Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Fish: A Journey of Acceptance

টুনা ফিশের চপ
Bangladeshi Fish Cakes

As usual, I erred on the side of over frying/cooking/burning

I'm a meat person. That should be obvious from the recipes on this blog, and the lack of fish recipes in particular. Growing up, I used to hate anything fish unless it was squidgy seafood. These fish cakes would be the one form in which I would consume fish - much to my parents' chagrin as they tried to push me towards a balanced diet. That dislike for fish is (mostly) gone now, but I still don't cook fish often enough at home. Even this recipe I only use on special occasions - i.e. when I have people round for dinner. I've found myself scrambling to throw in fish cakes to balance out very meat heavy menus more than once.

The recipe below is very simple. It essentially requires minimal amount of prep before all of the ingredients are mixed together before shallow-frying. But on the flip side, don't underestimate how long it can take to shape 20 fish cakes. I have spent more time than I would like splattered with oil in my kitchen, trying to fry these before my guests wonder where their food/host is!

  • 500.00 g of potato
  • 1.00 large onion
  • 0.50 teaspoons of ginger paste
  • 1.00 can of tuna flakes in brine (weight between 160.00 g to 200.00 g)
  • 1.00 egg
  • Coriander, to taste
  • Chillies, to taste
  • Salt, to taste

  • Slice the potatoes in half, add salt to taste and boil for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender 
  • Once boiled, make a plain mash and set to one side
  • Chop up the onion and fry on medium-high heat for a minute
  • Add the ginger paste and continue frying till the onion goes translucent
  • Add the chopped up chillies and coriander, and fry for a further 2 minutes before taking off the heat
  • Drain the brine from the tuna flakes
  • Mix the tuna and fried onion into the mashed potatoes to form a 'fish cake' batter as in the picture below

You get to this point and you think you're almost done,
but actually you aren't!

  • Whisk the egg lightly
  • Dip each fish cake into the egg to cover generously, then shallow fry on medium heat till golden

On the left, the fish cakes being dipped in egg. On right right, shallow frying. The golden cake is almost done 

  • Serve either as a snack or a side as part of bigger menu, usually to be eaten with rice

Additional Information
The ratio of tuna to potato is really down to personal preference, what you can afford and what you have in the house. Don't be afraid to vary this, and also experiment with various herbs and spices. 

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