Saturday, June 13, 2015

Full-of-Herbs Fish Cakes

"June Mystery Box Madness Challenge", the theme for this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC). Each month, we were given a list of ten ingredients and must select at least three out of the ten ingredients to make a dish from any of IHCC's past or present featured chefs' recipes. 

The ten ingredients for this month are ; Any White-Fleshed Fish, Green Leaf Lettuce, Pine Nuts, Dill, Cheddar Cheese, Almond Extract or Liqueur, Blueberries, Cornstarch, Bell Pepper and Black Beans.

My selected MBM ingredients ; White-fleshed Fish (I used sole), Cornflour and Dill, to make Yotam Ottolenghi's, "Full-of-Herbs Fish Cakes. And I've served the fish cakes with the fourth MBM ingredient, Green Leaf Lettuce.

This is a full-of herbs fish cakes indeed! The herbs ; dill, coriander, basil, lime leaves, lemongrass and ginger. Chopped shallots and chopped garlic are first sauteed over a medium-low heat about 5 minutes, then all the chopped herbs are added in (minus the ginger), stir for about 2 minutes until aromatic. Remove and allow to cool. The herb mixture is so fragrant, the lime leaves gave a wonderful aroma that no other herbs can give, do not leave it out. Though it is not stated in the recipe which type of lime leaves that he uses, I have always used kaffir lime leaves for my cooking, a common ingredient over here in Malaysia. Kaffir lime leaves are so fragrant. And I do have two pots of kaffir lime plants in my potted garden. 

White-fleshed fish meat (boneless and skinless, I've used sole) are cut to chunks and process briefly in the food processor just so they are broken into small pieces. They are then added to the herb mixture, along with chopped ginger, half an egg, cornflour, ground coriander, fish sauce, lime zest, and salt. Shape into long portions, flatten a little, and fry in hot oil on both sides until cooked through. Recipe states to fry both sides for about 90 seconds, and place them on a baking tray, and finish off the cooking in the oven for a few minutes. I have omitted this step. Fish meat cooked pretty quickly, and lazy me do not want to wash an extra tray! So I have cooked the fish cakes on the stove over medium-low heat on both sides, turning them over a couple of times until they are cooked through. 

Serve them hot with a squeeze of lemon, and some green lettuce.

These were delicious. Very tasty and really fragrant from the kaffir lime leaves. These fish cakes taste the best when hot (as recommended in the recipe), as when they cool down to room temperature, they do get a little fishy! We ate these with rice as part of our dinner dish.

Full-of-Herbs Fish Cakes
(source from, recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi)
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 shallots, peeled and finely diced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
30gm fresh coriander leaves, chopped
25gm, fresh dill, chopped
20gm fresh basil leaves, finely shredded (I've used Thai basil)
6 lime leaves, finely chopped
1 lemongrass stalk, bruised and finely chopped
1/2 tsp ground coriander
400gm haddock fillets (or other firm, white fish), skinless and boneless
10gm fresh ginger, peeled and finely ground
1-1/2 tsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp lime zest
1/2 egg, lightly beaten (use the other half for something else)
1 tbsp corn flour
50ml sunflower oil
1 lemon, cut into wedges

Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Heat the olive oil in a medium frying pan, add the shallots and garlic, and saute on a medium heat for 5 minutes. Turn the heat up to high, add the herbs, lime leaves, lemongrass and ground coriander, and cook for two minutes. Remove and allow to cool.

Cut the fish into rough chunks and place in a food processor. Blitz in a few pulses, just until it's broken down into approximately 0.5-1cm pieces - take care not to over-process.

In a large bowl, mix together the oniony, herby mass from the pan, the fish, ginger, fish sauce, lime zest, egg and corn flour and add a quarter-teaspoon of salt. Split the mix into 40gm portions, form each into a long 8cmx4cm kebab, and gently flatten a little.

Heat the sunflower oil in a large frying pan on medium heat. Fry the fish cakes in batches for about 90 seconds on each side, until lightly golden. Transfer to a baking tray and place in the oven for about two minutes to cook through. Serve hot with a wedge of lemon.

I'm linking this post to I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), theme for this week, 
"June Mystery Box Madness Challenge"


  1. These mini fish cakes look sooooo gooood! :D

  2. HI Joyce,
    Your mini fish cakes looks yum!!
    Love the added herbs in them.

  3. Love these fish cakes Joyce are perfect for my daugther!!!

  4. yummm, a nice little light snack. I am hopeless when it comes to this mystery box madness...

  5. Yummy! I smell the fragrance of herbs too ....these fish cakes must be very yummy-licious!

  6. I am envious of your easy access to kaffir lime leaves, which appear on several Ottolenghi's recipes. I had a difficult time finding them and have never seen them sold as plants. I'd redouble my effort to track them down, especially you've singled them out, and so convincingly. I love your fish cakes.

  7. nice ones joyce... i was thinking of making fish cakes too! home made ones are definitely the way to go

  8. I love this recipe and would love to try it right now! Congrats on also completing the June Mystery Box Challenge at IHCC!! Your recipe looks yummy!

  9. Joyce, your fish cakes look so good! Really good dipped with chilli sauce :)

  10. Hi Joyce,

    These fish cakes are fantastic!!! Every piece is fully packed with fresh ingredients and flavours! Yum!


  11. Oh my...these look heavenly! I love all the herbs and use of kaffir leaves. I really wish I could get them here! I would have saved the step and fried my fish cakes too. Like you, I don't like to wash unnecessary pots and pans! Plus frying is so much tastier:) Another delicious dish!