Fish cakes with cucumber sauce
Recipe from Cat of Richmond, Va.
1/2 lb. firm white fish fillet
3 oz fresh string beans, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 stalk lemon grass, very finely sliced
1 tbsp. cilantro, finely chopped
1 or 2 finely minced Asian bird chiles or Serranos
1-2 tbsp. fish sauce
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. sugar
Oil for frying
5 tbsp. sugar
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 tsp. sea salt
3-5 Asian bird peppers or 2-3 serranos, pref. red, finely chopped
3 shallots, finely chopped
To Prepare sauce: Thinly slice cucumber, arrange in bowl, peeling is optional. Dissolve sugar in the boiling water. Stir in vinegar and salt. Pour this sauce over cucumber. Sprinkle with the chopped chiles and shallots. Chill.
Mince the fish. Combine it with the string beans, onion, lemon grass, cilantro, chiles, fish sauce, slightly beaten egg, cornstarch and sugar. Blend well. Shape fish mixture into patties 2" in diameter, 1/2" thick.
Preheat oil to 350 degrees F. Fry just a few at a time until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve fish patties warm, with cucumber sauce. Garnish with sprigs of cilantro, if you like it, right before serving.