Thai fish cakes have to be one of the most flavourful foods I have eaten. So fresh and fragrant, these fish cakes are perfect as the weather is starting to warm up.
I have had a few attempts at these fish cakes with different types of fish, using fish that is fresh and fish that has been frozen. From all of the trialling I have done, I have found that blue grenadier works best and using fresh fish as opposed to that which has been frozen, is definitely best. In one of my attempts, I used blue grenadier, which was frozen and I had allowed it to thaw. The freezing process resulted in it retaining a lot more moisture than the fresh fish. This meant that the mixture was too wet and when I cooked the fish cakes, they fell apart. So, if you are using frozen fish, ensure that you allow it to thaw completely and pat it dry, really well, with paper towel.
Thai fish cakes are really one of my favourite meals, but one that I have not made in a number of years, mainly because the kids were not too thrilled by them and all the different flavours going on. But, they are back on the menu, because if you don’t offer kids new foods, they won’t know if they like them, but if you offer the new foods, they might just eat them!! And they did! We have had these 3 or 4 times in the past couple of months and Mark LOVES them and they are growing on the girls more with each time we have them. We try to have fish at least once per week, so these have become one of our fish meals.
If you like a bit more bite to your Thai styled food, I would recommend adding some extra chilli into the fish cakes, as these are quite mild. You can also add a small red chilli into the dipping sauce, rather than the long chilli, for a real hit of heat. I, obviously, have gone easy on the chilli as I make these with small people in mind, but adjust them to your liking.
These can be made ahead of time and formed into balls and kept in the fridge until needed.
- 500g white fish, I used blue grenadier with the skin removed
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 stalk lemongrass, white part, finely chopped
- 3 kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh coriander, loosely packed
- 1-2 spring onions, finely sliced (optional)
- 1/2 long red chilli, finely diced
- 1 tbs red curry paste
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 4-5 green beans, finely sliced
- 1 tbs ginger, grated
- Zest of 1 lime, finely grated
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 2 tbs castor sugar
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tbs coriander root, finely chopped
- 1/2 a long red chilli, finely chopped (optional)
- Ensure the fish is completely dry by patting it with paper towel and finely chop. Resist the temptation to put the fish in the food processor as it will result in a more rubbery textured fish cake. Place the chopped fish into a bowl.
- Add the remaining ingredients and mix well to combine.
- Take heaped tablespoons of mixture and form into balls. The mixture should make 10-12.
- Place in the fridge for at least an hour for the flavours to develop. Remove from the fridge about half an hour prior to cooking.
- Make the dipping sauce by placing all ingredients into a small saucepan. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and allow to bubble away for ~10 minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Heat a large fry pan over medium heat. If the frypan is not non-stick, add a drizzle of olive oil and add the fish cakes to the pan, pressing them down gently until they are ~1.5-2cm thick. Cook for 3-4 minutes then carefully flip each fish cake and cook for a further 3-4 minutes on the other side.
- Serve immediately with the dipping sauce.