Fish Kebabs, if you please

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Can you believe it? I certainly can’t! I made fish cakes, yes me! Coming from a long line of fish gravy and some fried fish fillet eaters I always looked at fish cake recipes with scepticism. Firstly something about the name, fish cakes, cakes! gives me an unpleasant taste in the mouth. I would rather call them fish kebabs and so I do 🙂

Deciding on dinner! I must say this is the hardest decision to make each and everyday of your married existence! It’s no longer a wonder to me that wives are tired by the end of the day. It’s exhausting to go over all the stuff you have in the fridge, freezer and pantry, everything you already checked out yesterday and the day before and the day before….with some replenishments along the way… And decide to make something new and different from yesterday’s meal. I’m just tired writing about it. I’ve asked my mother a hundred times now, “how have you managed to decide on the meal for the day for the past 40 years!!! When I’ve already run out of options in 4 years! Please tell me your secret. Please!” My mother’s response, “you girls of this generation have to have so much drama in your life! Just cook with what you have.” Thank you for your words of wisdom Ammi. Love you.

So I looked and I found white fish fillets in my freezer. I usually fry fish because I’m not a big fan of Pakistani style fish gravy or curry but for some reason I found myself looking through my cookbooks and online to see if I could do something different today. And I found it, fish…kebabs (original name is fish cakes in case you search for the recipe online). It was a simple recipe, a little time consuming but still not too bad for the end result which was lip-smacking, jaw-dropping, delicious! 

It’s my version of a Jamie Oliver recipe. Not that I would want to mess with the recipe of an expert chef but I had to adapt the recipe for the ingredients I had and the spice loving palate of Mr. Mazhar. So I substituted white fish for salmon, dried parsley for fresh and added some hot sauce and red chilli flakes to make it spicy! Here comes the recipe. Try it, you might like it. Tell me how it goes.

                                                         

Ingredients

  • 300 g potatoes, peeled and washed
  • 100 g white fish fillets, without bone
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp plain flour , extra for dusting
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp hot sauce, or to taste
  • 1 tsp red chilli flakes 
  • 1 lemon’s zest
  • olive oil, for frying

Method

  1. In a pot over which you can rest your colander, bring enough salted water to boil and add the potatoes.  In the mean time rub some olive oil, salt and black pepper on the fish fillets or chunks, with or without skin, what ever you are using. When the potatoes are half done, line the colander with foil, place the fish in it and cover the top with foil as well. Now place the colander on top of the boiling potatoes. Turn the heat down and cook for 8-10 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish and till the potatoes finish cooking through.
  2. Remove the fish from the colander and put to the side. Drain the potatoes in the same colander, then return them to the pot and let them air dry for a minute or two. Now mash the potatoes spreading them around so that they cool down quicker. Transfer the mashed potatoes to a large mixing bowl and let them cool for at least 10 minutes. In the mean time remove all the skin from the fish if you used a piece with the skin on.
  3. Once the potatoes are cooled, flake in the fish pieces along with the flour. Add the eggs, hot sauce, chilli flakes and parsley with a really good pinch of salt and pepper. Finally grate in the lemon zest and mix everything really well.
  4. Now dust your workspace with a little of the extra flour and place your mash mixture on it. Divide the mixture into 4 roughly equal portions and shape them into round kebabs about 2cm thick. Dust the patties with flour and place them onto a plate also dusted with some flour. Place the plate in the fridge for about an hour before cooking to help the kebabs firm up a little.
  5. In a large frying pan add some olive oil and heat it on a medium flame. Once the oil is nice and hot add the fish kebabs, frying them for 4-5 minutes on each side or till golden brown and crispy. Serve them hot, right off the frying pan, with lemon wedges. Enjoy!

If you want to try the original rather my hacked version you can find it here: http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/fish-recipes/fish-cakes/#AL4XM28ZqBtowH6T.99

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