Lauraine Jacobs

Food & Wine Writer

12 January 2016

SMOKED KAHAWAI FISHCAKES

My husband Murray used to be disappointed if he caught a kahawai as his first love in fishing is to chase for kingfish. However once I started smoking the oily dark kahawai over manuka chips, he has changed his mind. Smoked fish is gorgeous when it’s warm and straight from the smoker, then as it cools it loses its appeal. So the leftover smoky flesh is perfect for fish cakes.

  • 250g smoked kahawai
  • 100g fresh white fish (gurnard, trevally, blue cod)
  • 2 potatoes, boiled or steamed
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tsps fresh thyme, chopped
  • Few sprigs parsley, chopped
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 2 tbsps butter
  • 2 tbsps flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 tbsps milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs

Combine the fish, potatoes, spring onion, herbs and lemon zest together in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped, leaving the mixture slightly chunky. Make a ‘panade’ to bond the cakes together. Melt the butter in a small saucepan, add the flour, cumin, salt and pepper with the bay leaf and stir until the flour starts to cook. Tip in the milk and stir constantly until thick and bubbling. Add this to the fish mixture, stirring in the lemon juice and season to taste. Cool the mixture and form into six large fishcakes. Beat the egg, and dip each fishcake in egg and coat with panko crumbs to cover completely. Refrigerate until needed. To cook, melt a little butter in some olive oil in a heavy frying pan and gently cook the cakes on both sides until they’re golden. Serve at once with a spicy chutney or lime-flavoured mayonnaise and salad. Serves 4-6