Faced with a bargain on Australian grown fish at my local supermarket I bought up big. The only problem is that it was frozen and had already been thawed. I had to think quick. Simple. When faced with mountains of cheap (and pretty average tasting) fish, make fishcakes. With my trusty David Thompson cookbook in hand I set about to recreate this Thai specialty in a slightly more healthy manner. David suggests green beans or snake beans, but as the texture of asparagus isn’t dissimilar to snake beans and I had none on hand I thought asparagus would be perfect.
500g ling or other white firm fish
2 tablespoons red curry paste
5 kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons splenda or equiv.
2 teaspoons fish sauce
150g asparagus or snake beans, finely sliced
1.5 tablespoons white vinegar
1.5 tablespoons splenda
½ Thai chili minced
1 red shallot, finely sliced
1 small cucumber
Preheat your oven/deep fryer to 180ºC
To make the fish cakes place the fish in a food processor with the curry paste, lime leaves, fish sauce, egg and splenda. Blend until a fluffy mouse forms. Stir in the asparagus or snake beans.
Place half the mixture in a large mixing bowl. Using your hands, form the mixture into a ball and ‘slap’ it against the edge of the mixing bowl to allow the mixture to bind and incorporate air.
Divide the mixture into 4 patties and place the patties on a flat, lightly greased tray. Repeat the slapping and patty making with the remaining mixture.
Bake the patties in the oven for 20 minutes, turning them over half way through cooking. or deep fry until golden.
To make the cucumber relish.
Combine the vinegar, splenda, chilli and shallot in a bowl. Set aside. Peel the cucumber and divide into quarters lengthways. Remove the seeds and then, using a vegetable peeler, peel strips of cucumber to make ‘noodles’. Combine the cucumber with the relish ingredients and toss. Drain any excess liquid from the relish. This could be used as a dipping sauce.