Mary Cooks: Fish Cakes and Lily Bulb

I love fish, and I especially love fish cakes. I found a very simple recipe on . It claims to be Thai, but is also easy to follow and does not contain any ingredients I do not already have on hand. I adjusted the recipe for the two fish fillets I set out to defrost this morning, but otherwise followed this fairly closely

All my ingredients for fish cakes

Combine the following in a food processor until well mixed:

1 pound boneless fish fillets, cubed - I used flounder

1/2 cup flour

2 tbsp oyster sauce

2 tbsp sweet chili sauce - I used sriracha

1 tsp fish sauce

1 tsp brown sugar - I used a little more to compensate for not having any sweet chili sauce

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

4 green onions, sliced - I used a little white onion

1 egg

(I also added ginger which was not in the recipe)

Then refrigerate for about 30 minutes to allow the batter to set.

Fish sauce batter for one

While my batter was resting in the fridge, I started some rice and prepared a little veg side.

One of the more interesting things we have in the house is fresh lily bulb. We picked this up a while back at the H-Mart, and it has been sitting in its vacuum-sealed packaging in the freezer ever since. And I've been searching for recipes. Alas, I have found none. At $2.50 for four bulbs, the stuff is fairly cheap, so I pulled it out and decided to experiment.

sliced lily bulb that will later get lost in pea pods and peppers

In the pan

Lily bulb is layered a bit like an onion. I removed the outer layers of one of the bulbs and sliced it thinly. When lily bulbs are sliced, they ooze. Not right away, and not very quickly, but as they rested on my board, they became moist and slightly sticky.

As I was not sure what to do with my lily bulb, I used it to accent another veg - pea pods. In addition to lily bulb, I added a little pepper to my peas, along with a mixture of soy sauce, ginger, and brown sugar. This was a misstep on my part. While the lily bulb added a nice fragrance to the pea pods, its flavor was lost. The next go round, I will make sure it is the primary ingredient and not a seasoning.

A quick and simple Asian sauce

Added to the pea pods

By that point, my fish cake batter had set. I heated a generous amount of oil in a heavy skillet to cook them. The recipe indicates that you should be able to shape the fish mixture into balls. Mine was too liquid for that, so I used a tablespoon to drop it into the oil similar to making silver dollar pancakes.

Yummy little fish cakes

About three minutes per side is about right. I placed mine on a paper towel-lined plate to drain and cool a little. The end result was a batch of small, firm fish cakes with a sweet and spicy flavor. It paired well with the salty sauce I cooked my peas in. And the rice was extra sticky, just how I like it.

An amateur plating job, but a delicious dinner