I have been making these fish cakes for years. They are quick and easy to make, and very tasty when served hot with a nice salad. I have also used this recipe to make finger food, which I can serve cold at picnics or when out sailing (did you know we live on a boat?) and they have been well received. Swap your dipping sauce flavours to add variety and get creative with garnishes. Spriggs of coriander look pretty or add different texture by sprinkling with deep fried basil leaves.
Ingredients 500g firm white fish fillets 1 egg 1 Tablespoon fish sauce 3 Tablespoons white rice flour ½ cup fresh coriander leaves 3 teaspoons red curry paste 4 – 5 green beans, very thinly sliced 2 spring onions, very thinly sliced oil for cooking
Method Process fish in a food processor until well minced and then scoop it into a mixing bowl.
Next place the egg, fish sauce, rice flour, coriander leaves, and curry paste into the food processor and process until well combined. Add this mix to the fish along with the beans and the spring onion. Mix well.
Form one heaped tablespoon of fish mixture into small patties (use damp hands). Heat cooking oil in a frypan over medium heat and cook the fishcakes in batches, for a few minutes each side or until golden brown.
Drain on a paper towel and serve with a dipping sauce such as sweet chilli sauce orNam Jim.
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After our first attempt smoking fish in our make-shift disposable smoker, I had a craving for smoked fish chowder. I based my chowder on the type of chowder I had made before, using smoked haddock or cod. The smoke perch or barramundi from the previous recipe was just perfect. This chowder had nice chunky bits of fish, potato and a smoky creaminess to die for!
2 Tbs of butter
2 cloves of garlic, crushed or finely diced 1-2 rashers of streaky bacon, finely diced 1 stick of celery, finely diced 2 Tbs of plain flour 1 cup of white wine 4 potatoes, peeled and cubed 2 cups fish or vegetable stock 2 cups of water 1 tsp crushed peppercorns 400g smoked fish 1 cup of cream fresh parsley, finely chopped
Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add bacon, onion, garlic and celery. Sauté for a few minutes to soften then add the flour and cook stirring continually for a minute.
Add the white wine and simmer on low heat until it starts to thicken. Then add the stock, water and potatoes. Bring to the boil and then cook uncovered until potatoes are cooked.
Add the smoked fish and cream and bring almost to the boil. Add the black pepper and some chopped parsley. Continue to heat until warmed through and of good consistency.
Serve with another sprinkle of fresh parsley.
OMG! This is perfect after a long sail, or on a cold night. Serve with some crusty bread for a perfect “comfort food” meal.
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We love smoked fish and had the desire to make some. We were anchored at Langkawi, and we had a couple of problems to overcome before we could make our own smoked fish. The first was we didn’t have a smoker and the second is we could not find any hickory wood chips (or similar) on the island.
Not usually one to be deterred from doing something just because it is not straightforward, Dwayne set about thinking about how to make an easy smoker. He came up with something we could use on the beach with two aluminium foil trays, some bulldog clips and a rack.
In the meantime, I had decided we could use a tea mixture instead of wood chips as the smoking mix and set about making something that may just add a delicious flavour to our fish.
This is what we came up with…
For the smoker…
2 aluminium foil trays
6 bulldog clips
1 oven rack or trivet
1 empty beer can
white spirits (metho)
(or coals or wood for fire)
1 cup of water
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup tightly packed brown sugar
For the tea smoke mixture…
1 cinnamon stick
2 star anise
1 cup of uncooked rice
1/2 cup of tea
1/4 cup sugar
And this is how we smoked our fish…
I made the brine by dissolving the salt and sugar into 1/2 a cup of boiling water. Then I add 1/2 a cup of ice cold water. I then let the brine cool down before I added the fish.
I let the fish soak in the brine for 1/2 hour, then removed it and dried it with paper towels. Then set it in the fridge until we were ready to smoke it.
For the tea smoking mixture, I crushed up the cinnamon stick, star anise and cloves in my mortar and mixed it with the tea, sugar and rice.
When we were organised we went to the beach to set up our smoker.
Once on shore, we placed some of the tea mixture on the bottom of one of the trays then, because my rack doesn’t have legs, we used some old rocks from the beach and placed the rack on those so it was sitting over the tea mix. Next, we placed the fish on the trivet and topped with the other tray. Using the bulldog clips we secured the two trays together. The ‘smoker’ was then placed on top of a couple of bricks allowing space for the burner underneath.
Now we needed a flame. Dwayne, always willing to do one for the team, then skulled a can of beer, proudly producing the much-needed burner equipment. He cut the beer can in half and filled it with dry sand and then poured the white spirits over the sand. He lit this mix-up and placed it under the tray…. we now had our smoker and we could sit back with a refreshing glass of white wine while we let the smoker do its job.
