There was a time not so very long ago when fishcakes were ubiquitous on menus across all the land. From gastropub to chain restaurant, hell, even in fast food joints- you couldn’t move for the dainty little fried rounds. And of all of those, the Thai version, laced with chillies and coriander, was by far the most popular.
But fishcakes have have fallen out of favour and all but disappeared from any establishment now. Gone, like smock tops, out of fashion to be replaced by scallops and black pudding, rillettes and toast or ham hock and split peas.
I was a fan of smock tops- they were both practical and comfortable. I’ve always liked fishcakes too, especially if the home-made kind accompanied by a crunchy, lime-dressed salad. They are tasty, filling and cheap to make as you can bulk out the fish with spuds and greenery. So, I say to you, forget fashion- make fishcakes.
serves 2 with leftovers
You will need:
250g salmon fillets (about 2 small ones)
2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 red chili, chopped
couple of cm fresh ginger, grated
handful fresh coriander, chopped
2 small egg
juice and zest of 1 lime
lime and coriander to serve
1. Heat the oven to 190 degrees centigrade. Drizzle the salmon with the lime juice and season with salt and pepper. Wrap in tin foil and place in the oven for about 20 minutes- the exact time will depend on the thickness of your fillets, so keep an eye on them. Too long in the oven will make for some pretty dry fishcakes.
2. Meanwhile, put a large pan of salted water on to boil. Drop in your spuds and leave to simmer until soft and completely cooked through.
3. Place the fish sauce, chili, ginger, coriander and lime zest in a large bowl. Add one of the eggs and mix well.
4. Once the salmon is cooked, open up the foil parcels and leave to cool slightly- you don’t want the heat from the fish cooking the egg.
5. Drain the spuds and roughly mash them with a fork- it doesn’t matter if there are a few chunks left. Leave to cool for a bit as well.
6. Flake the salmon into the bowl and then add the mashed spuds. Season generously with salt and pepper and mix to combine all the ingredients.
7. You should have enough for 6 small cakes- dived the mixture up and roll into balls, flattening slightly.
8. Crack the remaining egg in a bowl and whisk with a fork and brush over and under the fishcakes. Heat some oil in a non-stick frying pan and then carefully drop the cakes into the pan, lowering the heat. They may well be a bit sticky, but they will come together in the end. Do three at a time and keep an eye on them, moving them about the pan so they don’t stick to the bottom. Flip after about five minutes and cook on the other side until golden brown.
9. Serve with scattered coriander, lime wedges and a crunchy salad. I made mine with radishes, spinach, carrots, spring onion and a dressing made from lime juice, sugar, chopped chili, fish sauce and sesame oil.
I’ve blogged before about chili jam, which is a bit of a favourite at maison alwayssohungry. It is a brilliant chutney to make as it ticks so many pickle boxes: you can have it with any cheese or meat BUT but but… because of its heat, it also works really rather well in spicier dishes. It livens up a stir-fry, can act as a marinade for chicken or fish when mixed with soy sauce and rice wine vinegar and I often dilute it with some water and sesame oil to make a light but scrumptious salad dressing. And it just sings as an accompaniment to sausages. I use the salad club’s recipe and double it. But double doesn’t last very long.
Keep all your preserves in a cool, dry place and once opened store in the fridge. All of the recipes above will last for a few months.
…and a way with celeriac, instalment number 1
Trashy TV need some trashy themed food. Ribs, wedges and coleslaw.
I marinaded some ribs for the day (overnight will do)
For about 500 g ribs you’ll need
8cm fresh ginger (grated)
30 ml vegetable oil
30 ml soy sauce
30 ml sweet chili
(if you are feeding more, 1.5 k ribs will want 100 ml each of the oil, chili and soy)
Mix all together in a bowl. Instead of sweet chili, I actually used aforementioned chili jam, which worked really well. Marinade for a good 4-5 hours, the longer the better though!
The slaw was actually a recipe from Ottolenghi, sweet and sour celeriac and swede grated with a tangy mustardy cider vinegar dressing, capers and dried sour cherries.