Recipe: Shrimp and Fish Cakes

I had some great fish cakes at a restaurant about a month ago and decided to try and recreate them. The ones I had were battered and deep-fried, which I’m sure had something to do with why they were so good, but since seafood cakes (crab, etc.) are usually coated with breadcrumbs I think these will be just as tasty.

For 8 cakes, you will need:

½ lb white, flaky fish such as cod or haddock
½ lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 medium potatoes, peeled and boiled until tender
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs or panko
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
zest of two limes or lemons
¼ tsp chili powder
salt and pepper, to taste

Roughly chop the shrimp. Some recipes call for the shrimp to be processed, but I prefer the taste and texture of chunks of shrimp in the cakes.

Steam the fish fillets for 7-10 minutes until just cooked. Remember that the fish will cook a little more when the cakes are fried, so you don’t want to overdo it now. Allow the fish to cool for a few minutes and then flake.

While the fish is steaming, slowly fry the onions and garlic until golden.

In a large bowl, mash the cooked potatoes, then add the flaked fish, onion and garlic, lime zest, worcestershire sauce, mustard, and chili powder. Season liberally with salt and pepper and combine.

Be careful not to mix too much, you want the potatoes to remain fluffy so the cakes are light.

Taste and adjust seasoning as needed, then fold in the shrimp.

Form the mixture in to patties and then coat with breadcrumbs. Fry over medium heat for 3-4 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness.

Serve with a lime (or lemon) wedge and your choice of sauce – remoulade, mustard, tartar sauce, or some spicy mayo.

I had a couple with a big salad and it was an excellent lunch. I’ll definitely be making these again; they are so easy, and the majority of the ingredients are staples. They would probably work just as well with some good quality frozen fish and shrimp too, so it’s a good recipe to have on hand.

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Recipe: Spicy Mayo

I was in Toronto a few weeks ago, and of course any trip to Toronto means a sushi date with my Canadian twin Claudia. The location always different, but the scene the same – a big pile of pickled ginger next to my plate, and extra spicy mayo for C.

When I told her I often make it at home she insisted that I post the recipe. So here it is.

It’s so simple, all you need is:

Mayonnaise, preferably Kewpie
Sriracha
Sesame oil
Scallions – green part only – finely chopped
Chili oil, optional
Tobiko (flying fish roe), optional

If you use standard mayonnaise the resulting sauce will be thicker than it will be with the Kewpie. I recommend using Kewpie as it is much creamier, more tangy, has less egg flavour than traditional mayonnaise, and marries well with the other ingredients here.

You’ll notice I haven’t listed any quantities for the ingredients above. This recipe is really about taste and the amount of heat that you prefer.

Begin with equal parts mayo and sriracha and adjust from there. You only need a small amount of the sesame oil as it is fairly strong and can quickly overwhelm the other flavours if you add too much – I’d estimate about a quarter teaspoon per half cup of sauce. The chili oil has a really intense heat and I use it to add an extra punch without watering down the sauce, which the sriracha can do. Sprinkle in the green onion and a heaping spoonful of tobiko at the end to finish. The pearls of roe add a little fishiness and pops of crunch.

This sauce isn’t just for sushi, in fact I probably use it much more with other foods, adjusting the ingredients – adding lime juice, omitting the tobiko – depending on the application. It’s great with french fries, on fish tacos, dressing for coleslaw, the list goes on.