fish cake monkey.

Back in the NL. Happy to be shopping at my same old places again, American grocery store prices are fucking astronomical. $2.99 for a head of cauliflower. $2.99 for 2 twigs of rosemary. $3.99 for a bag of salad greens. I just walked around with my mouth hanging open for about 20 minutes at our local Publix, trying to find anything that didn't cost $2.99 (carrots were the lucky winner). I don't know how people are surviving.

My first dinner at home was another good welcome back moment: Mara's adaptation of saté lilit. She's been making it so often that we had all the necessary ingredients already, and it's easy to see why she's got this fish cake monkey on her back: this stuff is like crack. Made from fish.

Here's the original recipe I posted, but her version adds candlenuts and dried laos (galangal). In fact, she has most often made this with all dried spices, and though it's perhaps not as fragrant as using fresh, it's still definitely fish crack. It's really an excellent weeknight dinner (or breakfast), quick, easy, and cheap (she's been using tilapia or catfish as the protein), and made from ingredients that are completely non-exotic here in Mokum.


saté lilit (fish cake saté).


2 tbsp peanut oil
500gr mild white fish fillet (cod, tilapia, sea bass, catfish)
5 tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup thick coconut milk
5 kaffir lime leaves, very thinly sliced

5 shallots, chopped
5 candlenuts, smashed/chopped
1 red Holland chile or 1 tbsp sambal
1 tsp dried galangal (laos)
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp brown or palm sugar
1/2 tbsp sliced lemongrass (or 1 tsp dried lemongrass)
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
salt to taste

Toast candlenuts gently in medium-hot pan, 5 minutes or so. Add oil to pan and sauté shallots, sambal or chiles, and ground spices until fragrant. Stir in salt, sugar and garlic, remove from heat and allow to cool.

Finely chop fish fillet and combine with shredded coconut, three-quarters of the thick coconut milk and kaffir lime leaves. Stir and mix thoroughly. Add shallot/candlenut mixture and stir to combine thoroughly.

Now you can either form these into cakes or balls and bake them in the oven, or (hypothetically) mold them onto saté skewers and grill them. For the latter, shape 2 tablespoons fish mixture around a saté skewer. Press firmly until it sticks to the skewer. Grill the skewered fish over hot charcoal and brush with remaining coconut milk until cooked. Hypothetically.

Serve with sambal or other chili sauce.


No comments: