1 pound (drained weight) Alaska Pollock, Sole, or Flounder
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon Thai sweet chili sauce
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
1 tablespoon very finely minced fresh ginger
1 egg white
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
1/4 cup finely diced carrot
2 tablespoons Sriracha
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1/2 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Vegetable oil for cooking
Garnish: cilantro sprig
Fish cakes: Before weighing out fish, press out any excess moisture, cut out any bones, and then pat fish dry. Cut fish into coarse chunks. Refrigerate if not making fish cakes immediately.
In a bowl, mix cornstarch, soy sauce, lime juice, and chili sauce until smooth. Stir in garlic, ginger, egg white, and half of the fish. Transfer mixture to a food processor and process for about 20 seconds, until coarsely pureed but not a paste. Add the remaining fish, chopped cilantro, green onion, and carrot, and pulse in just to mix evenly but with some of the fish texture still remaining. The recipe can be made to this point and then covered and refrigerated, for up to 4 hours, before portioning.
With a #40 scoop, portion mixture onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. Form into 1 1/2- to 1 3/4-inch cakes. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Sauce: Combine the ingredients, cover, and refrigerate.
For service: Heat a non-stick sauté pan with a little vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Cook a few fish cakes at a time for about 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until lightly golden. Serve immediately, accompanied with sauce for dipping. Garnish with cilantro.
Additional serving/cooking method: Skewer the fish cakes or form the mixture around wooden pupu picks. Flash bake in a preheated 450-degree F convection oven on a well-oiled or pan-sprayed sheet pan for about 3 minutes. Turn the cakes over with a spatula and bake for another 3 to 4 minutes or until just cooked through.
Optional garnish: Serve with butter lettuce leaves and mint and cilantro sprigs.
Fragrant Thai Mojito
Makes 1 drink
2 sprigs mint
1 sprig Thai basil or cilantro
2 ounces Lemon Grass-Infused Rum (recipe follows)
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
3/4 ounce simple syrup*
1 ounce soda water
Garnish: lime wheel skewered with a piece of lemon grass, and small mint sprig
Tear herbs and drop into a mixing glass. Measure in infused rum, lime juice, and simple syrup. Fill with ice, cap, and shake. Fill a tall glass with fresh ice. Add in soda water and then strain drink over the fresh ice. Garnish with skewered lime wheel and mint.
*Combine 1 cup sugar with 1 cup hot water and stir until well combined and sugar is dissolved. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
Lemon Grass-Infused Rum
Makes 3 cups
1 stalk fresh lemon grass
1 (750 ml) bottle white rum
Split lemon grass down its length. Remove a few ounces of rum from the bottle and set aside for later use. Insert lemon grass into bottle and replace cap. (Add rum back in if it will fit.) Let sit a minimum of 2 days to infuse before using.