(Alternatively, you can use coals as your heat source or even a wood fire.)
We smoked the fish for about an hour. The cooking time will obviously depend on how hot you have it cooking.
We were extremely happy with the result! Next time I’ll tell you how to make my yummy smoked fish chowder!
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At each class, they were made slightly different and I have used ideas from both and come up with my own take on Cambodian Fish Amok. I don’t like to blow my own trumpet but Dwayne said it was his favourite! LOL, he says that all the time…. but what surprised me is that he barely remembers the fish amok we had in Cambodia and so he, therefore, believes mine to be so much better than what we had there. Needless to say, I think it turned out pretty good otherwise I would not be passing on my creation to you guys… I would hide it away with all my other failures!
In the class we made baskets, with a banana leaf, to steam the fish in. I didn’t get a chance to buy any banana leaves so I used a couple of ramekins I have on board instead. I also had to use a make-shift steamer because I don’t currently have one. I managed with what I had on board and our lunch, which we ate while anchored off Koh Kradan in Thailand was delicious.
Cambodian Fish Amok
Ingredients (for two)
2 stalks of lemongrass, white part only, hard outer lay removed
3 large cloves of garlic
2 small Asian shallots or half a small-medium red onion
5cm x 1cm length of turmeric
3cm x 2cm piece of galangal
2cm x 2cm piece of ginger
1 large double kaffir lime leaf
2 tsp dried chilli flakes
1/2 tsp shrimp paste
200ml coconut cream (reserve 4 tbs)
2 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp chicken stock powder
pinch of salt
about 50 g of thinly sliced kale (or noni (amok) leaf if you have it)
1/2 tsp of corn flour (or use rice flour like I did if you don’t have it)
Slice fish and set aside in refrigerator until needed.
Thinly slice the kaffir lime leaf add to a mortar and with the pestle grind it until it is well crushed.
Then add to the mortar thinly sliced lemongrass, crushed garlic, finely diced shallots, thinly sliced ginger and galangal. And continue to crush and grind making it into a paste.
Add the chilli flakes and shrimp paste and continue to crush and grind until you have a fine paste.
Mix the paste with the fish, coconut cream, sugar, salt, chicken stock and thinly sliced kale.
Let the mix marinate for 20 minutes and then put it into ramekins or banana leaf baskets.
Steam for 25 min and then remove from steamer.
Gently heat the reserved coconut cream with the cornflour until it thickens a little. Pour a little of the coconut cream on to the fish amok and garnish with thinly sliced red chilli and thinly sliced kaffir leaf.
Serve with rice.
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Goolwa cockles otherwise known as pipis are bivalve molluscs, similar in their two shelled structure to a clam, or mussel. A popular place to gather pipis is Goolwa Beach in South Australia. They are not only, and exclusively, at this beach, but on a nice summer day, Goolwa beach will often be busy with swimmers, surfers and people gathering cockles. Some people use them as bait but many others are now cooking them and making delicious meals of steamed cockles in white wine and garlic, rich marinara sauces or, like me, putting them in a creamy seafood chowder for that little touch of something different.
We are currently visiting family and friends in Adelaide, South Australia, and really, what is more Australian, more South Australian and more Goolwanian than a day at the beach gathering cockles…. not much. Dwayne, myself and two of our boys were joined by friend’s Sarah and Phil May, and their children plus other friends and family.
While I found it difficult to get in the cold water like the rest of them, surfing and boogie boarding, I did manage to get in deep enough to start hunting for cockles. Collecting the cockles is really very simple. You simply dig your feet into the sand and as the water washes around your feet and the wave ebbs, the sand is washed away and your feet sink deeper into the sand. When you feel the cockles beneath your feet and bend down to scoop them up. Put the cockles into a bucket or esky (i.e. chilly bin, cooler, icebox). The cockles then need to be encouraged to purge or spit out all their sand. The purging occurs when the cockles are kept in the bucket or an esky with fresh clean seawater for at least 24 hours. This is easy if you are near a beach and can replenish and freshen the seawater regularly.
So once my cockles were purged I set about making a creamy seafood chowder which I then served in a toasted bread roll bowl. Yummo!
This is what you will need…
2 slices bacon, finely chopped
1 large leek, finely sliced
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 stick celery, finely chopped
2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup plain flour
4 cups fish stock
500g white fish, chopped into cubes
400g prawns, peeled
1kg Goolwa cockles
1/3 cup parsley, chopped
Salt and cracked black pepper
4-6 bread rolls
And this is what I did…
To make a bread roll serving bowl I sliced the top off each bread roll and set it aside to use as the lid. Then I dug out the inner soft bread and baked the rolls, and their lids, in a moderate oven until they are hard & crispy (about 10-15 minutes).
