Turmeric Fish Cakes

12 months+, Toddler, Kid, Adult

We've discussed the superduperfood status of fish previously here. Fish is so important for the developing (and developed!) brain that we really ought to be mindful about ensuring our kids and families get enough good quality, low mercury fish in their diets. Like we mentioned above regarding DHA, the omega-3 fatty acids in fish are not only critical for brain function but also keep unwanted inflammation in the body in check. If you're kids don't love fish, don't worry. These tasty and comforting patties will likely please the pickiest eaters. Let's get cooking!

6-8 fish cakes

1 stalk lemongrass
2/3 cup coconut milk
5 black peppercorns
1/4 inch piece of fresh ginger grated 
1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
250 g cod or other white flaky fish like haddock
1 large starchy potato like Russet peeled and roughly chopped
2 teaspoons freshly chopped dill
1/2 lemon, zested
1/2 cup flour for dusting
1 egg
1/2 - 1 cup breadcrumbs for coating
1 cup plain Greek yoghurt
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Coconut oil for frying

Bruise the lemongrass stalk by smashing the white bulb with a knife or a pestle until fragrant. In a pot large enough to accommodate the fish, bring the coconut milk, lemongrass, peppercorns, ginger and 1/4 teaspoon turmeric to a low boil on a medium flame, stirring occasionally. Let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes until the flavors have infused the milk. Add the fish and continue to simmer for 7-8 minutes on very low heat with the lid on. Turn the heat off and let the pot rest, covered, for another 5 minutes until the fish is cooked through. Remove the fish with a slotted spoon onto a plate and set aside to cool. 

Add the chopped potatoes to salted, boiling water and cook until tender but not mushy for about 10-15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and return to the pot over a low flame, mashing with a fork or masher until they are dry. Add the fish, 1 tablespoon of the coconut milk mixture, the remaining 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, dill, lemon zest, salt and pepper and mix well without over-mashing the fish. Taste for seasoning adding more salt if necessary. 

Mould the mash into fish cakes about 4 inches in diameter, packing them firmly. Prepare 3 plates or shallow bowls - one with flour, one with a beaten egg and one with breadcrumbs into an assembly line. Coat the fish cakes in the flour, transfer to the egg mixture and coat well with a brush and finally cover with breadcrumbs. Place in freezer for 30 minutes. 

Mix the yoghurt, olive oil and salt to taste for the dipping sauce. Once the fish cakes have set, heat the coconut oil on a high flame and pan fry the fish cakes for 5 minutes on each side without overcrowding the pan. Drain the patties of excess oil on a paper towel. Serve the fish cakes with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and dollops of the yoghurt mixture with chopped dill. If your kids hate 'green grassy things', skip the garnish - I did so for a toddler potluck and they were a giant hit. 

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