Sweet Potato Fish Cakes

Sweet potato fish cakes with a delicious garlic and chilli sauce.

A very easy to make recipe for restaurant standard fish cakes. Using tinned salmon and crab along with a few kitchen essentials, this recipe is a real winner. The sauce made from butter, garlic, chilli, lemon, white wine, fish stock, parsley, tarragon and diced tomato completes the dish.

The two most important things are to make sure the sweet potato mash is as dry as possible and also to avoid the temptation to turn them too early in the pan – otherwise they will not hold together as you cook. Please don’t mistake the colouration for burning, it’s this crust that holds the cakes together.

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This recipe makes 6-8 fishcakes

Ingredients and method

For the Fish Cakes:

750g Sweet potatoes – peel and thinly slice

250g shredded crab meat – 2 small tins drained of brine

200-225g red salmon – 1 small tin drained of brine

1/2 tsp sweet smoked paprika

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

25-50g breadcrumbs – see notes below

2- 4 tbsp. oil  to pan fry – I used Scottish rapeseed oil.

You require a food processor for this recipe

 

For the Sauce:

2 round tomatoes – diced

1/3 glass of dry white wine

3 cloves garlic – crush or finely chop

1 red chilli – deseed and finely chop

200ml fish stock

1 tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice

1/2 tsp dried tarragon

1/2 tsp dried parsley

10-15g butter

Freshly ground black pepper – to taste

 

Method: Start by par boiling the sliced sweet potatoes – put them in a pan of cold water, heat through to the boil then simmer for 7-8 minutes. Drain them then put them back in the dry pan over a low heat for a few minutes (shaking the pan occasionally), then turn off hob and let the residual heat dry the potatoes. If they still seem wet leave them on the heat for a few more minutes. It is vital to dry the potatoes out as much as possible.

Once dried and cooled transfer the potatoes into a food processor. Add 25g breadcrumbs, 1/2 tsp black pepper, the crab and salmon and blitz until combined into a smooth paste. Check the consistency of the paste – you want it to be thick enough that patties can be formed in your hands without them immediately falling apart. If when you test the mixture it seems too wet add the rest of the breadcrumbs as they will absorb the excess moisture.

Start forming the fish cakes – you want them to be about 3cm thick and slightly wider than a standard coffee mug. Don’t make them much bigger or thicker than this as they may not hold together when cooked if they are too big or cook in the middle if they are too thick. See the picture at the top for an example of size. AS you form each one set aside on a plate ready to pan fry.

Before pan frying the fish cakes start to make the sauce as you want the sauce to reduce and intensify in flavour. Start by melting the butter in a small frying pan (a wide pan will reduce far quicker than a saucepan) then add the garlic and chilli then fry for 3-4 minutes stirring frequently. Next add the white wine and cook it off for a few minutes, then add the fish stock along with the dried herbs. Stir well and leave sauce simmering on a medium low heat for 10-15 minutes or until it has reduced by half. Turn off the heat as the sauce will be reheated when the fish cakes are ready – the tomatoes, pepper and lemon juice are added as the sauce

To pan fry the fish cakes – use a wide plat non stick frying pan, take care not to overload the pan as you need enough room to flip the fish cakes, cook in batches of max 4 if using a 30cm frying pan like me. Heat 2 tbsp. oil in the frying pan over a medium high heat. Add the fish cakes one at a time, giving them a final squeeze into shape just as you add them into the pan. They will need approx. 4 minutes on first side – the clue that they are ready is you should be able to see the crust forming on the edges and the cakes should easily slide on the pan. It is vital not to turn them too early as the cakes will either fall apart or loose shape. Once turned they should cook slightly quicker on the other side – approx. 3 minutes . Again the fish cakes will slide easily on the pan when the crust is formed and they are ready. Transfer to the plate ready to serve, or place on a baking tray and keep in a warm oven if you are making two batches.

To finish the sauce – heat the sauce through over a medium heat, once hot add 1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice and the diced tomatoes, stir through the sauce and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes. You want to warm the tomatoes through but not cook them, they bring a freshness and balance to the rich slightly acidic sauce. Add a little freshly ground black pepper to taste, then get ready to serve.

Place the cooked fish cakes on a serving plate and spoon some of the sauce over the fish cakes and onto the plate as shown in the pictures. Enjoy!

 

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Blackened Salmon with flame roasted vegetable rice salad

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blackened Soy Salmon with rice salad

Salmon marinated in dark soy sauce, wok oil and brown sugar, pan-fried with crispy skin. Served with a rice salad with flame roasted and crunchy fresh salad vegetables. Completed with a dressing made from soy, sugar, lime juice and coriander leaf.

A really healthy dish but one that is packed with flavour. It is also a great excuse to use my favourite kitchen gadget – my blowtorch. Dont worry if you don’t have one, simply dry roast the vegetables in a very hot oven for 5-7 minutes.

The salmon is marinated several hours ahead of cooking and is left with a black coating that caramelises when cooked in a hot pan. Cooking skin side down for most of the cooking to get the skin nice and crispy – after all nobody likes skin on a fish if it isn’t crispy.

Brown salad rice is cooked then cooled ready for the vegetables, half of which are roasted using the blowtorch for deep flavour and the rest are left raw to give the dish some nice crunchy texture.

The dish is completed with a dressing made from brown sugar, soy sauce, lime juice and coriander.

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Serves two people

Preparation time 25 minutes (plus 1-2 hours to marinade), cooking time 15 minutes

Ingredients

For the salmon

2 Keta Salmon fillets – make 2-3 diagonal slices  in the skin to help skin crisp up

1 dessert spoon Dark soy sauce

1 dessert spoon wok oil

1 dessert spoon brown sugar

Marinade – the soy, oil and sugar in a bowl until combined. Add the salmon coating on both sides then place in fridge for 1-2 hours. Remove 30 minutes before cooking to bring back to room temperature.

For the rice salad

150g brown rice – cook, drain and cool

2 red onions – diced, add to pan for roasting

2 red bird eye chillies – add to pan for roasting

2 green bird eye chillies – add to pan for roasting

1 romano red pepper – add to pan for roasting

3-4 tbsp sweetcorn – add to pan for roasting

4 plum tomatoes – skin, deseed, chop, add to pan for roasting

10cm cucumber – peel, deseed, dice. Raw for crunch

1 small carrot – cut into fine batons. Raw for crunch

1 stick celery – dice, raw for crunch

3 spring onions – finely slice, raw for crunch.

Method: Retain the fresh vegetables in a bowl ready to add to rice. For the roasting vegetables add to a stainless steel pan and use a blowtorch to roast the vegetables until charred. Alternatively add vegetables to a dry baking tray and roast in a very hot oven for 5-7 minutes.

For the dressing

2 dessert spoons brown sugar

2 dessert spoons dark soy sauce

Juice of a lime

Handful coriander leaf – very finely chop, retain a little for garnish.

Method: Mix well in a bowl until combined. Give a second mix prior to serving.

 

Cooking instructions

  1. For the salmon heat a dry non stick frying pan over a hot heat until very hot. Remove the salmon from the marinade and place skin side down in the pan and cook for 7 minutes. Turn the salmon and cook for 5 minutes on the other side then remove from the pan. These are typical times for average sized fillets, for large or small adjust time by a couple of minutes.
  2. Assemble the rice salad. In a large mixing bowl add the rice, the roasted vegetables and the fresh vegetables. Pour in the salad dressing then mix well until fully combined.
  3. Serve the dish by making a bed of rice salad then place the cooked salmon on top. Sprinkle a little finely chopped coriander on as a garnish.