Smoked kahawai fishcakes
( SERVES 6 )
Adventurous and try something different. The best news is that many of these fish are often more affordable than the “worst” choice fish. We also tend to shy away from buying frozen fillets, but frozen fish is often the freshest you can buy. Fishing boats process fish as the catch is hauled in many miles offshore, then blast-freeze it to retain freshness. When cooking fish from frozen, defrost it in the fridge, then cook immediately. You may be surprised how fresh it can taste. Although some people view the cooking as problematic, fish is always better underdone than cooked until it’s starting to dry out. I love my fish raw, and am always astonished when I hear about folk who send back their fish in restaurants when it’s a little undercooked in the centre. This is how it should be served. To cook almost any fish, first sprinkle the fillets with a little flour, salt and pepper, then place in a medium-hot frying pan with a knob of butter or a splash of olive oil. Cook gently on both sides until the surface starts to brown and crisp. Serve with lemon wedges. Kahawai (near the top of the best list) is often overlooked, but it makes excellent fishcakes. This recipe works well with any fresh flaky fish.
- Put the fish, potatoes, spring onion, herbs and lemon zest into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped, leaving the mixture slightly chunky.
- Make a “panade” to bond the cakes together.
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan, then add the flour, cumin, salt, pepper and bay leaf and stir until the flour starts to cook.
- Add the milk and stir until thick and bubbling. Add with the lemon juice to the fish mixture, then season to taste with salt and pepper and stir.
- Leave to cool before forming the mixture into 6 large cakes.
- Beat the egg, then dip each fishcake into the egg before coating completely with panko crumbs. Refrigerate.
- To cook, melt a little butter in some olive oil in a heavy frying pan and gently cook the cakes on both sides until golden.
- Serve at once with a spicy chutney or limeflavoured mayonnaise and salad.