Thai Fish Cakes with Cucumber Dipping Sauce

This is a great starter with brilliant flavours of the Far East. Use fresh Thai Red curry paste if you can make it, or a good quality shop bought paste.

Ingredients

450g    White fish flesh (cod / haddock), skinned and boned, cut into cubes

2          Spring onions, finely sliced

2          Kaffir lime leaves, soaked in water and finely sliced

50g      Dried coconut powder

2 tbs     Fresh coriander leaves

2 tbs     Thai Red Curry paste

1          Lime, grated zest and juiced

1          Green chilli

2 tbs     Groundnut oil, for frying

Salt

For the dipping sauce

5cm     Unpeeled cucumber

2          Shallots

1          Small carrot

1          Small green chilli, deseeded

1 tsp     Fresh ginger, grated

1 tbs     Peanuts, roasted (not salted)

1 tbs     Soft brown sugar

110ml  Rice vinegar or wine vinegar

1 tbs     Light soy sauce

1 tbs     Groundnut oil

Preparation and cooking

Place the chunks of fish, coriander leaves, lime juice, lime zest, kaffir lime leaves, spring onions, red curry paste, chilli and a little salt in a food processor and blend until you have a finely minced texture. Add the coconut powder and stir to mix. Don’t over-blend to a fine puree! Next take tablespoons of the mixture, and squeeze out any excess liquid, then form into a round ball, and flatten in the palm of your hand. This quantity should make approx. 16 fish cakes. Place them on a plate, cover with clingfilm, then chill in the fridge for at least a couple of hours.

Make the sauce, by placing the cucumber, shallots, carrot, chilli, ginger, and peanuts in a food processor and blend until finely chopped. Next, mix the sugar and vinegar in a bowl, until the sugar is dissolved.   Add the finely chopped vegetables, soy sauce, and groundnut oil and mix together.

To cook the fish cakes, heat the oil in a frying pan over a very high heat. Its important that the oil is very hot to seal the fish cakes and stop them falling apart. When the oil begins to shimmer, fry the fish cakes for 1 minute on each side, then drain on kitchen paper. Garnish with sprigs of fresh coriander.

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