- 10 Kaffir lime leaves
- 2 To make tbsp fish sauce (nam pla)
- 1½ tbsp green or red curry paste
- 1 free-range egg
- Juice of ½ lime
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
- 600g white fish, such as cod or haddock, skin and bones removed
- Vegetable or sunflower oil for frying
- FOR THE CUCUMBER RELISH:
- 2 cucumbers, peeled
- 250ml rice vinegar
- 150g sugar
- 2 tbsp boiling water
- 6 shallots, peeled and finely diced
- 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh root ginger
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 bird’s-eye chilli, finely chopped
- Pinch of salt
Of all the canapés and starters I serve, this is definitely one of the most popular; the flavour balance is just incredible. This one is all about the balance of the five fundamental tastes: hot (spicy), sour, sweet, salty and bitter – but while that might all sound rather complicated, these fish cakes are super-easy to pull off.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 8 minutes
Makes: about 35 (4–5 per person)
As always, prepare all of your ingredients beforehand.
To make the fishcakes, remove the tough veins from the Kaffir lime leaves and chop very finely with a knife. Add them to the bowl of a food processor with the rest of the ingredients (fish sauce, curry paste, egg, lime juice, sugar and coriander) except for the fresh fish and blend to a wet paste.
Now add the fish and blitz for a further 30 seconds until well combined. (It’s a good idea at this stage to fry off a little of the mixture in a frying pan and taste to see if you are happy with the flavour or if you need to add a little more lime juice, fish sauce or sugar etc.)
If you’re happy with the flavour, remove the mixture from the bowl and refrigerate for approximately one hour to firm up.
Once it’s nice and firm, shape the mixture into small flat patties about 2cm thick and 5cm in diameter. You will find the mixture quite sticky, but if you wet your hands it’s easier to work with. Store the patties in the fridge until you are ready to fry them.
Heat about 2cm sunflower or vegetable oil in a frying pan and, once hot, shallow fry the fishcakes for about two minutes on each side (or until cooked through). You’ll need to fry them off in at least two batches, depending on the size of your pan.Once they’re cooked, drain on kitchen paper and keep warm in the oven. Serve ’em up immediately!
To make the cucumber relish: Slice the cucumber very finely in long strips, ideally on a box grater or with a vegetable peeler, and then transfer to a medium-sized serving bowl.
Combine the rice vinegar, sugar and water in a small pot and bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Then add the shallots, ginger, garlic, chilli and salt. Allow to cool. Then pour the cooled dressing over the cucumber.
About Andrew Rudd
Andrew Rudd is a discoverer of all things food.
He has turned a lifelong passion into a successful and expanding career, primarily providing cookery demonstrations, private catering and fine dining to food lovers nationwide. You can follow him on Twitter here, or check out his website here.