

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