Monday, October 19, 2009

Thai Fish Cakes with Cucumber Relish - Blue Monday

Photobucket Creative Commons License

A Oregon fisherman's paradise serves as a perfect introduction to Thai Fish Cakes and Blue Monday.

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...We have an abundance of salmon at this time of year and, out of necessity, I've learned to deal with the surplus that tries to claim exclusive use of my freezer space. Today's recipe is an adaption of one for fish cakes that Bob and I had, and loved, when we were in Thailand. The fish cakes are easy to make and they're inexpensive if you use canned salmon or tuna fish to assemble them. The recipe calls for fish sauce and red curry paste. They are available in any well stocked grocery store, but if you're living at the North Pole or in the middle of the Gobi Desert, they can be ordered via the internet. Both will last for several months in the refrigerator. You can make your own red curry paste if you wish. I've included a recipe for the adventurous, but, I hasten to add, commercially prepared red curry paste works like a charm. Red curry is hot to many tongues, so I've used a range of measurement for it in the recipe. Go easy, if you are just beginning to eat hot and spicy food. The cucumber relish is served with many Thai dishes to offset and balance the heat of chilies. Again, the relish is simple and takes minutes to prepare. The recipe I'm including here is very basic. I posted a more involved version earlier in the year and if you'd like to try it follow this link to Ah Jhat. I use mashed potatoes to bind the fish cakes but bread crumbs can also be used. I cook the cakes in a small amount of oil. In Thailand these are deep fried and smaller sized cakes are also used as appetizers. Here are the recipes for the fish cakes, the simplified cucumber relish and red curry paste. I hope you'll try them. You won't be sorry.

Thai Fish Cakes with Cucumber Relish
...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite

1-1/2 cups cooked flaked salmon or 1 (14.75-oz.) can pink salmon
1/2 cup plain mashed potatoes or bread crumbs
1/4 cup very finely chopped onion
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro or mint
1 large egg
1 to 3 teaspoons red curry paste
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil


1) If using canned salmon, drain it well. Place in a large bowl and work with fingers to remove skin and bones. Add mashed potatoes, onion and cilantro. In a separate small bowl, combine egg, red curry paste, fish sauce, salt and pepper and mix with a fork until smooth. Add to salmon mixture; mix gently with a spoon or your hands to combine. Using a 1/4 cup measure, shape mixture into 3-inch patties; place on a baking sheet and chill in freezer for about 30 minutes.
2) When ready to proceed, heat oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Carefully add 4 patties and cook, turning once, until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a serving platter and continue procedure with remaining patties. Serve hot for best flavor. Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

Cucumber Relish

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup white or rice wine vinegar
1 large English cucumber, diced
1/2 cup very finely chopped peanuts

1) Combine sugar and vinegar in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
2) Pour into a two cup bowl. Add cucumbers. Toss to combine. Top with peanuts. Yield: 1 cup

Red Curry Paste

3 large dried red New Mexico or Anaheim chili peppers
10 small dried red chilies (i.e. chiles de arbol or japones)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped shallots
1/4 cup coarsely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh ginger
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

1) Stem and seed all chilies. Chop into large pieces; place in a small bowl. Add warm water and let them soak awhile proceeding with recipe.
2) Using bowl of a small food processor or a blender, combine shallots, garlic, ginger, coriander, cumin, pepper and salt. Add softened chilies and 1/4 cup of soaking liquid; process until a smooth puree forms. Transfer paste to a lidded jar and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks. Paste can be frozen for 3 months. Yield: 3/4 cup.

Recipes adapted Temple of Thai and Nanci McDermott

This post is being linked to:

Smiling Sally - Blue Monday


Lara said...

oh, I am already drooling! sounds delicious!

Diann @ The Thrifty Groove said...

Another one to try! We got a great deal on canned salamon recently and I am trying to gather recipes to use it. so, thank you!

rosasdolcevita said...

This sounds wonderful! I never thought of using mashed potatoes as a substitute for bread crumbs / or as a binding ingredient. Yum!!

free online adventure games said...

Just wondering if there's a need to seed the small red chili for the red curry paste recipe. Usually the seeds are what makes a dish so spicy. Out where I live, we call such chili "chili padi".

EJ said...

Oh whatta yummy BM entry. Love the first photo, so peaceful!

My first BM entry

pigpigscorner said...

Such lovely flavours!!

Martha said...

A great recipe -- I don't cook Thai enough!

Coralie Cederna Johnson said...

Your recipes are always fabulous and I LOVE the blue water scene! Enjoy your BLUE MONDAY!

NKP said...

A surplus of salmon sounds heavenly to me!
What a gorgeous picture. I want to just lie down in that photograph and sleep on a gently rocking raft.
The fish cakes sound delightful, I love Thai flavours.

SmilingSally said...

Salmon cakes are one of my husband's favorites, Mary. Happy Blue Monday.

My Little Space said...

The recipe looks so flavourful! Must be terribly tasty.

CC said...

That photo does indeed look like a paradise... and the food. Ahh,the food. How wonderful it always sounds and the pictures truly make you drool. :).
Happy Blue Monday Mary..have a lovely day.

Puna said...

mmmmm...right up my alley!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Good Morning, Mary! This sounds like another delicious recipe from you, and I love that shot of Oregon. I've never been, but I have a distant cousin from there who assures me it is paradise.

