This is part two of my pot of quinoa, multi tasking for the week (see last weeks http://freshkitchen.co.nz/roast-quinoa-and-tomato-salad-with-quinoa-and-parmesan-wafers/). These fish cakes in themselves are pretty multi tasking and delish. They are light, healthy, tasty, and depending on your choice of white fish very economical. I have served them both as a canapé and as a main course with a salad, and frozen then before cooking and later cooked them very successfully!!!
I used a food processor to chop the fish and herbs finely but I am very confident that this could all come together just as easily with a good sharp knife or mezzaluna, and probably get a fishier texture as well (I will try this).
As always use the Asian herbs you have to hand, I am very conscious that a lot of people have a low tolerance for coriander and though I would happily add it by the bucket load I have found lots of good alternatives. My favourite alternative is vietnamese mint which even in Queenstown grows seasonally well in a shady moist spot. My other go to ingredient are kaffir lime leaves, which also grows well here as long as I keep the shrub in a tub and bring it indoors for the winter. Apart from these aromatics ginger, lemon grass, mint and fresh turmeric are readily available and are interchangeable in this context (turmeric will add colour but added goodness as well, it depends if it seams important to you to keep the white look at the time).
Makes 12 main course size / feeds 4 as main and salad. At least 24 small depending on size
Preheat oven to 200’C
- 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa (approx. 3/4 cup uncooked)1 cup for fish cakes 1/2 cup for coating
- 500 g white fish
- 1 tbsp fish sauce (you my add more for a saltier taste)
- 3 finely shredded kaffir lime leaves
- 2 inches lemongrass finely chopped
- 1 tbsp finely grated ginger + extra for dipping sauce
- 1 or 2 spring onions depending on size finely chopped
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh herbs (coriander, mint, vietnamese mint, thai basil …)
- 1 lightly beaten egg white
- olive oil for brushing on finished fish cakes
- 3 tbsp mirin
- 3 tbsp lime or lemon juice
- optional chill
Next in my largish bowl, I lightly whisked my egg white to a soft peak foam. Then I added the fish mix, all the chopped herbs, spring onion and gently mixed everything together.
For the fish cakes measure large spoons of mix, about 1/3 cup for dinner size, or as small as you like for canapé size and roll them gently in the extra quinoa putting these on lined baking tray as you go.
Brush them generously with olive oil and bake for about approximately 6 minutes then turn them over and bake another 6 minutes until golden and crisp.
Take care not to over cook as they will easily turn a little rubbery rather than delicate.
Quickly mix mirin,juice a scrap of fresh ginger and fine shreds of chilli if desired