Thai Fishcakes with Fragrant Sweet Chilli Sauce

A recipe fresh and fragrant recipe from Pepper & Me's new cookbook, Keepers.

"These bad boys are easy to make and always a hit whether at the dinner table or handed around as bite-sized delights at a party. The dipping sauce brings the fishcakes to life, but a store-bought sweet chilli works just fine. It’s the perfect way to use cheaper cuts of fish."

Serves 4 as a lunch or light dinner

500 g (1 lb 2 oz) hoki (or any firm white-fleshed fish)

1 zucchini, grated

3 spring onions, roughly chopped

1 egg

2 tablespoons cornflour

⅓ cup Rock Out with Your Wok Out sauce, or any soy-based or ginger stir-fry sauce

½ teaspoon sesame oil

zest and juice of 1 lime

30 g (1 oz) coriander

20 g (¾ oz) mint

oil for cooking

Sweet Chilli Sauce

1 long red chilli

5 cm (2 in) piece of lemongrass

½ cup white sugar

½ cup white vinegar

2 makrut lime leaves (or zest of 1 lime)

1g saffron threads

For the sweet chilli sauce, deseed then finely dice the chilli, and whack the lemongrass a few times with the back of a knife to release the goodness but leave it whole. Place the chilli and lemongrass in a small saucepan with the sugar, vinegar and lime leaves or zest, and stir to combine. Simmer on a low heat for around 30 minutes. The sauce will be a lot runnier than store-bought varieties, but is really delicious and perfect for dipping.

Pop all of the ingredients for the fishcakes into a blender and pulse to combine well.

Heat a frying pan with a good amount of oil. Take heaped tablespoon-sized amounts of fishcake mixture and add to the pan. Cook 5 or 6 (you’ll get 12–14 altogether) at a time, and fry for around 1½ minutes each side until the fish cake has turned white and a little golden on the outside, but is still juicy and moist inside.

Serve the fishcakes with the sweet chilli sauce; pile them all on a platter and garnish with extra fresh coriander if taking to share with friends.

Note: Serve the fishcakes with an Asian-style slaw if serving them for dinner.

Recipe from Keepers
Photograph by Melanie Jenkins