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Fish cakes and noodles in ginger and watercress broth
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Preparation time: 35 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 5 minutes
220g salmon, skinned
11/2 tbsp fish sauce
½ shallot, finely chopped
2 x 20g packs dill, finely chopped
2 salad onions, thinly sliced
1 lime, zest
1 Thai red chilli, sliced (optional)
2 tbsp sunflower oil
250g pack fine egg noodles
100g pack watercress
90g pack samphire
2 tbsp sunflower oil
2½ shallots, sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
30g fresh root ginger, finely chopped
3 tbsp fish sauce
1. Chop the salmon and haddock quite finely (but so the fish still has some texture), put in a bowl and mix in the fish sauce. Then add the shallot, ½ the dill, 1 salad onion, the lime zest and chilli, if using. Mix together well. Lightly grease a plate or tray with 1 tbsp sunflower oil. Take a lump of the fish cake mixture and form a patty about 4cm diameter with your hand; put on the greased plate. Repeat with the remaining mixture to make about 12.
2. For the broth, heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat; fry the sliced shallots until golden (about 8-10 minutes) – don’t let them burn. Add the garlic for about 1 minute, until golden, then transfer the mixture to a bowl and set aside (keep the frying pan for later). Meanwhile, put the ginger, fish sauce and 2 litres just-boiled water in a medium pan. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes, to let the ginger infuse.
3. Put the frying pan back on the heat with the remaining 1 tbsp oil and fry the fish cakes until golden on both sides (about 3-4 minutes); set aside. Prepare the noodles according to pack instructions. Drain and divide between 4 bowls with the watercress, the remaining salad onion and dill, a little black pepper, the samphire, the fried shallots and garlic, and the fish cakes. Bring the broth to a boil, then ladle into each bowl; this will cook the samphire and infuse additional flavour into the broth. Serve immediately.
Cook’s tip: If you're short on time, you can poach the fish cakes in the broth without frying them first – add them to the broth while it simmers and cook for 7-8 minutes.
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