Thai cuisine is known for its amazing balance of flavors and this recipe is a wonderful example of that. In Thailand, fish is often used to make great appetizers called fish cakes. They are prepared by mixing the minced fish with fish sauce, beans, kaffir lime leaves and the tentative Thai red curry paste. The mixture is then molded into small patties and they are then deep fried before serving with sauce. This is a great appetizer recipe, which calls for a very few ingredients but delivers amazing results.
Difficulty level: Easy
Yields per recipe: 18-20
Time required for preparation: 2 hours 20 minutes
Time required for cooking: 5-10 minutes
1 sharp knife
1 large mixing bowl
1 flathead spatula
Plastic cling film
500 grams of white fish (salmon or snapper fish)
2 tablespoons of Thai red curry paste
2 large kaffir lime leaves, thinly chopped
1 teaspoon of fish sauce
2 egg yolks
1/4th cup of coconut cream
3 tablespoons of chopped cilantro
½ teaspoon of ground black pepper
1 bird eye red chili, thinly sliced
1/4th cup of finely chopped snake beans or green beans
1/3rd teaspoon of sugar
Method Of Preparation
1. Take the fish and rinse it thoroughly under running water. Next, using a spoon, pull out the scales of the fish. Once done, place the fish on your working area and slit the fish vertically through its back up to the tail. Then pull up the fish fillet and glide the knife through the fish fillet slowly to separate out the meat from the bone. Once you reach the head of the fish, slit it below the head to detach the meat portion from the fish. Debone the other side of the fish in the same manner and then keep it aside. Now spoon out the remaining meat from the fish by scarping up the bits with a spoon.
2. Once you are done deboning the fish, chop the fillets into very fine bits so that they look like they are being minced. You can hasten up this process by processing the fish fillets in a food processor or blender. Once you are ready with the fish, transfer it to a large mixing bowl and add the Thai red curry paste, egg yolks, coconut cream, chopped cilantro, chopped red chili and the chopped beans to it. Next, take the kaffir lime leaves and separate out the leaves from the veins by pulling them off. Next, roll up the kaffir lime leaves and chop them very finely.
3. Once you are done chopping up the kaffir lime leaves, add them to the fish and then stir it all up to mix all the added ingredients with the fish. Finally, add-in the sugar, ground black pepper and the fish sauce to the mixture and then stir again to combine thoroughly. Once you are ready with the fish mixture, cover up the bowl with plastic cling film and then insert it into the refrigerator. Marinade the fish in the refrigerator for 2 hours before frying the fish cakes.
4. Once the time elapses, take out the fish mixture from the refrigerator and keep it aside. Next, take a large plate and pour almost 4 ladleful of oil into the plate. Dip your hands completely in the oil and then use a small handful of the fish mixture to make a small ball. Prepare small balls using the fish mixture and then flatten them into medium thick discs. Once done, keep them over the oil in plate until you are ready to fry them.
5. Then take a wok and place it over the hob. Light the flame and adjust it to medium. Pour 2 cups of oil in the wok and let the oil heat up. Once the oil starts crackling on dipping a toothpick in it, put the fish cakes carefully in the oil and fry them for about 1 minute. Then flip the fish cakes once they are browned on one side and cook the other side as well. Fry the fish cakes in multiple batches for 3-4 minutes. Once done, spoon out the fish cakes and serve them with your favorite sauce.
1. Try to chop the fish using a chopper, because that retains the texture of the fish and gives it a nice chewy taste; while processing the fish in the food processor makes it too fine and paste-like and also destroys its texture.
2. You should be able to know that the oil is hot enough when the oil starts crackling on dipping a toothpick in it.
3. Do not cook the fish cakes for too long or else they will burn.
4. Do not over heat the oil; otherwise, the fish cakes will burn before you get to know what is happening.