I’m back with another bangin’ recipe for you guys! Most of our family and friends have had this one at our house and I can’t remember how many times I’ve been asked for the recipe.
This recipe came from always looking for ways to use the fish my hubby was bringing home from his fishing trips. It’s turned into a regular favourite of ours.
They are great and I’ve found that most kids, even some fussy ones, have been happy to eat them. The soft potato, the flakey fish and the crunchy panko crumbs on the outside, give them a great texture combo.
Yes, fish can be a little pricey to buy these days but the good news is that you don’t need expensive fillets for this recipe. Your cheaper white fish fillets will work just fine. I’ve used mackerel, perch, cobia, flathead and other smaller reef fish. You can also use fish that has been frozen, it makes no difference to this dish.
750g Potatoes – peeled and quartered
750g Fish fillets – no skin or bones here guys, just the fillets
3 spring onions – chopped, white part and the green
Zest of 1 lemon – keep the lemon itself aside and cut it into wedges for serving
1 tablespoon butter
Parsley – fresh, chopped, you could also use chives or another favourite herb
1 to 2 Garlic cloves, crushed – optional, sometimes I put it in, sometimes I don’t
1 egg – very lightly beaten with a fork
Panko bread crumbs for coating
Method for this fishy madness:
Place the potatoes in a large pot with water and a good dash of salt. Turn on the heat and wait for them to boil away and get soft.
Add the fish fillets directly to the same pot your potatoes are in. The fillets will only take a couple of minutes to cook through in the hot water.
DRAIN, this is a really important step. Drain them well, leave no water in the bottom of your pot.
ADD the onion, zest, chopped parsley, butter and the garlic if you’re using it. At this point, you’ll have a steaming pot of fish and potato’s with your aromatics in the pot. This gives the aromatics a chance to marry in with the fish and potatoes, creating flavour in the finished product.
LEAVE this mixture alone and uncovered for a while. Also, an extremely important step. Let it cool to a point where it is easy to handle and it isn’t going to cook your egg when you add it. Do not cover your mix, let the steam escape, the drier your mix is at this point the better. You don’t want to trap water in there.
Once cool enough, take a potato masher and mash the mix to your desired texture. Add the egg and some salt and pepper, mix through well with your hands. Using your hands will help you decide whether your mixture is the right consistency to stay together when you cook them. It also helps you to pick up any stray fish bones that may have slipped past the filleting process.
PROBLEM FIXES: The mix still seems too dry – add a second egg and mix through. The mix is too wet to easily pick up – add a little plain flour and mix through. After making this a couple of times you’ll get a feel for how damp your mix should be.
With clean, wet hands, roll your mixture into balls and roll each ball in panko breadcrumbs. Then simply shallow fry in a little vegetable oil or cook on the barbecue in olive oil. These babies need to be treated gently during frying.
SERVE with lemon wedges, a little aioli or mayo, if you like. We normally have them with a fresh garden salad. They are great cold or warmed up the next day. They even make a lovely sandwich.
This quantity makes about 16 cakes.