Serving
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Fish Cakes #2
Thailand

Makes
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:
20 cakes  
***
1-1/4 hr
Yes
In Thailand the proper and acceptable fish for fish cakes is Featherback, but this recipe, written by a Laotian refugee in Hawaii, is a little more tolerant, and figures you don't have featherbacks. If you do have them, see also Fish Cakes #1. You still need to serve these with Cucumber Sauce, though - we're not going to be that tolerant.






1
4
6
2
2
2
1/4
2
1/4
1/2
ar
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#
oz
oz

T

c

c
t

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Fish (1)
Long Beans (2)
Onion
Chili, red (4)
Cilantro
Lemon Grass (3)
Fish Sauce
Eggs
Cornstarch
Sugar
Oil, deep fry
-- Serve With
Cuke Sauce (5)
Prep
  1. Chop FISH fine, but not food processor fine.
  2. Slice BEANS thin crosswise. Chop ONION fine. Seed CHILIS and chop fine. Chop CILANTRO fine. Mix all with Fish.
  3. Peel tough outer leaves from LEMON GRASS and cut off hard root end. Smash the bottom 5 inches with your kitchen mallet and slice crosswise as thin as you can get it. Chop fine and mix with Fish. I usually pound it in my big granite mortar after chopping to soften it up.
  4. Mix Fish Sauce, Eggs, Cornstarch and Sugar into Fish. Mix thoroughly (see below).
Run
  1. In a kadhai, wok or deep skillet heat Oil for deep frying to 350°F/175°C. (see Note-6).
  2. With very wet hands form a few small pancakes from the fish paste, about 1/4 inch thick and about 2 inches across (see Note-6).
  3. Slide them a few at a time into the oil and fry turning several times until lightly browned. They are done when they float high and are elastic when tapped. Scoop them out and drain on paper towels.
  4. Serve warm or at room temperature with plenty of Cucumber Sauce. I find cutting them into wide slices for serving works quite well too.
NOTES:
  1. Fish:   While the unique texture of Featherback makes it the essential fish cake fish in Thailand, your local supermarket is highly unlikely to stock that fish. This recipe works with any fish that's a bit bland and not too firm. I used this recipe for a farm raised steelhead, the flesh of which was bland and almost paste-like, perfect for fish cakes and worthless for anything else. The cakes had a bit of a salmon flavor, but that isn't necessarily bad. If you're curious about Featherbacks, see our Featherback page.
  2. Long Beans:   These are thinner and have a much darker, sweeter flavor than the common green beans - they are most like fresh young blackeye pea pods. Long Beans are very available in Southern California, but I'm not sure about other regions. Use round green beans chopped small if you can't get them, but increase the quantity just a little. For details see our Long Beans page.
  3. Lemon Grass:   For details see our Lemon Grass page.
  4. Red Chili: Around here we all use Fresnos, but Holland Red or other medium hot chili will do fine. For details see our Chili Page.
  5. Cucumber Sauce:   This sauce is considered essential with fish cakes. For a recipe see Cucumber Sauce.
  6. Technique:   These methods have made the job much easier for me.
  7. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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