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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Prudence Wade

Lighter fish pie: Comfort food you won’t feel guilty for eating

Columbus Leth/PA

The ultimate comfort food, but also light; this recipe manages to be creamy and filling without you having to take a nap afterwards, which can be the case with heavier meat dishes,” says Trine Hahnemann, author of Simply Scandinavian.

“It can be made with any fish, or also with the same weight of vegetables instead. This kind of pie will always do it for me when I’m in need of energy and comfort.”

Fish pie

Serves: 6


800g large potatoes, chopped into big chunks

100g salted butter, plus 3 tbsp, plus more for the dish

500g firm white fish fillet, chopped into small pieces

300g raw prawns, sustainably caught

10 white asparagus spears

10 green asparagus spears

2 shallots, finely chopped

200g shelled fresh peas

5 dill sprigs, chopped

Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

Leaves from 2-3 sprigs of flat-leaf parsley, chopped, to serve (optional)


1. Boil the potatoes in water until tender.

2. Butter a large ovenproof dish generously, then add the chopped fish and prawns in an even layer. Season with salt.

3. Snap the lower one-third of the white and green asparagus off, then peel the white asparagus until shiny and cut all the asparagus spears into four-centimetre pieces. (The trimmings and peelings can be used in soup). Fry the shallots gently in a frying pan in one tablespoon of butter. Turn off the heat, add the asparagus, peas and dill, mix well and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the vegetable mixture on top of the fish.

4. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. When the potatoes are cooked, drain them, reserving 100 millilitres of their cooking water. Mash the potatoes lightly together with the reserved cooking water and the 100 grams of butter, keeping the mash chunky. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then spread the mash over the pie filling and place the remaining two tablespoons of butter, in small dots, on top.

5. Bake for 30 minutes. Let it rest for a few minutes, then scatter with parsley and serve.

‘Simply Scandinavian’ by Trine Hahnemann (Quadrille, £27).

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