Thai Salmon Cakes with Dipping Sauce

  • Preparation Time15 mins
  • Cooking Time5 mins
  • Serves4
  • DifficultyEasy

For the fish cakes

1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 stalk lemongrass, outer leaves discarded and core finely chopped
Zest of 1 Fairtrade lime, finely grated
25g fresh coriander, stalks and all
300g fresh RSPCA Assured salmon fillet, skinned
1 tbsp Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
A little plain flour for coating
Vegetable oil for frying (not olive oil)

For the dipping sauce

1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp Thai fish Sauce (nam pla)
2 tbsp fresh Fairtrade lime juice
1 tbsp water
1 tsp Fairtrade soft brown sugar (palm sugar if you can get it)
½ green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
Few drops of chilli oil (optional)
1 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped
1 tbsp mint, chopped
1 tbsp spring onion, chopped

“In my job I constantly meet people concerned about how their food is produced. Labels such as the RSPCA Approved logo help us to identify products from farms approved to higher welfare standards, providing that all-important assurance about the origins of our food.

Some of my favourite flavours come from Thailand. That mix of lime, chilli, lemongrass, coriander and fish sauce sets my taste buds tingling. These little fish cakes, which shouldn’t be any bigger than 2-bites each, are very easy to make and are packed full of fresh salmon, herbs and come with just a gentle chilli kick."

1. First make the salmon cakes. Chop the chilli and lemon grass up very small and place in the mixer and blitz. Then add the lime and coriander and blitz thoroughly again. Make sure you add the ingredients in the right order to get the right texture. Tear the salmon into large-ish strips, ensuring there are no bones. Add the salmon to the mixer with the Thai fish sauce and then very gently pulse. Do not over mix otherwise you will end up with salmon mousse. You want a good meaty texture.

2. Scrape out into a bowl, cover and chill for an hour. This will keep for up to 6 hours, but will need a stir before shaping into cakes.

3. For the dipping sauce, mix all the ingredients together and set aside. You can finely chop the ingredients ahead of time, but only add the liquids a maximum of 10 minutes before needed or the fish sauce and lime juice will wilt the fresh herbs. You can adjust the amount of lime and sugar in the dipping sauce to your taste. Ideally, you’re looking for a hot, sweet and sour balance.

4. When ready, divide the salmon mixture into 12, then roll into balls. Wetting your hands will make this easier. Press each ball flat to form a round cake, but don’t make them too thin or they will be rubbery.

5. Dip each cake in flour, shaking off the excess. Pour about 5mm of vegetable oil into a frying pan and heat until a nut of salmon mixture sizzles as soon as it is placed in the pan.

6. Fry the cakes in batches for 1-2 minutes on each side until cooked and nicely brown. Drain on kitchen paper and serve with the dipping sauce.

Recipe donated by Nick Nairn

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