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    Fish cakes in tomato sauce

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    Fish cakes in tomato sauce

    By Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich

    These fish cakes are inspired by those we’ve enjoyed in Israel. They are herby, lemony and full of flavour, basking in a vivid tomato sauce. We often make double to ensure we have some leftovers to enjoy the next day, when they are arguably better – even when eaten cold straight from the fridge.

    • Preparation time: 20 minutes
    • Cooking time: 45 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 5 minutes 60 minutes 5 minutes

    Serves: 3 - 4


    3 tbsp olive oil
    1 large onion, chopped
    3 cloves garlic, crushed
    2 red chillies (or to taste), halved and deseeded, cut into thin slices
    1 lemon, ½ sliced, juice of ½
    1 tbsp ground cumin
    400g can chopped tomatoes
    2 tbsp tomato purée 

    Fish cakes
    400g white fish, skin and bones removed and finely diced (try bass, bream, hake or cod)
    ½ x 100g pack coriander, leaves finely chopped
    40g preserved lemons, pith and flesh removed, skin roughly chopped
    1 egg
    1 tbsp ground coriander
    2 tbsp breadcrumbs


    1. Start by making the fish cakes. In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together with a pinch of salt until well combined. Divide into 12 balls (about 40g each), then cover and put in the fridge to firm up.

    2. Meanwhile, heat a large saucepan over a medium-low heat and add the oil, onion, garlic and a pinch of salt. Sweat slowly, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Add the chilli and lemon slices; continue cooking for 10 minutes, then add the cumin and tomatoes. Increase the heat to high, add the tomato purée and mix well. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and continue cooking for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the lemon juice and season.

    3. Take the fish cakes out of the fridge and carefully put them into the sauce (don’t worry if the sauce doesn’t cover them entirely). Cover the pan and simmer for 8 minutes, then use a spoon to carefully turn them over. Half-cover the pan and cook for a further 8 minutes, until cooked through and the fish is opaque. Serve straight away with herby couscous or steamed white rice, if liked.

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