Thai fish cakes, By Darlene Schmidt, About.com
If you like crab cakes, you're going to love fish cakes just as much. These Thai Fish Cakes can be made with nearly any type of fish. Though not strictly Thai, I've taken the liberty of adding a very North American ingredient to these cakes (this is the secret ingredient that keeps them from falling apart). The cakes take a little less than an hour to make, but are well worth every minute. Enjoy these fish cakes with one of the dipping sauces mentioned in the recipe, plus a cold lager or chilled glass of white wine. Makes a great party food or appetizer!
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Serves 4 as an Appetizer
2 fillets of salmon, cod, sole, or other fish (1/2 lb. to 3/4 lb. or 300 g.)
2 large (or 3 small) potatoes
about 1 cup oil for frying (peanut, sunflower, coconut, canola, or other vegetable oil)
approximately 1 cup flour OR 1 1/2 cups bread or cracker crumbs (bread or cracker crumbs make a crispier crust)
1 egg, beaten
Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce for the dip (or make your own dipping sauce - see below)*
2 Tbsp. fish sauce
1 red or green chili, sliced (de-seeded if you prefer mild cakes)
3 kaffir lime leaves (dried, fresh, or frozen), snipped into small pieces with scissors (discard stem)
3 spring onions, sliced
1/3 cup coriander leaves and stems, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
Place potatoes in a pot of water over high heat. Allow to boil while you perform the next several steps.
Place paste ingredients in a mini-chopper or food processor. Process well to create a paste. OR simply mince and stir everything together.
If using frozen fish, thaw it thoroughly (to thaw fish quickly, place in a bowl of tepid water for a few minutes). Cut the raw fish into small pieces and place in a mixing bowl. Remove any bones you might find.
When potatoes are cooked and soft enough to mash, drain them and place in a flat-bottomed bowl (or back in the pot). Quickly mash with a potato masher.
Add the mashed potatoes plus the paste you made earlier to the fish pieces. Mix well (don't worry if the fish falls apart).
Now, using your hands, make small patties or cakes. Tip: if cakes won't stay together because they are too "wet", add a little flour or bread/cracker crumbs to the fish/potato mixture.
Make Ahead Tip: If making ahead of time, cover cakes and refrigerate (overnight or up to 48 hours beforehand). When guests arrive, remove from fridge and continue with the steps below.
Cover a counter-top or cutting board with flour or bread/cracker crumbs. Tip: to make bread or cracker crumbs finer, briefly blend in a food processor. Dip the fishcakes into the beaten egg, then turn them over in the flour or breadcrumbs to coat.
Pour oil into a wok or frying pan, about 1 inch (or more) deep. Turn heat to medium-high (or around #7 on the dial). Oil is hot enough when bubbles begin to rise from the bottom of the pan, or when you see the oil "moving" ("snaking") across the bottom of the pan. Test it by dipping the edge of a fish cake into the oil - if it sizzles and begins to cook, the oil is ready.
Fry fish cakes until golden brown, approximately 2-3 minutes on each side. Use tongs to turn the cakes. When they are done frying, place on paper towels (or a tea towel) to drain excess oil.
Serve hot with Thai Sweet Chili Sauce* for dipping. Or make your own dipping sauce (see below). Thai fish cakes make a great appetizer, and are delicious with a cold lager or a chilled glass of your favorite white or blush wine.
*Thai Sweet Chili Sauce is now available at many large grocery chains in the Asian section, and at all Asian/Chinese food stores. OR make a very simple dipping sauce by combining 2 Tbsp. Chinese plum sauce with 1 Tbsp. soy sauce and 1 Tbsp. fish sauce. Add freshly cut chilies if you like it spicy. ENJOY!!!