Most fish cakes can be boring and rather stodgy, though salmon and potato cakes are a classic comfort food. However, there are some delightful spicy and tangy fish cake recipes that make them much more interesting and appealing. Another trick to enhance the flavor is to fry or grill the fish first, with chillies and garlic to enhance its flavor before adding to the mashed potato and other ingredients.
Choose firm fleshed fish that has plenty of flavor. Select fresh fish rather than canned varieties to enhance the flavor of the fish cakes.
Adding fragrant fresh herbs, lime and other citrus zest and juice, increases the acidity of the taste, that complements the taste of the chillies and spices.
The fish cake recipes shown below will change your attitude to fish cakes and make them exciting and full of flavor. Enjoy!
Fry the garlic in a large skillet until beginning to brown at the edges (about 2 minutes). Add the fish to the pan, season with salt and pepper and fry for 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons water and the vermouth. Lower the heat and cook until the fish is almost cooked (8 to 10 minutes). Transfer the fish to a plate and set aside. Use the same skillet to simmer the potato slices, just covered with water, until they are just tender (about 15 minutes). Drain potatoes and garlic, transfer in a large bowl and mash the potatoes with a little butter and milk. Flake the fish and add the small pieces to the bowl together with the eggs, scallion, chile, cayenne, lime zest, cilantro, basil and panko bread crumbs. Mix with your hands to combine well, but leaving the fish pieces intact. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and set aside in the refrigerator for a minimum of 3 hours. To cook the fish cakes, form about 1/4 cup of the mixture into thick patties, lightly coating the outside with flour. Cook fish cakes until golden brown in a moderately hot skillet with a little olive oil (about 4 - 8 minutes for each side. Serve the fish cakes with the mayonnaise, lime pickles, marmalade and lime wedges.
Boil the peeled potatoes until just cooked, cool and mash in a large bowl. Add 4 tablespoons of oil in a large pan and heat to moderate. Add the mustard seeds, onions, red chillies and ginger, half the curry leaves and fry for several minutes to release the flavors. Add this mixture to the mashed potato in a bowl. Add the lemon zest and gradually blend in the eggs. Add the fish to a pan. Sprinkle with curry leaves and add enough milk to cover the fish. Cover the pan and simmer the fish in the milk for several minutes. Then, turn the heat off and set the pan aside for 10 minutes to complete the cooking and to allow the fish to cool. Pour off the milk and break the fish into small pieces. Add the fish to the mashed potato. Mix with your hands and shape into thick round patties. Coat each fish cake by rolling in flour, dipping into beaten egg and coating with breadcrumbs. Set the patties aside and chill for 30-60 minutes. Mix all the dipping sauce ingredients in a small jug. To cook the fish cakes, heat the remainder of the oil in a frying pan to moderate temperature. Fry the fish cakes in small batches, for 6-8 minutes on each side. Drain on kitchen paper and serve with lime slices, fresh herbs and the mango sauce.
To make the dipping sauce, combine all the ingredients in the list above, mixing until all the sugar has dissolved. Taste and adjust the flavors of the sauce to your liking. Next, drain the tuna (or other fish) and place in a skillet. Add some garlic and chilli and stir fry the fish on high heat to enliven the flavor. When partly cooked, use your hands or a fork to separate the fish into small chunks. Allow to cool and then transfer the fish to a large bowl. Add the ginger, coriander, chilli, water chestnuts, spring onions, lime leaves and a sprinkling of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the beaten eggs and fish sauce and combine well. Using your hands and a slotted spoon, take balls of the mixture and squeeze to remove excess moisture and form into firm balls about the size of a golf ball. Flatten the balls slightly to form thick patties. Heat the cooking oil in a frying pan over a moderate heat, and shallow-fry the fish cakes on each side for 1–3 minutes until the fish cakes are golden brown in color on both sides. Serve the fish cakes with the dipping sauce.
Blend all fish cake ingredients, except the fish, to a fine paste. Add about half the fish and blend once again until the mixture is smooth. Add the remainder of the fish gently so that the pieces remain intact. Using your hands, shape 1/4 cup portions of the mixture into golf ball size balls and flatten a little to form patties. Fry, barbecue or grill the fish cakes for about 2 minutes on each side until the fish cakes are lightly browned and feel bouncy to the touch (indicating that they are cooked through). Combine all the sauce recipes and serve with the fish cakes.
For the coating
Cook the potatoes in salted water until they are soft and then drain.When cool, peel and mash. Heat 4 tablespoons of the oil in a pan set over moderate heat. Add the curry leaves, onions, mustard seeds, red chillies and ginger, and fry for about 5 minutes until the onions have softened. Combine the onion mixture with the mashed potatoes and add the lemon zest. Work in the eggs while mixing.
