Sweet Chilli Mackerel Fishcakes with Soy & Garlic Pak Choi

I like a good, long title. I did have a short nap after writing that, but I’m confident that most of this post is actually finished now – that was definitely the hard bit.

As you are probably aware by now, I am deeply and passionately in love with Wagamama. I haven’t had a single thing there that I haven’t wanted to bathe in (probably easier with ramen than, for example, donburi) – our most recent discovery was their wok-fried greens.

Hoh momma.

Isla and I can’t go to Wagamama now without ordering this on the side; it’s an unbelievably moreish and savoury dish, and we’re a bit obsessed. So obviously I had to try making it at home.

Additional context: I am too extra for my own good and spent slightly too much on the food/drink for Isla’s Harry Potter party. I am therefore using up stuff from the fridge, freezer, and cupboards at present in an effort to redeem myself through frugality. Luckily for me I’m always a little extra, so I had some peppered mackerel fillets in the freezer! I mean, who doesn’t?

The pak choi was a new acquisition, but I got two of them for about 80p at Morrison’s, marked down, so I don’t feel too bad about that.

Anyway – let’s get cooking!

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Sweet Chilli Mackerel Fishcakes with Soy & Garlic Pak Choi (Pescetarian)

Serves 2 (6 fishcakes)
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

Equipment

Saucepan; large frying pan; potato masher; flat-bottomed mixing bowl; colander; tongs or slotted spoon; spatula/fish slice for flippin’.

Equipment

For the fishcakes:

  • 140g smoked mackerel
  • 300g potato (peeled weight – about 375g unpeeled)
  • 2 tsp sweet chilli sauce
  • 20-25g panko breadcrumbs
  • Salt & pepper
  • Splash of oil

For the pak choi

  • 2 pak choi
  • 2 tbsp low salt soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sweet chilli sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp oyster sauce (optional)
  • 1/2 fresh chilli (optional)

Method

  1. Boil a kettle! Put a saucepan on medium-high heat! Arm the cannons! If you don’t have cannons skip to the next step, which is prepping the potatoes. Peel your potatoes and cut them into bite-sized chunks, then add to the saucepan, covering with boiled water. You don’t need to put the lid on if you, like me, have a tendency to react far too slowly to a pan boiling over. Cook the potatoes until tender – around 10-15 minutes depending on the size of yer chunks, then drain them and leave them to steam a little in the saucepan, allowing them to cool slightly.
  2. Put your frying pan on a medium heat and prepare your pak choi and garlic. Cut off the bottom end of each of the pak choi “bulbs” that joins all the leaves together and separate them out, discarding any itty bitty leaves from the centre. Cut each leaf lengthways all the way through the stem, then rinse thoroughly. Peel and finely slice the garlic. Throw the pak choi in the pan and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally, while you prepare the fishcakes.
  3. Add the slightly cooled potatoes to your mixing bowl and mash thoroughly. Remove the skin from the mackerel and flake it in, then add a pinch of salt, some pepper (I used peppered mackerel fillets, so skipped this), the breadcrumbs and the sweet chilli sauce. Mix it all together to form the fishcake “dough”, then use your hands to make six patties out of the mixture. Wash your hands before proceeding – though you will smell of mackerel for quite some time. Sorry, kids.
  4. Going back to your pak choi, add in the garlic, sweet chilli sauce, soy sauce, and oyster sauce, if using. Stir or toss the pak choi in the sauce and cook for a couple of minutes more. I just plated mine up at this point, as it should still be warm when you’ve finished the fishcakes, but you can put the pak choi in an oven-proof dish and keep it in the oven on low if you’d prefer.
  5. Onto the fishcakes. No need to wipe the pan, just add a splash of oil and get down to business. Add the patties to the pan and cook for a few minutes on either side, until golden brown and getting slightly crisp. Serve alongside the pak choi, and add some chopped fresh chilli if you fancy.

Like I said, I’ve actually made the pak choi twice now – I left out the garlic the second time, but it was still delicious! Served alongside teriyaki mushroom rice and a quick cucumber & chilli pickle, it needed just the one pan — and we all know how much I love that:

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Bonus recipe! Sort of:

To make the rice, just get a packet of Tilda microwave mushroom rice and cook according to packet instructions. Meanwhile slice up around 200g of mushrooms – dealer’s choice – and cook in a hot pan with 2 tbsp teriyaki sauce until tender. Add the rice to the pan and cook for a further minute or so with a handful of chopped coriander, then serve with the pak choi. The pickle is just thinly sliced red chilli, cucumber ribbons – a vegetable peeler does the trick – and a few tablespoons of white wine vinegar, along with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Mix together and leave for 5 minutes or so, then serve.

Don’t say I never give you anything.

Hattie

P.S. No, I’m not going to address how long it’s been since my last post. Time is an illusion and also I’M SO SORRY.

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