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Monday, November 16, 2009

Homemade Fish Cakes 自造鱼饼

Who says making fish cakes is tedious….
Who says u need some cleaver work???
Who says u need biceps to do it??

I learnt to make this from my friend's mom when I was 15, not exactly learnt... but she just told me how to do it, roughly.
I used to do this agak-agak method, with lots of errors until these few years, I could finally do it better. I've even taught my Selancar students how to make this back when I was teaching there.

This fish cake is good for kids, at least u know what goes into them.
The paste is done in less than 5 mins… with a food processor, plus some manual work.. stirring.
That’s all. You can fry it, or even make yong taufu with it.

Mackerel is nice when making fried fish cakes, very sweet and nice texture, easy to work with and easy to remove flesh. But if u want to make boiled fishballs, skip mackerel.
To make boiled fish balls, use these fishes:
i) Yellowtail fusilier (ikan taufu)
ii) or ikan parang (freshwater, and pricey, hard to come by)
iii) or even malong (eel like, very sweet flesh, but full of long fork bones)

250gm mackerel flesh (no skin, no bones), or other suitable fishes
150ml water (u can put more water if u like, if u find this too hard for ur liking)
1 ½ Tbsp tapioca starch/corn starch
1 tsp sugar
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp MSG (optional, but it makes the fish cakes more bouncy)
Dash of White pepper

1. Combine water, starch, sugar, salt, MSG and pepper.
2. Place fish into a food processor or blender. Pour in (1). Blend until fish turns into a fine paste.
3. Scrape fish paste from food processor into a deep bowl.
4. Stir fish paste vigorously for 2 minutes (or u may want to do it longer).
5. Shape fish paste with wet hands or spoon (if u want, if not, it’s fine. If making yong taufu, stuff ur taufu at this stage) and chill fish paste to set it.
6. Pan fry fish cakes until golden.

*You can do it in a blender, just that cleaning is more tedious and it might smell for some time. You can try removing the smell with pulsing the blender with vinegar or lemon juice mixed with some very warm water, and put it out to dry properly.

The fish paste

The more irregular ones, I was lazy to shape all, so I just placed on tablespoon of the paste onto the hot oil, and pressed it flat with my oily hot spatula, and fry.


  1. I linked over from your most recent post! wow I always heard its impossible to make fish paste bouncy without properly mincing and pounding it by hand. this makes the whole process so much easier and doable. especially since it's hard to get hold of readymade fish paste or fish balls like we can get in singapore or malaysia markets!

  2. Shu Han,
    Nah... machine works just as well. If it's not bouncy enough, just use the hand mixer to give it some kneading, LOL. No need to stir manually.
    You think factories use pestle and mortar to do it? LOL

  3. The mackerel that you bought is it just the cutlet or the whole fish that has head and you just remove the flesh?

  4. Love2cook,
    Whichever is available. Doesn't matter.
    I remove the flesh myself and weigh the flesh only.

  5. Hi.. This is awesome! I m gonna try to cook this for my kid... Tho I have a question on the type of fish... The only fish that re available here are cod, halibut, tilapia, salmon... Can I use cod or tilapia? Can I mix with shrimps as well?

    I look forward to your reply, thanks!

  6. Weewee,
    I thought mackerel is pretty common.
    I have never used tilapia, but u can try with cod.
    But I am not very sure of it. Cod is way too expensive here for me to use

  7. Ha.. Thanks I could get mackarel maybe from hmart but never see it t the guar Lo store...Ok will try cod and let u know.... Can I mix it with shrimps or just the fish itself?


  8. Weewee,
    try it with just fish, then when you get the hang of it, then play around with the recipe

  9. Ok! Thanks for the wonderful recipes!


  10. May I know which is the best food processor to make the fish paste? Any photo?

  11. yinn,
    any food processor will work fine.
    even a blender

  12. yinn,
    I am currently using Kitchenaid food processor

  13. Hi, I found a basa fillet in the frozen section of a supermarket, do you think I can use it to make this?

  14. Maryam,
    I don't think it will work, as basa/patin is a bit too soft.

  15. Hi hi, I used 75ml of water and it is very watery already. Cannot shape at all. No food wasted thou. ... still can eat. Hee.


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