tiny Thai fish cakes

16 January 2010

Post image for tiny Thai fish cakes

This recipe was given to me by a good friend, who got it from her mother; further back than that, I’m not sure of its provenance – it may even be something she just concocted one day with ingredients she had to hand. Whatever, it is absolutely fantastic and works equally well for a quick lunch or supper, or as a tasty little starter if you’re doing a dinner party menu to impress.

I’m a big fan of Nigella’s fishcakes, but whereas hers are substantial and hearty and fairly time-consuming to make what with using mashed potato (not to mention sourcing the matzo meal for the coating), these ones are light and zesty and can be whipped up in no time at all – although you do need a food processor.

Thai Fish Cakes

2 salmon fillets (approximately 220g in total)
1 slice white bread
handful of coriander leaves
2 spring onions, topped and tailed
a red chilli, stalk and seeds removed
1 or 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
small piece of ginger, skin removed
juice of half a lime (and the zest too, if you like)
soy sauce
fish sauce

Whizz the bread in a food processor until it turns into fine breadcrumbs. Place in a large bowl.

Whizz coriander, spring onions, red chilli, garlic and ginger until finely chopped. Add to the breadcrumbs.

Remove any skin from the salmon fillets, pat dry with a piece of kitchen paper, and process the fish until pulpy and add to the bread and herbs mixture. Add the lime juice and zest, a dash of soy sauce (about 1.5 teaspoons) and a dash of fish sauce. Mix everything together with your hands; if you find that the mixture is too squidgy and not holding its shape, add more breadcrumbs.

Form the mixture into small patties (this quantity should make 6) and fry in 3mm of hot oil until golden on both sides – about 4 minutes each side. Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil.

Serve with fine rice noodles and salad leaves dressed in a blend of soy sauce, fish sauce and the juice of the other half of the lime. You can make a dipping sauce with some sweet chilli sauce mixed with a little soy to temper the sweetness.

The fishcakes can be frozen before cooking; in that case, just allow them to defrost for a few hours before frying.

These are great cold too, for picnics or packed lunches.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jon-ster 17 January 2010 at 8:07 am

Breadcrumbs and matzo meal: I’ve not actually made a taste test, but since matzos are ‘unleavened bread’ and more effectively crackers from what I’ve seen, a substitute would be pretty simple.
Some recipies I’ve seen suggest matzo coating when ‘panier-ing’ (a useful word to describe the act of coating in egg, then breadcrumbs), which is a step too far. I hoard stale bread, old rolls and crust-ends of commercial bread just for whacking into bits and coating things. Currently I have enough potential crumbs for several calfs-worth of schnitzel.


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