We’re digging into Israeli editor and cookbook author Janna Gur’s latest work, Jewish Soul Food. A wide-reaching cuisine with influences from around the world, Jewish food should be a part of every home cook’s repertoire. These addictive crispy fish cakes are certainly no exception.
These spicy, crunchy snacks are delicious with lemon wedges or thick yogurt. Normally you would mince the fish (you can ask the fishmonger to do it, or briefly pulse fish fillets in the food processor); however, chopping the flesh with a knife adds texture and makes every bite more succulent.
- 1 3/4 pounds meaty white fish, such as cod, tilapia or halibut, pulsed until coarsely chopped in a food processor or coarsely chopped with a sharp knife
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts, ground in a mortar and pestle or mini food processor, plus 2 tablespoons whole
- 2 fresh dill sprigs, finely chopped
- 5 fresh parsley sprigs, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons good-quality bread crumbs (or slightly more, as needed)
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- dash of tabasco sauce or 1/2 hot chile pepper (red or green), finely chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Coating And Frying
- 1 cup best-quality bread crumbs (I like Japanese panko crumbs best)
- vegetable oil
- Combine the fish, ground pine nuts, whole pine nuts, dill, parsley, garlic, onion, eggs, bread crumbs, lemon zest, lemon juice, Tabasco, salt and pepper and knead thoroughly.
- Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours to stabilize.
- With wet hands, form balls 1 1/2 inches in diameter and flatten them slightly.
- Coat with 1 cup bread crumbs.
- Heat about 1 inch of vegetable oil in a frying pan.
- Fry the patties in batches, 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until golden.
- Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
- Serve hot or at room temperature. The patties can be made a few hours in advance and heated, covered with aluminum foil, in a 350°F oven for 5 to 6 minutes.
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