South-Asian spiced fishcakes

My Mum recited this recipe, which she had just conjured from thin air, down the telephone the other evening. I’m always in the market for good store-cupboard recipes, and this sounded excellent: something to use up that can of good, fatty fish; some mellow and fiery curry spices; last night’s mashed potato; the eggs left over from my last cake; and some of the herbs clogging the fridge. This is a recipe where you need a canned fish rather than something fresh; it’s rich and moist but flaky, which is exactly what you require here.

I love Mummy’s fishcakes. They made a regular appearance on the table when I was a little girl, and since then she’s refined and tweaked them into something quite fantastic. They’re also very quick to prepare if you have some mashed potato hanging around, so next time you prepare some as an accompaniment, make a pound or so extra so you can try these the next day.

The little patties are dusted with cornflour to make them crisp and golden; we eat them with rice and some very serious feelings of gratitude. For about 16 fishcakes you’ll need:

1 can Alaskan red salmon (I went for Alaskan salmon because I’d just been reading Legerdenez, a perfume blog from Alaska which I commend to you – if you’re not in the mood for salmon, a good fatty tuna will also do well.)
6 small shallots
4 cloves garlic
1 large handful fresh coriander
1 ½ teaspoons curry powder (I use Bolsts)
1 red chilli
Zest of 1 lime
1 ½ tablespoons grated fresh ginger
2 eggs
1 lb mashed potato
1 teaspoon salt
Cornflour to dust
Butter and olive oil to fry

Put all the fishcake ingredients except the potato in the blender, and blitz until everything is roughly chopped. (The fish is quite salty already, so be careful not to oversalt.) Remove to a mixing bowl and use your hands to combine everything until well-blended.

Shape the mixture into patties the size of your palm, and dip in cornflour. Refrigerate for half an hour, then fry for five minutes each side until golden. Serve with rice and a sweet chilli sauce, or a wedge of lime .

8 Replies to “South-Asian spiced fishcakes”

  1. Bit like a fish begedel .. yums! My grandmother used to make this begedel wrapped around a hard boiled egg when there was leftover mince and potatoes. I devoured those! Damn, hungry again …

  2. They sound lovely, but more importantly – “Mummy”… do you really still call her that?

    Hope you win the blog award, although I never successfully worked out how to vote.

  3. Good lord, yes; of course I do! I wasn’t one of these kids to decide aged 5 or so that Mummy sounded babyish; it was just what we called her. (And she called my Grandma Mummy as well.) I think it’s perfectly OK to be thirty and call your mother Mummy; considerably better than calling her Brenda, at any rate. Especially since that’s not her name.

    Thanks re award thing. They’re apparently totting up the votes at the moment (there’s the popular vote and also a jury vote weighted on several different criteria). My fingers are firmly crossed.

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