Active Time
1 HR
Total Time
1 HR 15 MIN
Yield
Serves : makes 18 fish cakes

How to Make It

Step 1    

In a food processor, combine the 2 1/2 tablespoons of vegetable oil with the eggs, red curry paste, sugar, fish sauce, shallot, the minced garlic cloves and 1/2 cup of the chopped halibut and process until a fairly smooth paste forms.

Step 2    

Put the remaining chopped halibut in a large bowl. Add the fish paste, 1/4 cup of the bread crumbs and the white pepper and stir to combine thoroughly. Cover the mixture and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour or overnight.

Step 3    

In a medium saucepan, heat 1/4 inch of oil until shimmering. Add the sliced garlic cloves and cook over moderately low heat until golden brown and crisp, about 3 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the garlic to a small plate.

Step 4    

Add enough oil to the pan to reach 2 inches up the sides and heat the oil to 300°. Meanwhile, spread the remaining 1 cup of bread crumbs in a shallow bowl. With your hands, gently form the fish mixture into 18 oval cakes. Dredge the cakes in the bread crumbs until lightly coated. Set a wire rack over a large baking sheet.

Step 5    

Fry 4 fish cakes at a time, turning them a few times, until browned and crisp, about 3 minutes. Adjust the heat to keep the oil at 300°. Drain the fish cakes on a wire rack set over a large baking sheet. Transfer the fish cakes to a platter and sprinkle the fried garlic chips on top.

Step 6    

Arrange the lettuce leaves, cucumber and herbs on a large platter. Put the bean sprouts and Nuoc Cham Sauce in separate bowls. Place a fish cake in a lettuce leaf, add a few slices of cucumber, herb sprigs and bean sprouts and roll up to make a package. Dip in the Nuoc Cham and eat.

Make Ahead

The fish cake mixture can be refrigerated overnight.

Suggested Pairing

The spicy red curry paste in these cakes needs a white wine with some heft and richness, which the French grape variety Viognier tends to take on when it's grown in California's warm climate.

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