I have a quick question for you about the fish cakes. I am currently on a restricted diet from my naturopath and can't have white potatoes or white flour. Do you think it would be possible to use sweet potatoes in a recipe like this, or would that destroy it and change the flavor beyond the pale? They are on my list of approved foods. Just curious.

Thanks for sharing your gift for foods with us...

Happy Blue Monday!


Sheila :-)

gengen said...

Yummy food and great recipe. The lake is also beautiful...Happy blue Monday.

Claudia said...

I am wishing there was an abundance of salmon in MN! This looks absolutely scrumptious. I love the idea of using it as an appetizer.

Alyssa said...

The fish cake is beautiful and sounds wonderful! I haven't eaten much Thai (our first experience with it was terrible, sadly), but I know the flavor of most of the ingredients in this, so I'm leaning toward trying it again.

Abatevintage said...

Oh that looks scrumpish. Have a great day.


Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

Oh my, that photo is absolutely stunning! The fish cakes look good too. Happy Blue Monday.


LV said...

Just dropping by to see what was for lunch today. As usual, it sounds great. Your blue water scenes are beautiful.

Janell @ House of Fifty said...

Oh, delicious! Please come cook for me!! Janell

Patricia @ ButterYum said...

Mary - did you take the first photo on this post? Stunning!!

As for your "salmon surplus" issue... I wish I had your problems!


Southern Lady said...

Mary, your fish cakes look scrumptious, but your grandmother's "Double Chocolate Pudding" sounds even better to me.

I would love to go sit on the banks of that Oregon river, eat chocolate pudding, and take pictures. It looks heavenly.

Katherine Roberts Aucoin said...

This looks so tempting and what luck to have all of that salmon!

Unknown said...

I love the recipe for the cucumber relish. Geri

Luna said...

I love the beautiful blue scene, zje first photo!
Thanks for your comments...~~♥~~Luna from Vienna

George Gaston said...

Mary... Fish Cakes have never sounds so good! Thanks for a virtual trip to Thailand with its spices & culinary treats.

Wandering Chopsticks said...

Those fish cakes look perfect. I've never thought of using mashed potatoes to bind them together, but it sounds wonderful.

La Bella Cooks said...

These would be too hard to resist, and why would you want to? So yummy.

Shy said...

I ove the look of the water soo blue, must be very deep. And your fisk cake sure look and taste yummy.

Donna-FFW said...

What a fantastic idea using mashed potatoes!! Sounds terrific and perfect with the cranberry relish.

xinex said...

Both these look very good, Mary. Thanks for the resipe...Christine

lk- healthy delicious said...


This reminds me of one of the dishes on next iron chef last night. Yours looks better though.

Miranda said...

That first pic is so peaceful...just beautiful.

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

Any fisherman would love to be there in that gorgeous spot. Your fish cakes sound wonderful. I like salmon fish cakes and they would come in handy if your fisherman got "skunked" and returned home empty-handed.

Heather S-G said...

These do sound amazing. I love the fresh paste...I want to try making that...the flavors must really pop! Yum :D

Foodiewife said...

Now, this recipe I love! I'm love red curry...heck, I love Thai food!
I cannot wait to work this recipe into my meal plan. We need to eat more fish, so this one will surely be a winner.


Deb in Hawaii said...

Love the red curry and Thai-flavors--what a great combo. Love the relish too.

From the Old InkWell said...

Oh my Mary, here's another one I do need to try. Love salmon and salmon cakes, but I've never tried curry. I'll have to give it a whirl one day.

Pam said...

Oh those fish cakes look amazing and so does the relish.

Carly said...

I love the beautiful reflection in your blue photo and the recipes sounds (and look) amazing!

MaR said...

Love the Oregon scenery and the fish cakes sound delicious!!!

Becky K. said...

Oh my, that first photo is stunning.
Sorry I am late stopping by. It has been crazy around here.

Becky K.

Katy ~ said...

Breath-taking outdoor photo.

Fishcake perfectly prepared and presented.

Thank you for sharing this.

Allie said...

I wish I had that view and the fish cakes for lunch today!

storyteller said...

What BEAUTIFUL outdoor photos and delicious dish for Blue Monday. Thanks for visiting Small Reflections ... I'm playing catch up today ;--)
Hugs and blessings,

Lori said...

The flavors sound absolutely wonderful!

Charles said...

Loved reading about your touch to Thai cooking and I gather that you live in Oregon also.

We eat a lot of Thai and Chinese at home since two of the family were born in Bangkok. Looking forward to reading and enjoying more. BTW - we're headquartered in Salem.

Mary Bergfeld said...

Charles, I'm so glad you found us and I do hope you'll visit whenever you can. You are always welcome here.

Term Papers said...

The fish cakes are easy to make and they're inexpensive if you use canned salmon or tuna fish to assemble them. The recipe calls for fish sauce and red curry paste.

Term papers

Pilar-La Fiesta del Té said...

Hello Mary, first at all I want to thank you for stopping and commenting on my blog (more than a month!) and I want to apologize you for not having responded earlier, is that I was a few days without connect and when I did I forgot to go to greet and, well, time passed ..
I love fish and these fish cakes have a pint ackes amazing, I write down the recipe and make myself a follower of your blog, which I loved.
kisses and have a nice week! pilar

ps: sorry for my english, is that my english writing is not very well and I still learning it!

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