Fish cakes are something we should all know how make well. Done properly, they're a winner every time. These fish cakes are crunchy on the outside with a soft centre filled with fragrance and flavour. The key is all in the basics – using quality ingredients, poaching the fish in well-seasoned water, and frying the cakes for long enough to make them crispy. The best fish to use is flathead, barramundi, mulloway, snapper or bream.
450g white fleshed fish
salt and pepper
500ml white wine
1 red onion
4 garlic cloves
2 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 long red chilli, deseeded and finely diced
400g cooked chat potatoes, cut into 1cm pieces
½ bunch green onions, finely sliced
1 bunch dill, roughly chopped
50g cornichons, finely diced
¼ bunch parsley, finely chopped
5 eggs, whisked
600g quality breadcrumbs
oil for shallow frying
1. Cut the fish into strips. Add the water to a large saucepan and salt well – it should taste like the sea. Add the wine, half the red onion and one garlic clove and bring to a simmer. Add the fish and take the pan off the heat. Leave the fish to poach for five minutes, then remove, drain and add to a large mixing bowl.
2. Chop the remaining half onion and garlic cloves finely. Add the olive oil to a medium-sized saucepan on a high heat, cook the onion, garlic and chilli until soft. Add the potato, remove from heat and transfer to the mixing bowl. Add the green onions, dill, fish, cornichons and parsley. Mix well, breaking the fish up, and season. Shape into eight equal-sized discs, about 8cm in diameter and 4cm thick.
3. Put the flour, eggs and breadcrumbs into three separate trays or bowls. Season the flour well with salt and pepper, dust the fish cakes evenly on all sides in the flour, cover in egg mix and roll in the breadcrumbs. Place on a tray or plate ready for frying.
4. Preheat oven to 180C. In the largest frying pan you have, add enough oil for shallow frying and on a high heat bring the oil to almost smoking point. Add the fish cakes, fry for a few minutes until the bottoms are golden then turn and fry the other other side until golden. Put on a baking tray and bake in the oven for five minutes. Serve immediately (optional with beurre blanc).
Tip: When crumbing the fish cakes, work quickly, keeping one hand dry and one wet – left for the flour and breadcrumbs, right for the egg.