Butter Bean Fish Cakes

It has become rather apparent that I need to change up the blog! I have some wonderful recipes that I constantly want to share but don’t really have the time to do a lengthy blog post. Bills and adulting… But then I figured for those of you that are after the recipe you really don’t care about my ramblings anyway! So things are about to get a lot shorter but definitely sweeter.

Butter Bean Fish Cakes

Butter Bean Fish Cakes

serves 4-6

Ingredients:

600g firm white fish fillets
2 tins butter beans, drained
1 handful fresh parsley, chopped
1 handful fresh dill, chopped
1 lemon, zest & juice
5 spring onions, finely sliced
sea salt & freshly ground pepper
100g panko bread crumbs
2 eggs, beaten
flour for dusting
olive oil
fresh lemon wedges and aioli to serve

Method:

Add drained butter beans to a large bowl and roughly mash the beans.

Place a colander into a pot with a few cms of water. Bring water to the boil.
Place fish in colander and steam for 5 minutes until just cooked through.

Flake the fish into the large mixing bowl with the butter beans.
Add the chopped parsley, dill, lemon zest, lemon juice, spring onions and season well with salt and pepper.

Form fish cakes into patties. Dust with flour, dip into beaten egg and then into panko crumbs. Double dip in the egg and crumbs for an extra crispy crust.

Place fishcakes on a lined and oiled baking tray and bake for 20 minutes at 200˚C until golden brown and crisp.

For the aioli:

2 egg yolks
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lemon, juiced
1 tsp Dijon mustard
125ml canola oil
125ml extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

Place the egg, garlic, lemon juice and mustard in a small jug.
Using an immersion blender, slowly add the oils one at a time and blend.
Finally season well with salt and pepper.

 

Beetroot & Bubbly Salmon Gravlax

Beetroot & Bubbly Salmon Gravlax | The Secret Life of Bee

Gravlax or Gravadlax is the most gloriously simple cured salmon using a little salt, sugar and fresh herbs. I love the addition of the beetroot because of the earthy flavour and most of all the exquisite colour. This is such a luxurious meal and such a treat to prepare for special occasions.

Beetroot & Bubbly Salmon Gravlax | The Secret Life of Bee

The salmon must be extremely fresh and of really high quality. Ask your fish monger for a side of the freshest sushi-grade salmon. That’s really the only expense here. The rest of the ingredients are super affordable and most importantly you’ll have some bubbles to sip on during the preparation! Remember to plan ahead if this is for a special occasion as the salmon takes 48 hours to cure.

Beetroot & Bubbly Salmon Gravlax | The Secret Life of Bee

Beetroot & Bubbles Salmon Gravadlax

Ingredients:

  • 700-800g sushi-grade side of salmon, skin on
  • 3 large beetroot, grated
  • 150g coarse Kosher rock salt
  • 1 large orange, zested
  • 2 large lemons, zested
  • 4 juniper berries
  • 1 large handful dill
  • 75g Muscavado sugar
  • 75ml Méthode Cap Classique

Method:

Remove all pin bones from the salmon and place skin side down on a large baking tray lined with an oversized piece of baking paper.

Crush juniper berries in a mortar and pestle. Mix the crushed juniper berries and all the other ingredients together in a large bowl. Encrust the side of salmon with the cure.

Fold the baking paper tightly around the salmon. Cling wrap the salmon and tray very well so no air can get in. Place in the fridge for 48 hours to cure.

Remove from the fridge. Carefully drain off any liquid and gently remove the cure from the salmon. 

Slice thinly at an angle, avoiding the skin.

Serve with toasted bread, crème fraîche, fresh dill and a squeeze of lemon.

Preserve your salmon in the fridge tightly wrapped in cling film for 3-5 days.

Beetroot & Bubbly Salmon Gravlax | The Secret Life of Bee

Beetroot & Bubbly Salmon Gravlax | The Secret Life of Bee

*Disclaimer: Méthode Cap Classique provided by the fabulous folks from Krone Twee Jonge Gezellen

tuna poke bowl

tuna poke bowl | The Secret Life of Bee

Poke, pronounced ‘poh-keh’, is a scrumptious Hawaiian dish that is basically deconstructed sushi in a bowl. So if you’re really rubbish with chopsticks you can finally eat sushi with a fork and not be judged. Well, judged a bit less. I adore this dish because of the different textures and flavour combos. The crunchy raw veg and creamy avocado are a match made in heaven for the salty fish and sweet rice. It really is such a well balanced dish, takes no time at all to put together and looks darn pretty too. Check out this awesome article from HuffPost for a run down on all you need to know about poke!

tuna poke bowl | The Secret Life of Bee

One of the most important and delicious flavours in this dish is the sesame seed oil. I used the Organic Sesame Seed Oil from Lemcke Oils. It has a subtle nutty flavour and adds depth to the dish without being overpowering. It’s a great oil to eat as is on salads and dishes such as this one but it is also a great oil to cook with as it has a high smoke point. In a dish like this it is very important to use high quality, fresh ingredients because it is such a simple dish, each ingredient really needs to shine.

tuna poke bowl | The Secret Life of Bee

The fish is obviously paramount. Don’t make this unless you have the freshest and very best quality of tuna or salmon you can get your hands on. When I got home with this chunk of tuna I had to stop the husband from eating it straight off my chopping board with a dash of soy sauce. It was sensational. As for the accompaniments… there are no strict rules. You can add and experiment with all sorts of veggies. You can leave out the rice as well for a deliciously healthy low carb meal. Poke can be as versatile as you allow it to be. This has definitely become a weeknight staple for us.

