Bouncy Thai Fish Cakes
For these delectable Thai fish cakes, I like pounding all the ingredients step-by-step in a monstrous mortar and pestle to achieve the perfect bouncy mouth feel that the Chinese call Q-Q. The results in a food processor are almost as good. And the schmaltz and ice really help the emulsification.
On another note, you can use store-bought red curry paste, but homemade stuff is SO SO SO much better and keeps forever in the fridge. So why not do it from scratch?
Thai Fish Cakes
- 3 tablespoons red curry paste (recipe)
- 2 tablespoons rendered chicken fat (schmaltz)
- 8 ounces firm white-fleshed fish fillets (like cod)
- 1/2 cup ice cubes
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- 1 large egg yolk
- 4 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/3 cup green beans, very thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon fresh kaffir lime leaves, very finely sliced
- 4 cups peanut oil
- Chili garlic sauce, for serving
Place the curry paste, chicken schmaltz and fish in the work bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. With the machine running, add the ice, fish sauce, egg, sugar and salt.
After processing for a minute, remove the fish mixture from the bowl and stir in the green beans and kaffir lime leaf slices.
In a wok, heat peanut oil to 350 degrees.
Meanwhile, roll the fish mixture into golf ball-sized balls using oiled hands. Flatten into patties. When oil is about 350 degrees, fry the fish cakes 5 or 6 at a time, drying on paper towels. Serve immediately with hot chile sauce (I like the Huy Fong Foods chili garlic sauce) and cucumber salad.
Photograph by Madeleine Hill.