Tuesday, February 23, 2010

How to Make Proper Fish Cakes

This month's guest blogger is a good friend Penny of Jeroxie. If Penny and I were to hang out, I could imagine us trying new restaurants together all over the city whether in Metro Manila or in Melbourne. We'll eat and shop till we drop. But here's a light, refreshing dish from Penny that would tantalize and tickle your taste buds.

Have you ever wondered why some home made fish cakes or fish balls are more bouncy than others? I found this traditional method while surfing the net one day and had made many fish cakes and fish balls ever since. As all good and simple things in life, it takes a little more time and effort. I tend to curse and swear quietly as my arms will feel so sore after continuous slapping of the fish mixture. But as always, it is very rewarding and satisfying.

I was totally thrilled when Divina asked for me to be her guest blogger. I offered to do it this month as my garden was still pretty bare in January. With my very late planting, it means that my tomatoes aren't ready but delighted that the rest of my herbs are flourishing. Therefore, all the herbs used in the fish mixture is from the garden.

From the garden


Fish cake
  • 1.1kg of trevally
  • 11/2 tbsp of fish sauce
  • 4 finely chopped red chillies
  • A handful of finely chopped parsley
  • A handful of finely chopped coriander
  • A handful of finely chopped spring onions
  • Salt and white pepper

Minced fish with chopped herbs

Simple Salad
  • 2 small carrots, finely julienned
  • 2 small cucumbers, skinned, de-seeded and finely sliced
  • 4 cherry capsicums, finely diced
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 16 grapes, halved
  • Good quality olive oil

A simple salad of grapes, cucumbers, tomatoes and carrots

  • Scrape the flesh off the skin with a porcelain soup spoon. Remove any bloodline and bones if any. Use a chopped and mince it. Place the minced fish in a big metal bowl
  • Add all the ingredients for the fish cake except the fish sauce and mix it through. Start grabbing a handful of fish mixture and slap it against the side of the metal. (Watch the youtube video below) It takes awhile and be prepared for sore arms later!
  • Since the mixture becomes sticky, add the fish sauce and continue till the mixture looks like fish mash
  • Shape the fish cake and add it to the hot pan with olive oil. Bring the heat down to medium and shallow fry it till they are lightly brown on both sides or cooked
  • For the salad, mix all the ingredients together and just add olive oil
  • Serve the fish cakes and the salad together.

Fish cake with simple salad

For this post, I have especially made my first iMovieyoutube video and hopefully it illustrates how the fish slapping is done. Would love to hear your feedback.

I had so much fun making this and kicked myself for not trying to find more time to make this more often. It made a very light and refreshing Sunday brunch for Mister and myself. I guess this is the healthier and yummy option to our usual bacon and eggs menu! :)

Thanks Divina for the opportunity to guest blog.

Thanks Penny for your time and for the wonderful recipe. I will be making this really soon.

Love and light,

Print Recipe


  1. Penny, thank you so much for the video and showing us how you scrape the flesh from the skin and how to do the slapping method. It looks heavy but it does give you an arm workout. :)

  2. And thanks Divina for this opportunity to show off my 'slap the fish' skills!

  3. The fish cake looks mouthwatering good. Must be very tender and juicy.

  4. Great post, I didn't know that slapping the fish would make it light and fluffy, will have to try it out!

  5. What a cool video! And it sounds like a great recipe-thanks for doing all of the practise and trying out different recipes for us! :)

  6. Great to show on video! Love every bit of the fish cake......beautiful and delicious. I wish I can get fresh fish here to make these. Great post by Penny.

  7. Great video. I remember how my mum used to scrape the fish meat and then slap it on the chopping board real hard!

  8. Wonderful post - thanks Penny and Divina! Ummm... there's no sound to the video, correct? I was wanting to hear Penny's voice!!! But great tip - I had no idea that that's what you had to do to make the fish lighter and fluffier. Will use this next time I make some and will definitely try this recipe!

  9. The video is really informative. The fish cakes look very light and good for you. I cant wait to try it.

  10. such a great recipe and the slapping is new to me ... will certainly give it a try and think of you everytime

  11. What a cool technique, I can't wait to try it. And how great is it that you used fresh herbs and things from your garden? Excellent guest post!!

  12. Thanks for another great recipe, Penny! This is definitely a case where the ingredients are simple and it all comes down to technique. It does look like a lot of fun, in a take-out-your-aggressions-on-minced-fish way! 8-D

  13. oh this recipe is a keeper. But i wld really be sore after the slapping around but like u say it is totally worth it!!! TQ

  14. Slap that fish, Penny! Show it who's boss! Love the video and the recipe too :)

  15. you have done it again Penny, another fantastic recipe! I love the video you made, it's very helpful for those who are new to making fish cakes.

  16. Good job, Penny girl! You did well with the fish meat. I must say I do not slap the meat but throwing them on & on from a certain height.

  17. They look so delicate and yummy! I love the addition of fresh parsley and coriander!

  18. Thanks guys for all the lovely comments. Just to note, slapping makes the fish dense but bouncy. if it goes through a mixer, it is usually very crumbly.no binding agent required. So it is just pure pure fish goodness :)
    Will love to hear you go if you do try it.

  19. Great guest post! I love fish cakes! They look wonderful!

  20. Oh fantastic, this is even better than I expected - gluten free! I can safely make it for my mum! Hurrah :)

  21. Wow, those sure look yummy! I am definitely going to have to try this one!

  22. The two of you would definitely have culinary fun am sure! Its great to use herbs from your garden Penny. Good pictures and fish slapping is new to me! Great post!

  23. This site is very important site for the fish food. Many people can want how can they make fish food or chop.This site is very important for the people to know about this.


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