Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fish cakes, pickled cucumber, birthday wishes

Do you have lots of kitchen appliances and gadgets? A tool for every occasion?

My birthday is coming up, and, as usual, I was thinking of asking the birthday fairy for an electric mixer (eg. white KitchenAid).  This thought has gone through my mind for, oh, the past 4 years or so. But the feeling soon passes - until Christmas. But then Santa doesn't hear my plea and I forget about it till the next year.

This time, as a backup plan, I'm also thinking about an ice cream maker (Cuisinart 1.5litre) and/or a food processor. The latter is a recent thing because my current processor is just a stick blender with a small bowl attachment, and after making these fish cakes, the lid has developed a hairline crack and some water has leaked into it and now it makes a sloshing sound when you shake it.

But then I think of my small, neat, open kitchen with limited bench and cupboard space and push the thought out of my mind. The birthday fairy is safe from having to leave appliances under my pillow for another year.

Fish Cakes with Pickled Cucumber
serves 2

400g firm, white-fleshed fish fillets
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 red chilli, seeded, finely chopped
2 spring (green) onions, finely chopped
1 Lebanese cucumber, halved lengthways
Juice of 1 small lime
1 tbs fish sauce
1 tbs brown sugar
2 tbs vegetable oil
Steamed rice and lime wedges, to serve

1. Process fish in a food processor until a coarse paste forms. Transfer to a large bowl. Add garlic, half the chopped chilli and spring onion, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Shape heaped tablespoonfuls of mixture into 'cakes'.

2. Using a teaspoon, remove seeds from cucumbers. Discard seeds then slice cucumbers thinly on the diagonal. Place cucumbers, remaining chilli, lime juice, fish sauce and sugar in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Cook fish cakes, in batches, for 2 minutes each side or until golden and cooked through. Drain on paper towels. Serve with pickled cucumber, steamed rice and lime wedges.

recipe adapted from taste.com.au

Ingredients, including white fish (I used basa fillets), spring onion, fish sauce, cucumber, chilli, lime juice and brown sugar

Scrape the seeds from the cucumber to make the sweetly refreshing pickle.
The fishcakes are fairly sticky, so use a spoon (rather than your hands) to scoop them into the pan. Let them brown on one side first, then flip them and flatten with a spatula to cook the other side.

Serve the fishcakes with the drained cucumbers and some rice.

Yum, these fishcakes have a firm texture and excellent flavour, only slightly spicy from the chilli.
Some ice cream would finish off the meal nicely. If only I had an ice cream maker....


  1. I just got the Cuisinart icecream maker for my birthday and you can't go past the KitchenAid. Come on birthday fairy make Bel's icecream wish come true :)

  2. Hope you have what you wish for!! :)

  3. If I had the money, I would totally send you a mixer! Or a food processor! Or an ice cream maker! All awesome gifts.

    These fish cakes sound delicious, especially with the pickled cucumber. What a fun combo!

  4. I have quite a lot of kitchen gadgets, but most of mine are not too useful (but fun!) things I pick up when they're heavily discounted :) Hope you get what you wish for soon! I think if you actually had those appliances, the lack of space in your kitchen wouldn't be a problem at all ;) haha....Your fishcakes look really tasty! I've yet to try making fish cakes- but seeing this makes me want to make some right now!

  5. Happy early birthday! Hope you get at least one of your appliances this year... it would be cruel not to! :)

  6. The flavours of seared fish cakes are so awesome!! especially with a small twist of lime or lemon juice and some finely diced kaffir limes leaves!!

  7. Wow, that is cool...homemade fish cake...looks great and nicely paired with the cucumber salad. Beautiful!
    Hope you are having a fantastic week Bel :-)

  8. I'll put a good word in for you with Santa. Hopefully he pays attention this year. He can be a bit slack sometimes. Im STILL waiting for my Thermomix!
    These look fab :) I know what you mean about the stick blender. Thats what I use too and that little processor attachment doesnt cut it for big things

  9. But upgrading your damaged current stock will not add to your gadget count...although it may change the storage space available, like you said.

    Um, otherwise mince the fish with a cleaver on a chopping board?

  10. First off, YUM fish cakes! I love the colors in your photos.

    Second, I'd go for the food processor. It's so amazingly versatile and a good one will last ages. I love my KitchenAid, but honestly use the food processor 10x as often.

  11. Yum! I picture eating these on a sunny day with a beer to go with them!
    I hope you get either a kitchen aid or a food processor, these are two things I covet too. Happy early Birthday!