Yesterday I found myself looking into the fridge seeking inspiration for our evening meal. I was faced with a motley crew of ageing vegetables and very little else. There was one shining light, a packet of smoked mackerel that had been bought for Z's lunches. For reasons that I might come to another day, Z hasn't been taking lunch with her to work this week, so the mackerel was in danger of being wasted.
Z regularly makes fish cakes for her and R's lunches at home. I never get a look in so I decided to knock up a batch myself. It was then I noticed that amongst the sorry looking salad in the fridge, sat the beginnings of a Thai curry. There is nothing unusual about a Thai fish cake but I was unsure about the combination of Thai aromatics and smoked fish.
I decided to make a Western, potato based, fish cake and add the Thai flavours to the mix in the hope that the smoked fish wouldn't be too over powering. To the smoked mackerel and mashed potato I added spring onions, garlic, ginger, chilli and coriander. I didn't bother with fish sauce as I presumed that the mackerel would be fishy enough.
Standard British fish cakes are usually served with peas and I wanted something along those lines to have with mine tonight. Having searched the internet I came across Pad Prig King or Green Beans and shrimp. Steamed green beans fried in red curry paste, is without a doubt the easiest side dish I have ever cooked. I left out the shrimp but I can see how their sweetness would work in the dish.
I served the fish cakes and green beans with jasmine rice. I was nervous when I took my first bite of the fish cakes, they smelled superb but I was still unsure about the clash of flavours. I needn't have worried. The fish cakes were great and the aromatics worked really well with the smoked fish with no individual flavour dominating. I know that the meal wasn't authentic but I'd rather make good tasting food than let it go to waste. With that in mind, Tonight's meal was a huge success.