These king prawn fish cakes are so simple, but when served with an asian broth that’s infused with star anise & ramsons (wild garlic), you’ve got a rather special dish.
Yep, The Champ and I have been out picking wild garlic once again, it’s pretty addictive actually! Spring has well and truly sprung and the woods across the road from us are absolutely packed with ramsons, they’ve literally taken over the place so my little girl and I have been all over it, picking a big bag full once or twice a week. It’s a really nice thing to do with little ones as everything is ground height, so they can pick away without needing to be lifted up to reach everything. She loves it and even points it out when we’re on a walk, supreme foraging skills for someone who’s not even three!
The wild garlic is used in a few different ways. First, it’s finely shredded and mixed into these delicious king prawn fish cakes. They’re more like mini seafood burgers than fish cakes to be honest but they’re completely delicious! I blitzed up the prawns with some cod, but any meaty white fish will do – choosing one with MSC certification is a good way of keeping things sustainable. The cod and prawns go really nicely with the gentle garlicky flavour from the ramsons and a little shallot & chilli helps pimp up the flavours a notch too.
Once the fish cakes are perfectly grilled, they’re served in a really fragrant asian broth. I got some good quality shellfish stock (mine was shop-bought but make you’re own if you’re feeling fancy) then added some star anise, a pinch of sugar, a good squeeze of lime and plenty of fish sauce, it’s packed with flavour but so quick and easy to throw together. The broth is loaded with more wild garlic and a few beansprouts to add a nice crunch. Finally, things are finished off with lightly toasted fennel seeds and peanuts, as well as a final flourish of those delicious wild greens (Here’s another beautiful wild garlic recipe too)
Ingredients Fish cakes 2 tbsps peanut/sunflower oil 2 shallots, finely chopped 2 Birdseye chillis, seeds removed & finely chopped 200g cod fillets (or other white fish) 180g raw king prawns, peeled & deveined 6 wild garlic leaves, finely chopped 1 tsp fish sauce Asian Broth 500ml shellfish stock 1 star anise 1/2 tbsp palm sugar (use brown sugar if unavailable) Juice of a lime Fish sauce, to taste 2 handfuls of ramsons 1 handful of beansprouts Other ingredients Peanut oil A sprinkle of toasted peanuts, chopped 1 tsp toasted fennel seeds A small handful of wild garlic, finely shredded
Heat oil & gently sweat the shallots & chilli for 3-4 minutes, until softened. Allow to cool. In a processor pulse the cod and half the prawns for 20 seconds (retain some of the texture) and add to mixing bowl along with cooled shallots/chilli. Roughly chop remaining prawns & add to bowl with other fish cake ingredients. Mix well & divide into 10 equal sized patties. Refrigerate for 45 minutes (1).
In a large saucepan, bring the stock & star anise to a gentle simmer (2). Sprinkle in sugar & squeeze in lime. Add a dash of fish sauce & taste. Depending on the stock you may need more or less fish sauce so keep adding and tasting until you’re happy with the flavour.
Heat a griddle pan until nice and hot. Brush the chilled fish cakes with a little oil and grill for 3 minutes, flip and repeat. (3) divide fish cakes between two soup bowls.
Add the beansprouts to the stock and cook for a minute. Add the wild garlic and cook for one more minute. Add the beansprouts and wild garlic to soup bowls, ladle over stock and finish with peanuts, fennel seeds and shredded greens.
- Refrigerating allows the fish cakes to firm up and should prevent them from coming apart when cooking.
(2) Don’t allow stock to boil as it causes it to become cloudy.
(3) Don’t move the fish cakes around lots whilst they’re cooking or they’re liable to come apart. Place on the griddle, leave them to firm up and gain colour, then they will be much easier to flip and should retain their shape.