Monday, September 24, 2007

Salmon Fishcakes, with an Asian Twist

Asian style fish cakes tend to be a bit rubbery, and I don’t mean rubbery as in the way a HK Chinese chap would say “lovely” but rubbery in the way that they bounce. High.

This recipe is straight from camp Ken Hom’s “Travels with a Hot Wok” and it is all about English styled fish cakes but with Asian flavours. These fishcakes are really damn good and very easy to make.

Ingredients, serves 6 as a starter or 2 hungry people as a main course:

• 250g salmon fillet
• 175g breadcrumbs
• Small handful of finely chopped Coriander
• 3 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
• 2cm square of fresh Ginger, finely chopped
• 2 tbsp Mirin
• 2 Spring Onions, finely chopped
• 3 tbsp olive oil
• 2 tsp fish sauce (nam pla)
• 2 eggs
• Plain flour

For the sauce:

• 150ml, Plain yoghurt
• Cucumber
• Mint

And then you need to:

Place the salmon in a shallow bowl, pour on the mirin and half of the chopped ginger. Leave to stand for about 30 mins.

Place the bowl of salmon in a steamer over a saucepan of boiling water and steam for about 15 minutes until cooked.

Drain the salmon from the cooking liquor, flake into small pieces with a fork, discard any bones you might find and tip salmon into a large glass bowl.

To the salmon add 100g of breadcrumbs, garlic, rest of the ginger, spring onions, coriander, fish sauce and the olive oil. Add a good grind of fresh pepper and mix well.

On three separate plates put the flour, the eggs (beaten) and the rest of the breadcrumbs.

Shape the salmon mixture into circular cakes. You should get about 6 out of this amount. I make mine about 3 cm (1.5inches) thick.

Heat a large frying pan over high heat and add 2 tbsp peanut (groundnut) oil. When very hot turn heat down to low.

Immediately dip fishcakes first into the flour, then the beaten egg and then the breadcrumbs, making sure both sides are well covered. Place fishcakes into frying pan.

Cook for about eight to ten minutes on each side. Don’t keep poking or moving them around, just let them cook away nicely and turn them carefully after about eight or so minutes.

To make the sauce finely chop some cucumber and some fresh mint leaves and stir into a good dollop (150ml) of plain fresh yoghurt. You could add some crème fraiche, some mayonnaise, some Tabasco, some horseradish or whatever else takes your fancy.

Serve fishcakes with a fresh green salad (frisee leaves work well, though something bitter like radicchio would also be nice) with a sharp vinaigrette dressing, and a bowl of the yoghurt sauce on the side.

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