Place the salmon and smoked haddock add some curry leaves, then pour over the milk, adding enough water to just cover the fish. Simmer the fish gently for 3-4 minutes. Remove the fish from the milk and set aside to cool, and then break the fish apart with your fingers into large flakes. Add the fish to the potato mixture and mix well. Shape the mixture into patties, which are then dusted with flour, dipped into the egg and coated with breadcrumbs. Transfer to a tray lined with baking parchment and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
To cook the fish cakes, heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and fry for about 6-8 minutes for each side, until the fish cakes are golden in color and crisp. Drain on kitchen paper. To cook fish cakes from frozen, see below. Combine all the dipping sauce ingredients and stir in 4-5 tablespoons water to thin it down. Serve with the fish cakes.
Use a pestle and mortar or spice grinder, grind the cinnamon, cloves and cumin seeds to a fine powder. Next, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil and fry the onion until golden-brown. Add the garlic and ginger and fry over a low heat, for a further minute. Add salt and pepper, to taste, and all the spices. Fry for an additional 30 seconds and set aside.
Next, simmer the fish in a pan with water in the base until the fish becomes opaque (2-4 minutes). Drain the fish on kitchen paper and then flake the fish into large pieces. Combine the spiced onion mixture, fish and coriander. Mix in the egg and then the breadcrumbs to bind. Form the mixture into about 18 small, flat patties with your hands. Heat half of the remaining oil in a large heavy pan and fry over a low heat until both sides have browned (about 2 minutes per side). Serve the cakes hot with chutney, herbs and your choice of sauce.
Drain the tofu thoroughly using a sieve or a cloth by placing some weight on it. In a food processor, add all herbs and spices, and pulse for a few minutes until the herbs are finely minced. Add the tofu, smashed sweet potato and roasted seaweed snacks to the mixture in the food processor bowl. Process until the mixture is smooth and the herbs are well combined. Add the spices and sauces, pulse for a few minutes until well mixed. Check the seasoning and add salt or soy sauce if needed. Lastly, add the panko breadcrumbs and pulse for a few minutes more. Form the mixture into small patties. To cook, heat a non-stick skillet over moderate heat with 3 teaspoons of oil. Cook the vegan fish cake patties until both the sides are slightly brown and crispy. Serve the fish cakes with vegan tartar sauce or homemade sauce or dressing.
Place the fish sauce in a small bowl next to a mortar and pestle. Using the mortar and pestle, pound the fish into a paste, using the fish sauce to stop the fish sticking. Add salt, pepper, sesame oil, garlic and spring onion and continue pounding until well mixed. For the mixture into small patties (5 cm - 2 in wide and about 2 cm - 1/2 inch thick). To cook, heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over moderate heat, and fry the fish cakes in batches for about 4 minutes a side until golden brown in color. Serve with the nuoc mam cham for dipping.
For the Fish cakes
For the Red curry paste
To make the red curry paste, preheat the oven to 150 degrees C (300 degrees F). Spread the garlic and onion on a baking tray (no oil necessary) and roast for 30 minutes. Soak the dried chillies in hot water for about 30 minutes to soften, and then drain. Add the chillies, onion, garlic and lemongrass to a blender and pulse until smooth, then set aside.
For the sweet chilli sauce, place the chillies and water in a blend to a paste in a blender or food processor. Transfer to a saucepan, add the remaining ingredients and simmer over medium heat until reduced by one-third. Remove from heat and set aside.
For the fish cakes, place the fish in a food processor and blend to break it up, and then transfer to a large bowl. Add all the remaining fish cake ingredients and mix thoroughly with your hands. Shape into small patties. Heat the oil in a saucepan over moderate heat. Shape the mixture into small patties and deep-fry them for about 2 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towel. Serve immediately with the chilli sauce fresh herbs and lime juice.
Steam the potato cubes for 5 minutes, until just cooked. Add the fish fillets and steam for an additional 3 minutes, or until both are cooked through. Remove and set aside, draining any excess moisture. Heat some oil in a frying pan. Add the garlic, chillies, ginger and onion, and stir-fry together. Then add all the spices, salt and pepper, and coriander. Fry until the onion has softened. Then add the potato and fish to the frying pan and cook until the ingredients are dry. Add the egg, the coriander leaves and the flour and mix well. Shape the mixture into small balls. Heat 2 cups of groundnut oil in a deep pan. Fry the fish cakes in batches for 1–2 minutes on each side, or until golden. Remove the fish cakes from the oil when cooked using a slotted spoon. Drain on kitchen paper. Serve hot with fresh herbs and sauces.