Fish Cakes in Tomato Sauce


I love fish, but I rarely cook it at home.  Not really sure why, it’s just not something I like to do.  Maybe it’s because of the fishy smell in the house after.  This one has no fishy smell or taste, just yum, and good for you.  I’m trying to cook more fish because it’s good for me, and this is a really delicious way to include more fish into your diet.

Yes, I have blogged this recipe before, but the picture was terrible, and the recipe really is amazing.  It’s from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem cookbook.  This time I had some mahi mahi in my freezer that I wanted to use up, and worked really well in this dish.  You can use any white fish for this recipe; Ottolenghi suggests cod halibut, hake or pollock.

I brought the leftovers to work, and the people who ate it really enjoyed it.

I made this with whole wheat bulghur, which was good, but I think brown rice was a better match.

What you need for the tomato sauce:

2 & 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1 & 1/2 teaspoons cumin

1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika (I once used smoked – not as successful with this recipe!)

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 medium sweet onion, chopped

1/2 cup dry white wine

1-400 gram/14 oz  can chopped tomatoes (I added some cherry tomatoes I had in the fridge)

1 red chili, seeded and finely chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed

2 teaspoons sugar

2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, chopped coarsely

salt and pepper to taste

What you need for the fish cakes:

3 slices white bread with crusts removed (about 60 grams) (I had no bread so I substituted bread crumbs)

1 & 1/2 lbs cod, tilapia, halibut, hake or pollock

1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, crushed

30 grams flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

30 grams cilantro, finely chopped

1 tablespoon cumin

1 & 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 extra-large eggs, beaten

4 tablespoons olive oil (for frying)

What you do:

1. To make the tomato sauce, begin by heating the olive oil in a very large frying pan over medium heat.  Add the onion and spices and cook until the onion is soft, about 8-10 minutes.  Add the wine and simmer for a few minutes, then add the tomatoes, chile, garlic, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt. Simmer for about 15 minutes, then add freshly ground pepper and more salt if you need it. Keep this simmering so it is hot when you add the fish to it. (If you’re making rice, you could start it now)

2. To make the fish cakes, begin by putting the bread in a food processor and making bread crumbs, then place in a bowl.  (or just use bread crumbs) Chop the fish up very finely and add to the bowl along with all of the other ingredients except the olive oil.  Mix it all together with your hands.  Form the mixture into cakes about 8 cm in diameter and 2 cm thick.  You may need to refrigerate them for about 1/2 an hour to firm up a little.

3. To begin cooking the fish cakes, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat in a frying pan, then add half of the fish cakes, searing  for a few minutes, until quite browned. Carefully flip the cakes and brown the other side.  Place the seared fish cakes in the hot tomato sauce and then sear the other half of the fish cakes.

4. Once all the fish cakes have been placed in the tomato sauce, add about a cup of water (or white wine) to cover the cakes partially.  Cover the pan and simmer over very low heat for 15-20 minutes. Remove the lid and turn off the heat about ten minutes before serving to let the cakes settle.

I liked them when they were served hot, but the cookbook says they are good at room temperature too.  Serve over rice or bulghur, or with bread to soak up the sauce, and garnish with a little mint or cilantro.

fish cakes and tomato sauce - trust in kim

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