Fish Cakes with Cucumber Sauce

Fish Cakes with Cucumber Sauce | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Fish Cakes with Cucumber Sauce | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Fish Cakes with Cucumber Sauce | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Fish Cakes with Cucumber Sauce | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Fish Cakes with Cucumber Sauce | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Fish Cakes with Cucumber Sauce | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Fish Cakes with Cucumber Sauce | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

As I mentioned in my last post, Thailand is seeming more and more like a distant memory, especially now that our friends Kylie and Walt have left Chiang Mai for the next leg of their adventure. But there are some things that have faded less than others, and Wee’s delicious food and her megawatt smile. You can read more about how we met Wee and our cooking class with her in this post (and make some pumpkin curry soup, while you’re at it.)

These fish cakes were a dish that Wee surprised us with at our cooking class. She wanted us to make an appetizer, and one that was a little more challenging and involved than a Thai style omelette, so she picked this. We hadn’t eaten them at any of our previous meals at her restaurant, and I instantly regretted that when we tasted them during our cooking class. The fish is subtle, tender, but the cakes themselves are airy and crispy. But really the star of this dish for me was the dipping sauce. We made our own sweet chili sauce – a simple task that I plan on doing a lot more when I get home – and then poured it over cucumbers and shallots and topped it with ground peanuts. This fruity sauce was light and crunchy, matching so well with the fish cakes. But it also lent a refreshing acidity to the fried fish cakes. I can easily imagine using the dipping sauce at many a summer BBQ to top grilled chicken or salmon. But first, try it with these fish cakes.

I suppose I should also mention the new look of this here blog. The amazing Kylie Della, who I was in Thailand with, is a very skilled artist and maker of things for print and web. I’ve always wanted to make this a place that I like to come look at, and hopefully anyone reading likes to come look at it as well. So while we were in Chiang Mai we plotted and schemed and Kylie did her magic and voila: a remodel. I hope you like it. There is still some dust, but poke around and enjoy! It’s for you just as much as it is for me.

Fish Cakes with Cucumber Dipping Sauce

Makes 8 medium fish cakes

Ingredients

Fish Cakes

150 grams or 1/3 lb red snapper
3 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced
4-5 green beans, thinly sliced
1 egg
1 tsp red curry paste
2-3 pinches pepper
1 cup tempura powder
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 cup Thai basil for garnish
Neutral oil for frying

Dipping Sauce

1/2 cup finely diced cucumber
1 large finely diced shallot
1-2 Tbsp finely chopped or ground peanuts
1/3 cup sweet chili sauce (or make your own! recipe below)

Sweet Chili Sauce

1 long red pepper, sliced into big chunks
3-4 cloves garlic
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup rice vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar

Instructions

Fish Cakes

Cut the fish into roughly 1/2 inch cubes. Mix with kaffir lime leaf and green bean. Add egg, curry paste, pepper, tempura powder, coconut milk, and soy sauce. Mix until it comes together in a batter.

In a deep pan, heat roughly 3/4 inch of oil. Turn heat to low and use 1/4 cup measure to put heaping scoops of batter into the hot oil. Raise the heat to medium-low. When the edges have browned, flip the cakes and cook until browned on both sides. Remove to a basked or a towel-lined plate.

Once you are done frying the fish cakes, fry the basil in the hot oil. Be careful! The basil can quickly burn, so pay close attention to it. Remove it to a basket or towel-lined plate.

Dipping Sauce

To make the dipping sauce, combine cucumber, shallot, and sweet chili sauce in a bowl, top with ground peanuts. Serve fish cakes topped with fried basil, sauce on the side.

Sweet Chili Sauce

In a mortar and pestle, pound pepper, garlic, and salt together until roughly ground (You can also use a food processor to pulse a couple of times if you don’t have a mortar and pestle). In a small pot, combine pepper mixture with vinegar and sugar. Cook over low heat until thickened.

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