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Thai fish cakes with a honey and cucumber dip

Thai fish cakes with a honey and cucumber dip
Serves: makes 18 to 20
Prep time: 30 minutes to 1 hour
Cooking time: less than 10 minutes

Ingredients

For the fish cakes:

  • I lemon grass stalk
  • 500g sea bass fillet, skinned and pin-boned
  • 1 tbsp Thai fish sauce
  • 2 tsp red curry paste
  • 1 kaffir lime leaf, shredded
  • 30g galangal, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp grated palm sugar
  • 50g snake beans, trimmed and thinly sliced (or use fine green beans)
  • juice of 1⁄2 lime
  • plain flour, for dusting
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil, for shallow frying
  • banana leaf and lamb’s lettuce, for serving (optional)

For the dip:

  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp runny honey
  • juice of 1⁄2 lime
  • 1 tbsp Thai fish sauce
  • 100g cucumber, peeled, deseeded and diced
  • 1 small carrot, finely diced
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 2 bird’s-eye chillies, deseeded and finely sliced

Method

  1. Trim the lemon grass, remove the outer leaves, then slice the tender inner part. Place the sea bass, fish sauce, red curry paste, lime leaf, galangal, lemon grass, chopped coriander, egg, palm sugar, beans and lime juice in a food processor and blitz to a paste. You’ll need to remove the lid of the processor and push the mixture down with a spatula a few times. Carefully remove the blade of the processor and tip the mixture into a bowl.
  2. Sprinkle a little flour on to a plate. Wet your hands, then take a walnut-sized piece of the mixture and roll it into a ball and flatten it into a thin disc. Lay the fish cake on a floured plate and make the rest in the same way until you’ve used all the mixture. Cover the fishcakes and chill them in the fridge until you’re ready to cook.
  3. Meanwhile, make the dip. Put the vinegar, honey, lime juice and fish sauce in a bowl, add 2 tablespoons of water and beat with a hand whisk. Taste and adjust the amount of honey and lime juice, depending on how sweet or sour you want the dip to be. Add the diced cucumber, carrot, shallot and sliced chillies – this dip is really more like a salsa.
  4. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Cook the fish For an extra flourish, serve the fishcakes on a banana leaf, with the dip in a little dish. Garnish the fishcakes with lamb’s lettuce if you like. We like to drizzle the fishcakes with a little of the dip and pile some of the chunky bits on top. Yum, yum.cakes, a few at a time, for a couple of minutes, then turn and cook for another 2 minutes. They should be golden on both sides and cooked through.
  5. For an extra flourish, serve the fishcakes on a banana leaf, with the dip in a little dish. Garnish the fishcakes with lamb’s lettuce if you like. We like to drizzle the fishcakes with a little of the dip and pile some of the chunky bits on top. Yum, yum.
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