I am really dying for some fish, and have been for some time. Unfortunately, as I wrote ages and ages ago, I’m not really that good with fish. I don’t really know how to season it, what to do with it, or even where to get it to make sure I get decent quality. In short, I should really start familiarising myself with fish if I am to defend my honour as a culinary dictator, and quick, or I’ll be overthrown before I know it.
Thankfully I have a friend who has told me he’s more than willing to help me out in my fish need, and a wee while ago he sent me a lovely recipe for the fish cakes that he always used to make when he still worked as a sous-chef at a posh restaurant. I wasn’t too sure what to expect, but they were actually a lot easier to make than I had thought and they turned out really nice. They were a wee bit of hassle to make, I found, but totally worth the effort, and you can freeze them, so if you want you can make a whole bunch and them stick a bunch in the freezer for another day.
The quantities can be changed depending on how cakey or how fishy you want the fish cakes to be. I stuck to my friend’s recipe with a ratio of 3:1 potatoes to fish, which I thought made them fishy enough, but also made them easy to assemble and hold together.
For a rather large bunch of fish cakes, that is, about 12 cakes, 2 of which will be enough for a person if you serve them with some veg or salad, you will need:
- about half a kilo of potatoes
- about 100 gr of some white fish, pick one
- about 100 gr of salmon
- 1 red onion
- 2 spring onions
- juice of half up to an entire a lemon
- a handful of parsley
- salt and pepper
For the breading process:
- 2 eggs
- enough flour
- enough breadcrumbs – I’d say 4 slices of bread’s worth (bake the slices in the oven on a low temperature for a while – they’ll be easy to crumble afterwards)
For the tartar sauce that you really want to serve with these bad boys with:
- 3 tbsp of mayonnaise
- 3 tbsp of yoghurt
- about a tbsp of capers
- 2 gherkins
- quarter of a red onion
Peel and boil the potatoes in water with enough salt. Mash them all up with a masher (but don’t add butter or milk – we’re mashing them, but we’re not making mash). Finely chop the red onion and the spring onions, add them to the potatoes. Roughly chop the fish, add that too. Then add the parsley, chopped, and seasoning and the lemon juice, and mix it all up, I’d say using your hands – it’s the easiest way and you might never again have the opportunity to fondle fish and potatoes in quite such a delightful manner. Plus, your hands will get dirty anyway once you’re making the cakes.
Prepare three shallow-ish bowls, the first one filled with flour, the second with the eggs, beaten, and the third with bread crumbs. Make equally-sized balls out of the tattie-fish mixture, then flatten those down into something that’s thicker than a burger, but flatter than a meat ball. Now roll each of these in the flour, then in the egg, and finally in the bread crumbs. Now you’re ready to fry the hell out of those motherfuckers! You could pop them in the oven and they’d be somewhat healthier, but I like them fried… I guess I lived in Scotland too long.
To make your tartar sauce, mix the yoghurt and the mayo, chop up the gherkins, the capers and the onion, and mix it all up. Add some salt and pepper if you need to, but you shouldn’t, as the capers are pretty salty.