For the chowder…
I heated the butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Added the bacon and cooked over low heat for about 5 minutes. I then added onion, carrot, celery, potato and cooked for 5 minutes or until softened (do not brown).
Next, I added the flour and cooked for one minute. Then I gradually added the fish stock and cooked while stirring for about five minutes or until mixture boiled and thickened. I let it simmer over low heat for another five minutes uncovered while I stirred occasionally.
I then added the seafood and simmered again while stirring occasionally. I added the cream and simmered for another 5 minutes without letting it boil. I then seasoned with salt and cracked pepper and tossed in a handful of chopped parsley.
I ladled the soup between the toasted rolls and served immediately.
Note: I have made this recipe with fish and lobster that we caught while camping at Canunda National Park, and I have used fish, scallops and squid that we caught at Stansbury while anchored there. At home, I have used a marinara mix or a mix of prawns, fish, scallops and mussels. Any mix of seafood is great in this chowder.
While cruising Indonesia we were lucky enough to visit a tiny fishing village on the island of Panebangan. The people were exceptionally friendly and welcomed us with huge smiles and a large bunch of bananas! It was at this village, the following morning, that we were invited onto a fishing boat for breakfast. Dwayne watched how the fisherman made chilli fish and it has since become Dwayne’s signature dish! This is great for when I don’t feel like cooking…. i.e. “I’d really love your chilli fish for dinner tonight Dwayne!”
Dwayne has made this a couple of times for dinner. Once he used fish and squid and the other time he used crayfish.
It’s simple and tasty. This is how he does it…
fresh chillies, chopped
fresh garlic, chopped
asian shallots, chopped
Blend all the above ingredients with the mortar and pestle.
Add oil to a pan and heat.
Add the spice mix, fry until fragrant.
Add the seafood (fish or what ever you want) and fry it for a while.
Then add some water and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasional.
Season with salt as needed.
This pasta meal was another simple way we enjoyed the marlin we had ample supply of.
While the fettuccini was cooking, I simply sautéed baby capers, finely diced capsicum and garlic in olive oil. After a few minutes I added halved cherry tomatoes and the diced marlin and cooked for a further few minutes until the fish was cooked through but not over done.
To serveI topped the fettuccine with the marlin and tomato, garnished with sliced spring onions and drizzled with a little olive oil. Simple and delicious.
This meal was made with a fresh catch while we were anchored at Hope Island, on the Great Barrier Reef. It was a few days out of Cairns and we still had some fresh vegetables from our shopping trip that we needed to use. The green beans were on their last days so, as it often happens on a boat, what we decided to cook for dinner was determined by the veg we had and what needed to be eaten first.
Dwayne caught, cleaned and cut the spanish mackerel into cutlets. He then barbequed the cutlets while I made a salsa.
For the salsa I diced tomato, kalamata olives, red onion, anchovy, chilli, capers and added a little olive oil.
The beans, which were begging to be cooked, were blanched in boiling water for a minute or two and set aside. I sautéed a little garlic in butter and tossed the beans and some chopped pistachio nuts through it.
We enjoyed a delicious meal of BBQ mackerel topped with the salsa and served with the beans on the side. We love mackerel… don’t think we’ll ever get sick of it!
We are still working our way through the marlin and still trying out different ways to cook it. This particular day I thought I’d do a marlin filling to wrap in cabbage leaves and bake. While discussing this meal with Dwayne, he came up with the idea to do it with the same flavours the Fijians do their Palusumi (Palusumi is usually lamb mince or corned beef with taro leaves).
When we were in Fiji, after having a delicious meal of palusumi, I asked the cook what goes into the dish. I was told it was ginger, garlic, onion, coconut milk.
So this is what I did…
I finely chopped garlic, ginger, onion and sautéed it for a few minutes until ingredients softened . I put ¾ of the mix into a bowl with some finely chopped marlin (not blended). I added some finely chopped spinach (I had frozen spinach) and enough coconut milk to make a moist mix (not too sloppy).
I mixed the left over coconut milk with the other ¼ of the garlic, ginger and onion mix and set aside.I blanched the cabbage leaves for a minute or two and then wrapped a couple of spoonfuls of the marlin mixture up in the leaves.
I put the cabbage rolls in a baking dish and topped it with the reserved coconut milk mixed with the ginger, garlic and onion.
I baked it in the oven for about ½ hour. It was really yummy, Dwayne loved it… but he always does!