Dragon Fish Cakes
Indo Chinese food, what a great combination! The best of two global cuisines which cherish spices, a dash of heat and fresh herbs smashed together in a delicious gastronomic collision, the result is a tantalising hybrid of Eastern heritage. It’s not the first time the two Asian tigers have courted each other, the flirting goes back centuries to the spice trade routes. Admittedly Opium was also included in the custom for ‘spice’ and it may have contributed to our addiction for spiced flavours. In homage to this fusion I’ve developed an Indo Chinese fish cake recipe, I’ve called them Dragon Fish Cakes, as they bask in their dual heritage credentials. They’re great to share, they perfect with Hakka Noodles and divine with a touch of sweet chilli dipping sauce or sweetcorn salsa verde.
Ingredients (makes 16)
- 2 medium sweet potatoes
- 400gm hake fillet or other firm white fish
- 200ml milk
- 6 cloves
- 4 green cardamom pods
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 spring onions, finely chopped
- Thumb of fresh ginger, grated
- 4 garlic cloves, grated
- 1 tbs lime juice
- Half tsp turmeric
- Small handful coriander and parsley finely chopped
- 2 finger green chillies, finely chopped
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 2 medium eggs
- Coarse semolina
- Salt to taste
- 1 tbs vegetable oil plus more to shallow fry
How To Make Dragon Fishcakes
- Peel and diced the sweet potatoes until soft and then drain and place in a bowl
- Poach the fish in a large pan with the milk, cloves, green cardamom pods and bay leaves for 10 minutes or until the fish is firm and cooked, drain, leave to cool and then flake into small pieces and add to the bowl of potatoes.
- Using a frying pan, add a tablespoon of oil and heat over a medium temperature and sauté the spring onions, ginger, garlic and a touch of salt, cook for 4-5 minutes until the ingredients have softened. Tip everything into the bowl of fish and potatoes.
- Now add the chillies, herbs, turmeric, lime juice and mustard seeds into the bowl, season with salt and mix thoroughly until everything is fully assimilated.
- Cover the bowl with cling film and cool in the fridge for a couple of hours until the mix is firmer and has set a little.
- After the ingredients have cooled, whisk the eggs into a bowl and take another bowl adding enough coarse semolina to coat the fish cakes.
- Using a table spoon, scoop out a lime sized piece, slick your hands in a little oil (it’ll help prevent the mixture sticking to your hands) and shape the piece into a dumpling then flatten to an ice hockey puck shape with a depth of up to 1cm, repeat until the entire mixture is used up.
- Dunk each fish cake into the egg mix and then coat in the semolina. Repeat until all the fish cakes have been coated.
- Use a large frying pan and slick with some vegetable oil, enough to shallow each fish cakes for 2-3 minutes on each side until crispy and deeply tanned. Alternatively bake them in a pre-heated oven at 2000C and use a pre-lined baking tray with greased baking parchment. Cook for 25 – 30 minutes turning over once during cooking ensuring that they’re crispy and hot all the way through.
Serve with sweet corn salsa verde.