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What to Do With Leftover Vegetables: Potato Cake With a Poached Egg

Gabriel loves to cook all kinds of foods, from baking to a full roast dinner and of course burgers.

Potato cake with a poached egg

Potato cake with a poached egg

What do you do with leftover mash potato, three eggs and a single spring onion? Make delicious potato cakes and top with a poached egg, of course.

I am not a lover of the supermarket; in fact, I find it very stressful. I always get the dodgy trolley and spend ages queuing at the meat counter, the deli counter and the bread counter. Going through the check-out is madness—what does one family do with 10 chickens? It is because of this that I will rummage through my fridge and make something edible out of very little; hence this recipe.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

2 min

7 min

9 min

2 servings


  • 2 cups potatoes, cooked and mashed
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 spring onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon white wine or cider vinegar
  • A twist cracked black pepper, to serve
  • A pinch dried chilli flakes (optional)
Golden Brown Potato Cakes

Golden Brown Potato Cakes


  1. Fill a deep-bottomed pot with water and bring to a gentle simmer.
  2. In a large bowl, beat one of the eggs adding in the leftover mashed potatoes. Using a fork, mash the egg and potato to create a soft texture.
  3. Add in the diced spring onion. Using a fork, mix together to distribute evenly.
  4. Heat the oil in a nonstick frying pan. Place your egg/cooking rings into the frying pan and spoon in the potato and spring onion mixture. If you don't have cooking rings, aim for a circular shape.
  5. Once the bottom is cooked (2 to 3 minutes), remove the cooking rings and turn over and cook for a further 2 to 3 minutes. We want a golden brown colour on both sides.
  6. Add the white wine vinegar to the simmering water. We want a bare bubble, not a mad simmer.
  7. Crack the remaining 2 eggs into two small cups and gently lower into the water, allowing the water to come into the cup meeting the egg white. This helps solidify the egg white. Fresh eggs will take less than 1 minute, so watch carefully.
  8. Remove your potage cakes from the frying pan to your serving plates, top each cake with a poached egg and a twist of cracked black pepper and a sprinkle of dried chilli flakes if using.

The Secret to Perfect Poached Eggs

  • The water must be at a bare simmer.
  • Use a light flavoured vinegar to help solidify the egg white, white wine, fruit or cider vinegar all work well. A strong vinegar will taint the eggs.
  • Use the freshest eggs you can get your hands on.
  • Using small cups lowered into the water helps solidify the egg white as it hits the water shaping the white in the cup.
  • Watch the eggs as they will cook quickly.
  • Practice!

These stainless steel egg/cooking rings are so versatile, sturdy, easy to clean and last for ages. My daughter loves making mushy pea pancakes to have with her roast chicken dinner, what a result!

Potato cakes using egg rings/cooking rings

Potato cakes using egg rings/cooking rings

Leftover Tips

  • Numerous left over vegetables can be made into a cake using this method: carrots, parsnips, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and so on. Cook and mash.
  • Leftover peas, beans, sweetcorn can be added for bulk.
  • Dice leftover vegetables to add to your vegetable cake: peppers, leeks, onions, celery.
  • If you have random bits of cheese in the fridge, grate and add to your cake. Blue cheese and cooked leeks, strong cheddar and red pepper, goats cheese and red onion. Make your own combinations.
  • Add dried or fresh herbs for example chives, parsley, basil, coriander.
  • Add some spice: curry powder, paprika, crushed garlic, fresh or dried green/red chillies.
  • Add pulses and spices and make a tasty dish.

© 2020 Gabriel Wilson