Sunday, June 19, 2005

tod man

fish and shrimp cakes, Thai style

another recipe i learned while sitting in front of the tv with my newborn first baby. we didn't have cable then so it was the local public television station, WGBH. it seemed so easy! and i could make so much more for the price of a take out order!
the wild lime leaves are widely available in Asian grocers here and really, there is no substitute for the strong floral note it lends to dishes...lime zest is a wimpy stand-in. i recommend grabbing a pack if you ever see one and store in the freezer.

wild lime leaves

recipe from "The Frugal Gourmet."

3/4 lb. chopped peeled deveined shrimp
1/2 lb. ground fish fillets (i used bluefish, it was the freshest looking one in the bunch, but you can use other firm fleshed fish like snapper, sea bass, etc..)
3 stalks of yard long beans, sliced thinly
2 eggs
2 tbsps. cornstarch
fish sauce, salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 leaves of wild "Kaffir" lime, cut down the middle, spine removed and snipped very finely, or 1 tsp. lime zest
1 tbsp. red curry paste (i used Maesri brand).

mix all ingredients. drop by the rounded tablespoonful into very hot oil (preheated to 350F) and deep fry about 4 minutes total, allowing the oil to heat up before adding each scoop.
drain on paper towels and serve with cucumber-red onion pickles or the following dip:

green chili dipping sauce:
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 long green chili, seeds and veins removed and sliced thinly
2 bird chilis, if you can take them, seeded, finely sliced
2 tbsps. fresh lime juice
1 tbsp. grated palm sugar or brown sugar
2 tbsps. fish sauce

mix together until sugar dissolves. add more or less of above ingredients, according to your taste.