Fish cakes unite the globe. I can’t think of an omnivorous culture that doesn’t include their own rendition in their culinary repertoire, be it salt cod croquetas, those fragrant shrimp based delights of Asia, or turmeric laden spiced treats from India.
These take on a Levantine style, white fish providing a blank canvas through which the mouth puckering zesty salinity of preserved lemons can resonate. Simply flavoured with the freshest of herbs, they are the perfect receptacle for a vibrant, punchy, smooth pea puree, fluorescent in its sweet youth.
I like to serve these with Bulgar or Israeli Cous Cous. Plump and Nutty and suffocating in the best Olive Oil you can afford. This is no place to scrimp on fresh herbs, home grown where possible, picked just before eating to bring a little outdoor freshness to your plate.
400g White Fish, I use Hake. Skin & Bones removed, chopped finely
50g Preserved Lemon Skin, finely chopped
20g Fresh Mint, chopped
20g Fresh Coriander, chopped
20g Fresh Parsley, chopped
1 tsp Baharat
3 tbsp Olive Oil
Pea & Sumac Puree
500g Frozen Peas
2 tsp Sumac
3-4tbsp Olive Oil
Cracked Black Pepper to taste
1. Begin with the fishcakes. Mix everything in a large bowl until homogenous.
2. With damp hands, shape into 12 balls and pop into the fridge for 1 hour to firm up.
3. Meanwhile pour some boiling water over the peas and stand for 3 minutes.
4. Drain the peas.
5. Add to a blender along with the sumac and a pinch of salt. Blitz, adding the olive oil in a stream as you go. Taste and season with some black pepper. Set aside.
6. Heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan. Fry the fish cakes for 2 minutes each side, or until cooked through and golden. Drain and cook in batches.