I’ve quite enjoyed writing recipes the last few posts. Recipe writing is An Actual Thing, though. And not something I really know about. But it seems people are actually following my instructions (see James’s awesome version of my scrambled eggs!), which makes me want to learn and practice more.
This is good for you, dear hungry reader, as it basically results in you getting to try and eat and cook more as I try and write more. And DO try. Because that’s how I know it works. Just when I thought feeding people brought me the greatest joy, it seems other people trying my recipes brings me EVEN MORE joy. So get on it. And let me know when you do!
The current warmer weather has me craving Thai food. As a child, I hated food that was hot in temperature, so grew up wary of flavours like ginger or chilli. It all tasted the same to me. My special skill as a kid was knowing which restaurants had what available in their salad bar, because that was my Safe Place. (Garfunkles was the best because they had deviled eggs, FYI).
I lived in Australia for a while (YEARS ago now, really), and the abundance of South-East Asian food available in Melbourne quickly trained my wimpy English egg-n-chips loving palate to start enjoying spices and flavours, rather than find them daunting or too hot.
I’ve been to Thailand, too, but somehow failed to eat a single Thai fishcake while there. (They just call them fishcakes there, though, obv).
One night in Koh Lanta I ordered fish for dinner, which the restaurant staff reeled in from the beach just minutes after my order was placed. The fish came off the line, in to the kitchen, on to some nearby flames and straight on to my plate with a squeeze of lime. Genuinely one of my best dinners ever. I’d bloody love to catch a fish and just cook it over open flames. (Take note, people likely to join me for any potential birthday camping adventures later this summer).
In the spirit of embracing delicious flavours, warm weather, simple salads and the sheer joy of asking for fish and getting a fish, I made some fishcakes last night. And you can, too! And just like scrambled eggs requires only eggs, I didn’t put flour or breadcrumbs in these. The only real ingredient in fishcakes is… fish. Also – BAKED NOT FRIED so not dripping in oil.
This is a REALLY easy dinner that ends up looking impressive and like you’ve spent hours in a restaurant kitchen (I think). But it IS easy, and quite quick and hassle-free. THOSE are my all-time favourite ingredients. Easy, no stress, impressive results. In my humble opinion. This is all made a LOT quicker if you already have some Thai green curry paste. I had some left over from a curry I made last week. You only need a teaspoon of it so plan ahead to use up the rest of it, if you’re making or buying some just for this.
Ingredients (makes 6 fishcakes)
450g fish (I used a small pack of cooked salmon + 2 cooked mackerel fillets, skin removed)
2 spring onions, finely chopped
Handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon Thai green curry paste
1 medium egg
Juice of 1/2 fresh lime
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
(I’ve genuinely just got to the end of this list and thought IS THAT IT? But yes. Yes it is. SEE? Simple. EASY. Quick.)
1 – Heat the oven to 180 degrees.
2 – In a large mixing bowl, mash up the fish with a fork until it is all mixed in to small flakes.
3 – Stir in the chopped onions and coriander until evenly mixed through the fish
4 – Crack in the egg and mix to combine. This should make the mixture ‘come together’ – like when making burgers, for example.
5 – Squeeze in the juice from half a fresh lime, the curry paste, the fish sauce and the oil. Stir until everything is mixed together and can hold its shape when forming patties on a spoon. You could also add a little drizzle of honey if you’re feeling crazy.
6 – Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Scoop a tablespoon of fish mixture up and roll in to a ball in your hands. As you place each ball on to the baking tray, push it down with your palm to make the fishcake flat.
At this point, you want to cover and store your unbaked fishcakes in the fridge while the oven continues to heat up. This is the perfect time to make some rice or a nice simple Thai salad* if you’re eating these for a main meal.
7 – Bake the fishcakes at 180 degrees for 20 minutes, turning halfway.
8 – When nicely browned, blot the cakes on paper towel to remove excess oil.
Serve with rice and fresh crunchy beansprouts and veggies for a main, or enjoy as a starter with some sweet chilli dip or soy sauce.
*For my salad, I mixed beansprouts, coriander, red pepper, crushed cashews, cucumber and peeled carrots with lime juice and sesame oil. It was like a raw crunchy stir-fry and was the perfect juxtaposition of textures with the rice and fishcakes!
Give me a shout in the comments if you try this! Like burgers, I think this simple mixture could work as a great base for experimenting with different flavours. Ginger and chili if you’re keen on heat would be great. You could add a breadcrumb coating for a crunchier finish. Let me know how you personalise this!