Day 75: Thai Fishcakes
inspired by Thailand No°1
In our league table of best Thai restaurants we have been to, this comes out at number one. Pure coincidence that the restaurant is called No°1. I’m sure that didn’t sway our decision subconsciously. Promise.
We love a UK break. A night or two away, usually in a town or city that has some history. A cathedral or a castle is a bonus.
So it’s no wonder we ended up in Lincoln. With both a castle and a cathedral all our historical and architectural needs were met. Plus it’s a really beautiful town.
A word of warning though. Be prepared for Steep Hill. As the name suggests it is steep. With the train station at the bottom of town and the historic centre at the top of the hill, it’s inevitable that any visitor to Lincoln will have to walk up it at least once. Something many breathless tourists lugging heavy suitcases up the hill obviously didn’t realise. The clues in the name… so pack light.
As we often go away on Sunday nights (so much cheaper than other nights of the week) we often find our dinner options a bit limited. I can google and go on Tripadvisor all I like. Chances are most of the restaurants will be closed. Probably half the pubs will have stopped serving food too.
So we would go for a curry. Or a chinese. And then in Lincoln we went for Thai food.
This is where we realised that Thai food outside of London is just so much better.
I’m sure there are some fancy (and expensive) Thai places in London that are incredible. Likewise there is undoubtedly a whole host of fusion food and street food stalls selling amazing dishes. But when you just want a standard Thai meal, perhaps a tum yum soup, a pad thai or a green curry, I find so many London restaurants disappointing.
Not so at Thailand No°1 Lincoln. Everything was delicious, fresh and vibrant. We had a really fantastic meal. And so began the tradition of seeking out Thai restaurants on our short breaks.
Edinburgh, Canterbury, Durham, Portsmouth…. the list goes on. The only time we haven’t managed to eat Thai food was on our trip to Rye. Only one Thai restaurant in Rye, and it was fully booked. We’ll have to go back.
Just as our eating habits on these trips have become predictable, so to was what we would order. Aidan simply cannot go to a Thai restaurant without ordering fishcakes.
So I thought it was about time I tried making my own.
I read a few recipes but in the end I adapted several in order to work with what I had. Luckily I found a jar of red curry paste in the cupboard. I have no memory of buying this but I guess that it was purchased in that pre-lockdown week when we all thought we might never have access to food shops again. Apparently my past self thought this was an essential. The fact that it has sat in the cupboard for 11 weeks suggests that it’s not.
I end up using a piece of salmon tail fillet and some prawns from the freezer to make mine. Some leftover egg white (why do I always seem to have leftover egg white??) the curry paste, some kaffir lime leaves, fish sauce, lime juice and a couple of finely sliced spring onions all go into a food processor. Pulse until smooth.
I read one recipe that told me to knead this mixture. Knead fish? I’m sorry that’s a step too far for me!
The paste seemed a little loose so I mixed through a little cornflour to thicken it. I tried shaping them with my hands but in the end it was just as easy to treat them like pancakes. Heat hot oil in a frying pan and then simple drop in spoonfuls of the mixture. When the fishcakes are golden on one side simply flip them over and cook the other.
But whether I’ve made a fishcake, or more of a fish pancake, it doesn’t matter. They taste delicious. I simply serve with some shop bought sweet chilli sauce.
The thought crosses my mind that I should try to make a flower shape out of a carrot like Thailand No°1 do for a garnish.
I decide, like kneading fish, that this is a step too far.
- 10 raw peeled prawns
- 200 g skinless salmon fillet
- 1 tbsp thai red curry paste
- 2 kaffir lime leaves
- 2 spring onions
- 1 lime
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 1 egg white
- 1 tsp cornflour
- groundnut oil, for frying
- sweet chili sauce
- Cut the salmon into chunks and add to a food processor with the prawns and the Thai red curry paste. Pulse until you have a rough paste.
- Finely slice the kaffir lime leaves and spring onions. Add to the fish mixture along with the fish sauce and egg white and squeeze over lime juice. Mix with a spoon to combine.
- If the mix feels a bit wet stir in a small amount of cornflour (rice flour would work too) to thicken slightly
- Heat the oil in a large non stick frying pan. When it is hot add spoonfuls of the fish mixture, spacing them out around the pan. Once they are golden and crispy on one side flip over and cook on the other side. Drain on kitchen paper and then serve with sweet chilli sauce for dipping.