Thai Fishcakes with Cucumber Dipping Sauce
Hot, spicy and wonderfully moreish – these delicious fish cakes make a fabulous first course, especially if the rest of the meal has a spicy theme.
Makes 6-8
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

For the curry paste:
4-6 green chillies, de-seeded and roughly chopped
2 shallots, roughly chopped
5cm/2in of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Small bunch of fresh coriander
2 lemongrass stalks, chopped
1 lime, grated zest & juice
8 kaffir leaves, torn into pieces
1 tbsp coriander seeds, crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp black peppercorns, crushed
2 tsp Thai fish sauce or light soy sauce
3 tbsp olive oil
For the fish cakes:
2 tbsp Thai Green Curry Paste
1 free range egg
300g white fish, skin removed, cut into chunks
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp cornflour
3 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced
1 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
10 green beans, finely chopped
Flour, for dusting
Vegetable oil for deep frying
For the Dipping Sauce:
60ml water
75ml rice vinegar
50g sugar
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 cucumber, peeled and finely chopped
4 shallots, finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
Watercress, to serve
1.    To make the curry paste, Place all the ingredients into a food processor and blitz to a paste.  You can use the paste straight away or store in a jar in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
2.    For the dipping sauce, put the water, vinegar and sugar into a pan and place over a medium heat, bring to the boil.  Stir until the sugar had dissolved, remove from the heat and allow to cool.
3.    When cool add the garlic, cucumber, shallots and ginger.  Mix together then pour into a serving bowl.
4.    Put 2 tbsp of curry paste, egg and fish into a food processor and pulse until smooth.  Place the fish mixture into a bowl and mix in the fish sauce, sugar, cornflour, lime leaves, coriander and green beans. 
5.    Mould the mixture into fish cakes (approx 7.5cm/3in in diameter) with floured hands, you should be able to make 6-8.
6.    Half fill a deep heavy based pan with the oil, test the oil is ready by dropping in a breadcrumb – it is ready when it sizzles and turns brown.  Add the fishcakes in batches and fry for 3-4 minutes until crisp and golden brown.  Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
7.    To serve, place the watercress on a large serving plate and top with the fishcakes.  Serve the dipping sauce alongside.


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