For Xmas I was lucky to receive 2 of my favourite things – cook books. Two were asian cook books, Thai Street Food by David Thompson and Bill’s Everyday Asian by Bill Granger. I have been wanting the David Thompson Book for months and keen to try some of the recipes. One of the recipes I first noticed was for Thai Fish cakes – which I love. However it seemed a bit fiddly, especially for a quick week night dinner. So I turned to Bill’s book and found a much faster recipe. Sure its a little bit of cheating in that you don’t make the curry paste from scratch, but the end result was as Annabel Langbein says “sumple and delucius”.
- Fish - 500g White Firm Boneless Fillets
- Red Curry Paste - 3 Tbl
- Sugar - 1 tsp
- Fish Sauce - 2 Tbl
- Kaffir Lime Leaves - 8-10 Sliced finely (zest of 2 limes can be substituted)
- Snake Beans - 2-3 sliced thinly (green beans as a substitute)
- Oil - 1/2 cup (Approx) for shallow frying
- Cucumber Relish
- White Vinegar - 1/2 Cup
- Caster Sugar - 1/2 Cup
- Lebanese Cucumber - 1 small quartered and finely sliced
- Ginger - 1 tsp finely Julienned
- chilli - 1 long red chilli or a couple of small scuds to your taste
- Crushed nuts - 1-2 Tbl crushed in mortar with pestle
Prepare the dipping sauce first by combining vinegar and sugar in a pot over a high heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved then remove from heat and allow to cool. when cooled add the cucumber ginger and chilli. Use the chilli amounts as a guide only. Add more if you can stand it. Add the nuts just before serving.
In a blender or food processor combine all ingredients (except the green beans) for the fish cakes and wizz until smooth. Turn out into a bowl and mix through the beans with your hands. Pick up the cake mix and throw against bowl a few times. It does something to the proteins and the mix should firm a little. When happy with the firmness separate mixed into small flat discs 4-5cm in diameter and about 1cm in width (sorry americans google it). Add oil to pan and heat to high temperature. Fry quickly until brown and cooked through, a couple of minutes for each side.
Drain the excess oil from fishcakes and serve with the dipping sauce and an asian salad if desire.