Vietnamese-style fish cakes – The Silver Spoon #7

fish-cake-1So over the weekend my brothers decided to be all manly and stuff and went deep sea fishing. They were pretty successful, and amongst a few things managed to catch a shark! (That’s pretty manly.) As a result, I found myself with one and a half kilos of shark meat and a big question – what on earth do I do with one and a half kilos of shark?

I’m not a big cooker of fish to begin with since I always somehow manage to stuff it up, which generally results in a horrible dinner and a terrible sense of guilt for ruining a beautiful (and often expensive!) piece of fish. Dissatisfied bellies and sad faces all round.

I happened upon this Vietnamese fish cake recipe by Luke Nguyen on the SBS Food Safari site (how badly do I want the Food Safari lady’s job!) and after a few modifications came up with these lovely little morsels! I think due to the nature of shark meat the fish cakes came out quite firm and “meaty”, but I think it actually worked well and tasted great. I enjoyed mine dipped in sweet chilli sauce and washed them down with a cold glass of home-brewed iced jasmine tea. I still have at least thirty of these fishy bites left (I used all the shark in one go) and I think I’ll try them next on a bed of rice noodles with lettuce leaves, mint, bean sprouts and shredded carrot…


  • 500g fish fillets, cubed (the original recipe calls for Spanish mackerel)
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 garlic clove, finely diced
  • 4 shallots, diced
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying
  • Sweet chilli sauce for serving

How to:

  1. Place all ingredients (except vegetable oil and sweet chilli sauce) in a food processor and process until all ingredients are incorporated into a paste. If you’re more dedicated than me, you can use a mortar and pestle rather than a food processor and pound the fix mixture until it gets a more elastic consistency.
  2. Make patties out of the mixture, roughly 5cm in diameter and 2cm thick. Oil your hands so the fish doesn’t stick to you.
  3. Heat the oil in a wok or other large non-stick pan over medium heat. Fry the fish cakes in batches and fry for 3-4 minutes each side until golden.
  4. And that’s it! Serve with sweet chilli sauce for dipping.

P.S. Check out the giant chilli from my garden! Its “parent” plant had normal-sized chillis so who knows why this one has mutated!fish-cake-2fish-cake-3fish-cake-4

4 Comments on “Vietnamese-style fish cakes – The Silver Spoon #7

  1. Was it that Great White so in the news at the moment? Now THAT would be super-manly!!

    • Hi Anna! It most certainly would’ve been manly, but then I would’ve been stuck trying to figure out what to do with one and a half TONNES of shark instead!

      Sarah 🙂

  2. You have home brewed jasmine tea?? Woman…what can you NOT do? And when do I get another invite to your house? There seems to be so many changes that its all brand new old! 🙂

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