Andy Oliver’s Thai Fish Cakes With Ajut Relish


Mix up your usual routine and try these tender fish cakes with a Thai twist. An easy way to impress your guests at dinner, this dish is perfect for a lighter bite.

Serves 4

For the fish cakes:
400g skinless white fish fillet, e.g. hake, gurnard, pollack or cod
3 tablespoons good quality (ideally homemade) red curry paste
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon palm sugar
1 egg
4 – 6 kaffir lime leaves, shredded with a knife
2 tablespoons snake beans or green beans, sliced thinly into little discs
1 tablespoon grachai (wild ginger) peeled and sliced at an angle – optional
To serve, Thai basil leaves

For the ajut:
100ml distilled white vinegar
50ml water
150g white sugar
Large pinch sea salt
2-3 pieces of Thai pickled garlic – optional
Fresh ginger, cut into batons
A handful of diced cucumber
1 long red chilli, sliced
1-2 shallots, thinly sliced

For the ajut relish:
1 First make the ajut base by boiling the vinegar, sugar, water and salt together briefly.
2 Once boiled turn the heat off and add the pickled garlic if using
3 Set aside to cool, and then make the ajut relish:  which you make by mixing the shallots, ginger, chilli and cucumber in a small bowl and pouring over enough of the sweet vinegar liquid to half cover

For the fish cakes:
1 First mix or grate the palm sugar into the fish sauce to melt the sugar
2 Now roughly chop the fish fillet and place it into a food processor
3 Pulse the fish in the blender until well mixed, then add the fish sauce and sugar mix, red curry paste and egg
4 Blitz again until smooth and slightly springy
5 Remove the mix to a bowl and fold through the sliced beans, kaffir lime leaf and sliced grachai (optional)
6 Now form the mix into gold ball sized balls, and then squash them into irregular shaped discs
7 Deep fry these discs in a deep fat fryer until completely cooked through, throwing in a few Thai basil leaves towards the end
8 Drain on kitchen paper and serve with the deep-fried basil leaves over the top
9 Serve with the ajut relish on the side.

Recipe courtesy of Andy Oliver, Head Chef at Som Saa, in partnership with Singha Beer

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