These bad boys are really easy to make and always a hit, whether at the dinner table, or handed around as bite-sized delights at a party.
The dipping sauce is key to bringing the fish cakes to life, but a store-bought sweet chilli works just fine as well. It’s the perfect way to use cheaper cuts of fish.
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THAI FISH CAKES WITH FRAGRANT SWEET CHILLI SAUCE
Serves 4 as a lunch, or light dinner
For the fish cakes
500g hoki (or any firm white-fleshed fish)
1 zucchini, grated
3 spring onions, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons cornflour
⅓ cup Rock Out with Your Wok Out sauce, or any soy-based or ginger stir-fry sauce
½ teaspoon sesame oil
Zest and juice of 1 lime
30g (1 oz) coriander
20g (¾ oz) mint
Oil for cooking
For the sweet chilli sauce
1 long red chilli
5cm piece of lemongrass
½ cup white sugar
½ cup white vinegar
2 kaffir lime leaves (or zest of 1 lime)
For the sweet chilli sauce, deseed then finely dice the chilli, and whack the lemongrass a few times with the back of a knife to release the goodness, but leave it whole. Place the chilli and lemongrass in a small saucepan with the sugar, vinegar and lime leaves or zest, and stir to combine. Simmer on a low heat for about 30 minutes. The sauce will be a lot runnier than store-bought varieties, but is really delicious and perfect for dipping.
Put all of the ingredients for the fish cakes into a blender and pulse to combine.
Heat a frying pan with a good amount of oil. Take heaped tablespoon-sized amounts of fish cake mixture and add to the pan. Cook 5 or 6 at a time (you will get 12–14 in total), and fry for about 1½ minutes each side, until the fish cake has turned white and a little golden on the outside, but is still juicy and moist inside.
Serve the fish cakes with the sweet chilli sauce. Pile them all on a platter and garnish with extra fresh coriander if making to share with friends.
Note: Serve the fish cakes with an Asian-style slaw, if having them as a dinner.
Reproduced with permission from Cherie Metcalfe’s Keepers, published by Allen & Unwin NZ (RRP $45).