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26 February 2009

Fish Cakes

These fish cakes are based on my mum's recipe, with my own special touches added. Sometimes I absolutely crave these fish cakes, tonight was an example of this.

Don't be tempted to put all the ingredients in a food processor or blender in order to combine. The end result is simply not as delicious and the texture becomes rubbery.

I tend to add a lot of garlic to these. If you are not a huge fan of garlic, simply add less. I do think it adds a delicious kick though. I also use lemon myrtle again. If you cannot find lemon myrtle in the spice section of your supermarket, try adding some finely chopped lemongrass.

Note that I have used white pepper in this recipe rather than black pepper. I think white pepper works better with the other flavours, but use whichever you have. I have also stipulated fresh breadcrumbs as well as store bought breadcrumbs. The reason for this is that fresh breadcrumbs work better in the actual fish mixture - they are not dry and therefore the fishcakes end up really light and moist. But I like store bought breadcrumbs on the outside as they crisp up during the cooking process. You can easily make fresh breadcrumbs by whizzing day old bread in a food processor. Any extra can be stored in the freezer until needed.

Mark likes to drizzle soy sauce over the fish cakes. You could also serve them with sweet chilli sauce. I like to eat them with white rice and steamed greens (because I need to get greens into every meal). I think the white rice allows the flavours to be properly enjoyed and appreciated. But eat them however you like!

Ingredients (makes 8 patties - serves 2)

1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 small onion grated
1-4 cloves garlic crushed
2 teaspoons ground lemon myrtle leaves
1/4 cup mint finely chopped
1/4 cup parsley finely chopped
Zest of 2 limes or zest of 1 lemon
210g tinned salmon, skin and bones removed
Salt and white pepper to taste
2/3 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 egg
1/2-2/3 cups store bought breadcrumbs
Oilve oil and butter for shallow frying


Toast the sesame seeds in a dry fry pan until lightly browned. Set aside to cool. Meanwhile combine grated onion, garlic, lemon myrtle, mint, parsley, zest, salmon, salt and pepper in a bowl and stir to combine. Add the egg and breadcrumbs and mix with clean hands.

The mixture should feel slightly wet and sticky but not too wet (sorry, I am not sure how to describe this. Basically it should pretty much stay together if rolled into a ball). Add more breadcrumbs if you think the mixture is too wet. Alternatively if it is too dry and crumbly, add a little olive oil or lemon juice.

If you have time, place the mixture in the fridge for an hour or so before cooking.

Form 1-2 tablespoons of mixture into patties and roll in store bought breadcrumbs.

Okay, now the frying. I like to cook them in a bit of olive oil and butter (a couple of tablespoons of oil and perhaps 1 and 1/2 of butter). If the pan gets too dry you may need to add more oil or butter. I then drain them well on paper towels.

Obviously food fried like this cannot be an everyday food. Alternatively you can fry in less oil (perhaps a pan sprayed with olive oil spray). Unfortunately they will not taste as good, but give it a go anyway. Another option is to roll them in a combination of corn flake crumbs and store bought bread crumbs (more corn flake crumbs than ordinary crumbs), spray with olive oil spray and bake in a hot oven. I find the corn flake crumbs have an almost fried like taste when I use this method for chicken schnitzel. I have never used this method for these fish cakes, but plan on giving it a go (so I will update the blog when I do). But for the moment, as an occasional treat, cook in the butter and oil!