Thai Fish Cakes with Cucumber Dipping Sauce

If you have some Thai Red Curry Paste to hand, these little fish cakes make a wonderfully different first course, especially if the rest of the meal has a spicy theme.

Serves 2 as a main course or 4 as a starter

This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Summer Collection

Thai Fish Cakes with Cucumber Dipping Sauce
 1 lb (450 g) any white fish (cod, haddock, hake, etc.), weighed after boning and skinning, then cut into chunks
 2 level tablespoons fresh coriander leaves
 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
 2 spring onions, very finely sliced into rounds (including the green parts)
 2 heaped tablespoons Thai Red Curry Paste (see recipe below)
 1 green chilli, de-seeded
 2 tablespoons groundnut oil for frying
For the cucumber dipping sauce:
 2 inches (5 cm) unpeeled cucumber
 2 shallots or salad onions
 1 small carrot
 1 small green chilli, de-seeded
 1 level teaspoon grated fresh ginger
 1 level tablespoon roasted peanuts
 1 level tablespoon soft brown sugar
 4 fl oz (110 ml) rice vinegar or wine vinegar
 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
 1 tablespoon groundnut oil
To garnish:
 sprigs of fresh coriander


Simply place the chunks of fish, the coriander leaves, lime juice, spring onions, curry paste, chilli and a little salt in a food processor and blend till you have a finely minced texture – don't blend it to a fine purée, though, as this is not so good. Transfer to a mixing bowl. 

Next take dessertspoons of the mixture and form them into balls, squeezing the mixture together. Then place them on a flat surface and flatten them out with the palm of your hand into small cake shapes about 1½ inches (4 cm) in diameter. You should get 16 in all.

When all the fish cakes are ready, put them on to a plate, cover with clingfilm and leave them in the fridge for a couple of hours to firm up.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. Place the cucumber, shallots or salad onions, carrot, chilli, ginger and peanuts in the a food processor and whiz till very finely chopped.

Transfer the chopped vegetables to a bowl.

Next mix the sugar with the vinegar to dissolve it, then pour it over the vegetables along with the soy sauce and groundnut oil. Mix thoroughly.

To cook the fish cakes, heat 2 tablespoons of groundnut oil in a frying pan and, when it's very hot and beginning to shimmer, fry the cakes for about 1 minute on each side, then drain on crumpled kitchen paper. 

Garnish with sprigs of coriander and serve with the cucumber dipping sauce.

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