Thursday, November 02, 2017

Maacher Chop - Fish Cakes

Maacher Chop
Usually served as a first course in a Bengali meal, these fish patties can be made with any fish, such as salmon, tuna or tilapia. Mashed potatoes are most commonly used for binding, but bread crumbs work too. The shape varies from the long, cylindrical croquettes to these round patties. Filleted fish is the easiest to work with because most of the bones have been removed, but an effort should be made to remove any remaining bones by hand.

The process is quite simple. The fish needs to be poached, flaked and deboned. Russet or baking potatoes have to be boiled for 20 minutes, peeled and mashed. Aromatics made up of onions, garlic, ginger, green chilies, mint and cilantro need to be minced and stir-fried before adding the fish and further stir-frying, seasoned with salt and a pinch of pepper. This needs to be cooled to room temperature before combining with mashed potatoes and formed into patties.

The easiest way to pan-fry these is to dredge the patties in flour before frying or for a crispy coating, they can be dipped in beaten eggs and panko crumbs. Decorate the serving platter with sliced onions, tomatoes and wedges of lime, pile the patties on and serve with sweet chili sauce, ketchup, tamarind or mint chutney.

1 lb. fish, poached, flaked and deboned
4 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 large onion, minced
1 Tbsp. ginger paste
1 Tbsp. garlic paste
2-3 green chilies, minced (deseeded, if necessary, to reduce heat)
1/4 cup cilantro, minced
8-10 sprigs mint, minced
1/2 tsp. Bengali garam masala powder
salt to taste
pinch of black pepper powder
1 russet or baking potato, boiled and mashed
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup panko crumbs
oil for pan-frying

  1. Heat 4 Tbsp. vegetable oil, add next 10 ingredients and stir-fry until onions turn tanslucent.
  2. Add flaked fish and stir-fry for another 3-4 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and bring to room temperature.
  4. Add half the beaten eggs and mashed potatoes and mix together.
  5. Form into patties or croquettes, dip in remaining beaten eggs, coat with panko and pan-fry until golden brown.
  6. Drain fish cakes on paper towels and serve with desired sauces.
These patties can be frozen after frying. To serve, add very little oil to a pan and place frozen patties in the oil, pan-fry on lowest heat setting, turning over once until heated through.

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