I’ve never been to Thailand, in fact the only country I’ve been to outside of Australia, was Fiji when I was 8. But I love Thai food. And I love Rick Stein. So, I try to experience the Thai culture occasionally through food. SO isn’t a fan of Thai, but he does like these, so they’re a winner! I remember watching an ep of Rick Stein where he made these Thai fish cakes, and funnily enough, he got the recipe when he was travelling in Australia. He said there was nothing quite like sitting at a table, overlooking the beach, eating the hot little morsels of fish and Thai flavours, whilst sucking down a thirst quenching beer.
That’s not quite the environment that I made these in last night. A cold Friday night in Canberra, with a bottle of cheap Shiraz. Still, one can dream, can’t one?
NB I doubled this recipe to feed all and sundry
- 500gm fish fillets, use whatever you have to hand, it doesn’t have to be expensive for this dish, mine was frozen Basa fillets from Coles
- 1 egg
- 1Tb fish sauce
- 1Tb red curry paste, this one was quite mild, I think I’ll add some fresh chilli next time
- 1 kaffir lime leaf, sliced finely
- 1 Tb coriander, stems, leaves etc
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- Handful of green beans
Add all the ingredients, except the beans, to your food processor and whizz til all combined. Don’t overwhazz as it may make the cakes tough and chewy. The original recipe says to stir the beans, cut into small dice, through the fish mixture, but I cut the beans into large pieces and ran them through the processor til they were just mixed through. You want the cakes to have some real texture from the beans.
Add enough oil to your frypan to come halfway up the sides of the fishcakes (see below photo). While the oil is heating up, make a salad, this recipe being a combination of the original dipping sauce that Rick made, and a Donna Hay one and some extra bits I threw in as I have them in the pantry.
Stir together in a bowl 2 TB lemon/lime juice, 2 tsp fish sauce, 2 tsp brown sugar, 1 TB black vinegar (not necessary, adds a bit of colour and dimension though). If you need to add more or less, do so, as its not an exact science with this dressing, everyone’s tastes are different.
Thinly slice cucumber, carrot and toss through the dressing. Tear some fresh mint leaves and add them to the salad at the last minute.
Drop spoonfuls of the fish mix into the hot oil, I used my hands to shape them, and fry until browned on both sides, flipping halfway through. You can tell they’re ready when they bounce back when pressed, this many probably took about 10 to 12 minutes altogether.
Drain on some kitchen paper and serve with the salad and heaps of the dressing to dip the fish cakes in.
Hot, salty, sweet, sour, juicy and crunchy salad. The perfect foil for a dull evening at home, when the closest thing to travel will be a quick trip to the coast on the upcoming long weekend.