Fishcakes with sweet potato

This quick and easy recipe produces a meal that works almost as well cold as it does hot, providing content for a dinner party or picnic. The breakthrough that makes these fishcakes out of the ordinary is the use of sweet potato. The effect is dazzling, especially when you add the sauce…

Fishcakes with sweet potato
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To make hake fishcakes with sweet potato for four hungry diners, you will need:

  • 500g frozen hake fillets
  • 500g sweet potato
  • ½ cup parsley
  • 3 spring onions
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups fresh breakcrumbs
  • 1 cup flour 
  • Extra virgin 
  • olive oil on demand
  • 1 lime
  • Generous dash of Red Tabasco

And for the sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup plain yoghurt
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

We begin with the sweet potatoes. Scrub these under running water, then peel and cube. Boil these in lightly salted water under they are soft. Drain then mash them to a pulp. Reserve under cover. Chop the parsely, crush and chop the garlic and chop the spring onions, including the green tops. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl. If, as is most likely, you are using frozen hake, let the fillets thaw before the next procedure.

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Cut them into chunks and drop them into the receiving vessel of a food processor. Give them a couple of pulses until they are coarsely chopped. Depending on the size of your food processor, this may require a couple of batches. Pour the chopped hake into a large mixing bowl and stir in the mashed sweet potato, the dash of Red Tabasco, the chopped garlic, spring onions and parsely. Ensure the ingredients are uniformly distributed. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper and a little salt.

Wet your hands (to prevent the mixture sticking) and shape the fragrant mixture into a dozen fishcakes. Arrange these on a lightly floured work surface and flatten them with the heel of your hand. Lightly sprinkle the raw fishcakes with flour and dip each one first into the beaten egg mixture and then into a large bowl of fresh breadcrumbs. Ensure that the breadcrumbs coat the entire surface of each fishcake.

Select a large heavy-based frying pan, pour in a couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and bring this up to medium heat. Cook the fish cakes a few at a time for three minutes each side, turning once. When cooked right through, remove with a slotted spoon and let them drain on fresh paper towel. Mix the sauce ingredients with a fork and decant into a couple of small serving bowls. Serve with a wedge of fresh lime for each diner, plus mashed potato (sweet or regular), peas and corn.

A squeeze of lime juice and a teaspoon or so of the dill sauce sets off this magnificent dish to perfection. A simple green salad is a pleasing addition, as is an ice-cold Hansa Pilsener in a tall glass.

Contact David Basckin at [email protected]. Please state ‘Real cooking’ in the subject line of your email.