Tuna Poke Bowl

serves 4

Ingredients:

For the fish:

  • 400-500g fresh tuna, skinned and deboned
  • 75ml soy sauce
  • 45ml Organic Sesame Oil
  • 1.5 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp Sriracha or more to taste
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 spring onion, finely sliced

For the rest of the bowl:

  • 1 cup sushi rice
  • 60ml rice wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • grated carrot
  • shaved cucumber
  • sliced radish
  • radish sprouts
  • nori
  • avocado
  • spring onions

Method:

Begin with the rice. Rinse the rice well in a sieve until the water runs clear and then cook according to package instructions.

*While working at The Mandarin Oriental in Paris I was taught to make sushi like a pro. Granted it was filled with foie gras and mango which was not very traditional but it was delish. Rinse the rice until the water runs completely clear. Cook the rice in just enough water to cover it with a fine layer of water sitting on top of it. About 3mm. Also only ever use a wooden spoon when working with sushi rice and do so gently or you’ll break the grains. We even had a dedicated wooden bowl for mixing the seasoning into the rice if you want to go to extremes!

While the rice is cooking mix the rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a small pan. Heat until the sugar and salt dissolve. Cool.

Once the rice has cooked and cooled gently fold in the seasoning using a wooden spoon.

Prep the veggies.

Finally mix all the seasoning ingredients for the fish in a large bowl.

Slice the tuna into cubes and toss gently in the marinade.

Assemble the poke bowl with rice, veggies, avocado, nori, tuna, toasted sesame seeds and little extras like pickled ginger and wasabi if desired.

tuna poke bowl | The Secret Life of Bee

tuna poke bowl | The Secret Life of Bee

 

*Disclaimer: Delicious oils supplied by the awesome folks from Lemcke Oils

 

peri-peri fish tacos with pineapple salsa

peri-peri fish tacos | The Secret Life of Bee

Fish tacos are darn delicious. Layers of flavour and texture all neatly packed into a little edible parcel. Fried or grilled these babies are a crowd pleaser and so versatile you can go wild with flavour combos, sauces and spices. I decided to pan fry the fish for these tacos keeping things on the healthier side and also my kitchen on the cleaner side! Once cooked I finished the fish off with a generous whack of peri-peri sauce and fresh lime juice. Yum.

peri-peri fish tacos | The Secret Life of Bee

The peri-peri sauce in question was made by the girls from ShortChefSkinnyChef. Claire Allen and Siphokazi Mdlankomo make up this duo and clearly both of them like a touch of spice in their lives. This flavour packed sauce is pure homemade deliciousness free of preservatives so if you make this recipe use the very best peri-peri sauce you can get your hands on or make your own!

peri-peri fish tacos | The Secret Life of Bee

Select your fish wisely. Make sure you buy fish or any seafood off the green SASSI list. They have an app and even a nifty sms number you can text the name of the fish to and you’ll get a reply letting you know if the fish is green for go, orange for not ideal or red for hell no. Stick with green choices and maybe our grandkids will have some fish on their table someday. I went with Cape Yellowtail. It has beautiful large flakes when cooked which makes it ideal for tacos and absorbing lots of sauce. With all the heat from the peri-peri sauce I balanced it with some sweetness from the pineapple salsa which includes some kiwi fruit for added zing! The crunch from all the fresh fruit and veggies, the creamy avocado and drizzle of sour cream make these tacos a real textural delight.

Peri-Peri fish tacos with pineapple salsa

serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 500g yellowtail or similar fish, filleted & cleaned
  • olive oil
  • peri-peri sauce
  • fresh limes
  • 1/4 red cabbage
  • 2 avocados
  • 1/4 red onion, diced
  • 1 pineapple, diced
  • 1 kiwi fruit, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • fresh coriander
  • sour cream
  • sea salt & black pepper
  • 6-8 soft tortillas

Method:

Slice the fish into small fillets and pan fry in olive oil. Season well. Once the fish is cooked, turn the heat off and add the peri-peri sauce to taste and the juice of half a lime. When cool enough flake the fish, toss well and leave in the sauce.

Finely slice the red cabbage and the avocado.

Combine the diced red onion, pineapple, kiwi fruit and red pepper. Season with salt and pepper and the juice of 1 lime. Add coriander leaves and toss.

Heat a dry pan and colour tortillas on both sides until warm and golden brown. (I love this easy recipe but store bought is just fine too)

Assemble the tacos. Start with some slices of avocado and red cabbage. Top with peri-peri fish, the pineapple salsa, fresh coriander and a drizzle of sour cream. Enjoy!

peri-peri fish tacos | The Secret Life of Bee

peri-peri fish tacos | The Secret Life of Bee

Catch Claire Allen, The Foodie in Love, at The Good Food & Wine Show this coming weekend (27-29 May) for a live chefs theatre performance as well as the skinny half of the ShortChefSkinnyChef duo performing in their own live theatre cooking up a storm.

~Disclaimer ~ I was invited to be a media partner for Claire Allen & the ShortChefSkinnyChef duo.