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Panko-crumbed Mackerel Fishcakes

with sweet and sour cucumbers, red currant and onion relish

Serves 4

Mackerel Fish Cakes

700g potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
5 tbsp crème fraîche
½ bunch chopped dill
Zest of 1 lemon
800g boneless mackerel fillet, skin on
600ml water
1 brown onion, halved, skin on
2 cloves garlic, smashed, skin on
1 large bay leaf
1 tsp black peppercorns
Salt and pepper to taste

For Crumbing

100g plain flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
200g Panko bread crumbs
Sunflower oil for shallow frying

Method

1. In a large pot boil the potatoes until tender, drain well then return them to the pot, mash well and stir through mustard, crème fraîche, dill and lemon juice. Set aside.

2. In a large pot add the 600ml of water, brown onion, garlic, bay leaf and peppercorns. Bring to a simmer on a medium heat then gently place the mackerel fillet into the simmering liquid. Cook for 5-10 minutes until the fish is translucent and just beginning to flake apart.

3. Remove the fish from the simmering liquid and discard the skin. Drain on absorbent paper towel to absorb any excess liquid.

4. Break the cooked fish into large flakes, placing them in a large bowl, next gently fold through the warm mashed potato mixture; season to taste.

5. Divide the mixture into 8-10 portions, shaping them with clean hands into patties.

6. Create a crumbing station by placing flour on one plate, the Panko bread crumbs on another and begin coating each fishcake patty in the following order: flour, egg wash then Panko bread crumbs. Repeat the same steps once to ensure a generous coating.

7. Over a moderate heat in a large frying pan, shallow fry the fishcakes in sunflower oil 1cm deep. Fry in batches of 3 patties until golden on each side (approximately 3-4 minutes a side) and drain well on absorbent paper towel.

Sweet and Sour Cucumbers

1 large continental cucumber, thinly sliced
½ cup white wine vinegar
½ cup water
3 tbsp white sugar
2 tbsp pickling spice mix
½ cup finely chopped fresh dill

Method

1. In a small saucepan add vinegar, water, sugar and pickling spice mix. Over a low heat slowly bring to a simmer, cook for 3-4 minutes to infuse flavours. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.

2. Add the chopped dill and sliced cucumbers to the saucepan and gently stir through. Allow flavours to infuse for a further 15 minutes.
Red Currant and Onion Relish

2 medium red onions, peeled and finely diced
1 red capsicum, seeded and cut into small chunks
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 long red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 small knob of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
200ml red wine vinegar
100g brown sugar
1 tsp five-spice powder
200g fresh or dried red currants

Method

1. Place all ingredients into a large, heavy-based saucepan and slowly bring to the boil over a medium heat.

2. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes until slightly reduced in volume and liquid becomes syrupy.

3. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.

To Serve

Serve 2 fishcakes per plate with a side of sweet and sour cucumbers and a generous spoon of red currant and onion relish. Garnish with salt flakes and dill.