Serves 6 (serving size: 1 patty, 1/2 cup rice, and about 2 1/2 tablespoons sauce)
Photo: Squire Fox; Styling: Kaitlyn Du Ross
1 1/4 cups light coconut milk, divided
1/2 cup chopped mango
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon red curry paste
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons lower-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
12 ounces tilapia, finely chopped
3/4 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs), divided
1/4 cup dry-roasted peanuts, finely chopped
3 tablespoons minced green onions
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons minced serrano chile
2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups hot cooked rice
How to Make It
Combine 1/4 cup coconut milk, mango, and next 4 ingredients (through soy sauce) in a mini food processor; process until smooth. Combine mango mixture and remaining 1 cup coconut milk in a small saucepan over high heat; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to 1 cup (about 10 minutes). Stir in lime juice.
Combine tilapia, 1/3 cup panko, and the next 8 ingredients (through eggs) in a large bowl; toss gently to combine. Using damp hands, shape mixture into 6 equal balls. Place remaining panko in a shallow dish. Coat balls in panko; gently press each ball into a (3-inch) patty.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add butter and oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add patties; cook 4 minutes on each side or until browned. Serve with sauce and rice.
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With a food processor, you can mix the cakes and make the sauce in 25 minutes. Use the amounts given as rough suggestions and don't mince everything with a knife. Just put all the fish cake ingredients in the FP and pulse till mixed. Make the little balls and chill. I did this before work. Took all of 10 min. After work, I put the sauce ingredients in the FP and pulsed till mixed. Reduced the sauce while I dipped the patties in the panko and fried them. Easy! I like tilapia, but couldn't find any that wasn't from China or Vietnam, where fishing practices are unsound, so I substituted Icelandic haddock. Plan on two patties per person unless you're very light eaters or have a lot of sides. I served with jasmine rice and steamed sugar snap peas.
Delicious, but this DOES NOT take 40 minutes to make. If you've cooked CL's recipes for a while you know that adding an extra hour to their cook time is always a safe idea. Taking into account cleaning, and with a side of forbidden black rice and stir fried baby bok choy, I'd say it took me close to three hours total. Then again, I have a small kitchen, only one knife, and a couple of cutting boards...and no one else to help prep and clean. Still, it was very tasty. It also took 5-6 minutes per side to cook the fish cakes and the sauce took an extra 5-10 minutes to reduce to 1 cup. Also, if you try to do 2 1/2 TBSP of sauce per serving...well...you'll find you don't have enough. Try 2 TBSP max, or perhaps 1 1/2 and see what you have left. If you can serve this atop some forbidden black rice, I highly recommend ti - the rice's nutty flavor really works well in this dish. Certainly time consuming, but I'd make it again, and would have no problem serving it for guests.
Read the other reviews about how long these took and with a couple of kitchen gadgets, you can shave a lot of time off the prep. First, put the coconut milk, mango, sugar, curry, vinegar, and soy into a glass measuring cup. Use an immersion blender to blend thoroughly. Place mixture into saucepan with rest of coconut milk, bring to a simmer, then heat on med-low until ready to serve. Add the lime juice just before serving. Place the peanuts, garlic cloves (mashed), ginger, chile into food processor and process until finely chopped. Add the onion, cilantro on top. Whisk the eggs with the fish sauce and dump over the top - then process until ground. Form patties and cook as directed. Took less than 30 minutes to prep. Really worth the effort. The entire family loved them. Even my finicky teenager who ate 2 of the fish cakes. Great with a quality chardonnay. Will definitely make this again and would serve it to guests in a heartbeat.
I have to agree with other reviewers that the mango coconut sauce was the better part of this recipe...I surely would like to make that again and use on chicken or pork, but the fish cakes themselves were not especially tasty. I did substitute cod for the tilapia, but all in all, they were pretty bland and I did use a whole serrano chile in the fish cake mix, but couldn't really taste it. Oh well, like I said, the sauce is a keeper!
My husband and I really enjoyed this recipe, but I agree with others who noted that it takes a lot more time than the recipe called for, so I would suggest adding an hour and a half for all of the prep. I made this recipe gluten-free, so just made my own gluten-free breadcrumbs and used them instead of the panko. I also added a little more jalapeno and when making it again, would add a bit more as we like a bit more spice. I substituted cashews for the peanuts and sprinkled some on top of the fish cakes and sauce. The sauce was delicious and as I made the full recipe, which was for six, we had enough left for our next dinner, along with the fish cakes. I am making this again tonight with the fish cakes and sauce I froze last week. In addition, I have made a mango salsa to put on top. All-in-all, this is a really tasty dish, which I will be making again. Tilapia is wonderful, versatile fish, and the mango coconut curry sauce is a worthy complement. Highly recommend this recipe!
Flavors were great, but I could not get the cakes to stick together. They fell apart, and I ended up having a fish stir fry. Flavor was grand, but I was frustrated to have taken all that time, to have them fall apart in the pan.
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