Food is like time travel – I always say that and a recipe like this does transport me to my childhood in Durban. Aromas would waft out the kitchen and I would soak up warm scented air. My gran would make up a batch of these and it would be served at special occasions. She never measured anything…and never missed a beat with her cooking. She was like a magician, just adding a pinch of this and a sprinkle of that and miraculously she would turn out the most delicious meals.
During my childhood I noticed that men and women didn’t hang out together at functions. The women congregated in the kitchen and the men would sit outside. The men would make frequent trips to the ‘car boot’ which was where the booze was stashed. Nobody ever real boozed openly – Boozing was man business and they left the cooking and child minding up to the women folk! Makes you think about how much things have changed!
For this recipe, I used tinned middle cut mackerel. Tinned fish was never popular in our home and only acceptable in fish cake format. I like these fish cakes super spicy, but reduce the green chilli for a milder version. Do you remember these from your childhood.
I cooked these in an AMC 28cm Chef’s Pan. If you are a little nervous about the cakes falling apart and sticking to the pan, start out by lightly greasing the skillet with a slick on non stick spray. Then heat up the sunflower oil, and fry the cakes until golden brown. The non stick spray is just a little ‘insurance policy’! I did a more summery fish cake recipe on Mela just recently using steamed hake and then baked them instead of frying. Check out the video here, https://yudhikayumyum.com/2015/01/26/mela-summer-sizzler-fish-cakes/ – you can also head over to the Mela facebook page for the latest recipes.
I featured this recipe a few weeks ago in the Post Newspaper, don’t forget to pick up your copy and enter the AMC competition!
2 x 410g tins middle cut Mackerel
500g potatoes, boiled in skin
1 onion, finely chopped
10ml crushed garlic
60g coriander, chopped
8 green chillies, finely chopped
10ml ground cumin
10ml ground coriander
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
1 egg, lightly beaten
Bread crumbs, to coat
Sunflower oil, to shallow fry cakes
Lemon wedges, to serve
Drain off the liquid from the tinned Mackerel.
Place the pieces in a mixing bowl.
Scrape the fish to remove the dark meat of the mackerel and the bones as well.
Rinse lightly under a slow trickle of running water to wash away little bones.
Flake the fish into a mixing bowl.
Skin the potatoes and grate them into the bowl.
Add the garlic, fresh coriander and green chillies.
Sprinkle the powdered spices into the mixture.
Season with salt, add the egg and the egg yolk.
Mix well to combine.
Mould the mixture into little patties and place them on a baking sheet lined with baking paper.
Refrigerate the fish cakes until firm – this takes about an hour.
Dip the cakes into the beaten egg and toss them in bread crumbs to coat.
Heat an AMC 28cm Chefs Pan and once hot, spray over a thin layer of non stick spray, then pour in sunflower oil.
Fry the cakes in batches until they are golden brown.
Serve hot with lemon wedges and dipping sauces.