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Fish Cake Noodle Soup

by , featured in Vietnamese: Simple Vietnamese Food To Cook At Home
Published by Hardie Grant
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Introduction

This is a simple and quick technique to make soup; it is easy to adapt with many seasonal ingredients. Watercress instils the broth with the most refreshing, peppery flavours, balancing well with the zing of ginger. Fried shallots and garlic add a sweet complexity to the broth, while the samphire adds a crunch as well as its salty seaside flavours. This is a fish cake recipe and a fish cake broth recipe. Here, I've made extra fish cakes for another meal, perfect in bánh mì (another recipe in the book) or with steamed rice, a lovely nước mắm and plenty of vegetable sides and pickles.

When making the nước mắm, remember to trust your taste buds entirely and try to get the right balance at all times.

This is a simple and quick technique to make soup; it is easy to adapt with many seasonal ingredients. Watercress instils the broth with the most refreshing, peppery flavours, balancing well with the zing of ginger. Fried shallots and garlic add a sweet complexity to the broth, while the samphire adds a crunch as well as its salty seaside flavours. This is a fish cake recipe and a fish cake broth recipe. Here, I've made extra fish cakes for another meal, perfect in bánh mì (another recipe in the book) or with steamed rice, a lovely nước mắm and plenty of vegetable sides and pickles.

When making the nước mắm, remember to trust your taste buds entirely and try to get the right balance at all times.

Ingredients

Serves: 4

Metric Cups

For the fish cakes

  • 500 grams fish such as salmon and haddock (cut into 2.5cm/1in chunks)
  • 1½ tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 spring onion (roughly chopped)
  • 1 shallot (roughly chopped)
  • 3 cloves of garlic (roughly chopped)
  • 20 grams fresh dill fronds (roughly chopped)
  • 1 Thai red chilli (sliced) - optional
  • zest of 1 lime (finely chopped)
  • 3 tablespoons sunflower oil (for frying)

For the broth

  • 1½ litres boiling water
  • 30 grams fresh ginger (julienned, then finely chopped)
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 round shallots (sliced)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)

For the noodles bowls

  • 4 nests of fine egg noodles
  • 200 grams watercress (shared between 4 bowls)
  • 1 spring onion (sliced)
  • 20 grams fresh dill fronds (chopped)
  • 1 pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 handful of samphire (or fine tip asparagus)

For the nước mắm

  • 2 bird's eye chillies (finely chopped)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (crushed)
  • 3 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 80 millilitres hot water

For the fish cakes

  • 1 pound 2 ounces fish such as salmon and haddock (cut into 2.5cm/1in chunks)
  • 1½ tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 scallion (roughly chopped)
  • 1 shallot (roughly chopped)
  • 3 cloves of garlic (roughly chopped)
  • ¾ ounce fresh dill fronds (roughly chopped)
  • 1 Thai red chile (sliced) - optional
  • zest of 1 lime (finely chopped)
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (for frying)

For the broth

  • 6¼ cups boiling water
  • 1 ounce fresh gingerroot (julienned, then finely chopped)
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 round shallots (sliced)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)

For the noodles bowls

  • 4 nests of fine egg noodles
  • 7 ounces watercress (shared between 4 bowls)
  • 1 scallion (sliced)
  • ¾ ounce fresh dill fronds (chopped)
  • 1 pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 handful of samphire (or fine tip asparagus)

For the nước mắm

  • 2 bird's eye chiles (finely chopped)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (crushed)
  • 3 tablespoons superfine sugar
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 5 tablespoons hot water

Method

Fish Cake Noodle Soup is a guest recipe by Uyen Luu so we are not able to answer questions regarding this recipe

  1. To make the fish cakes, put all the ingredients except the oil into a food processor and briefly pulse to blend together so you still retain some texture. If you don't have a small food processor, chop the fish and all the ingredients quite finely, put in a bowl and beat them together, mixing in one direction.
  2. Lightly grease a plate or tray with 1 tablespoon of the oil and grease your hands. Take a lump of the fish cake mixture and form a patty with your hands, about 4cm (1½ in) in diameter and place on the greased plate. Repeat with the remaining mixture to make about 16 fish cakes.
  3. Heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan (skillet) over a medium-high heat and fry the fish cakes for about 3-4 minutes until golden on both sides. I usually start by placing one fish cake in the pan at 12 o'clock, then add them to the pan clockwise so I know which ones to turn, then remove and set aside. Keep the frying pan handy.
  4. To make the broth, measure the boiling water into a saucepan and add the ginger and fish sauce. Add eight fried fish cakes, cover and simmer to let the ginger infuse for 7-10 minutes.
  5. In the same frying pan used to fry the fish cakes, heat the oil over a medium heat and fry shallots until golden brown without letting them burn. Then add the garlic and watch until it turns golden, then remove from the pan and set aside.
  6. Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions. Divide into bowls with the watercress, spring onion, a pinch of dill, pepper, samphire, fried golden shallots and garlic and fish cakes from the pot. Bring the broth to a boil, then ladle hot broth onto each bowl. This will poach the samphire and seep into the fish cakes, and the watercress will flavour the broth. Serve immediately.

For the nước mắm

Use a knife to finely chop or a mortar and pestle to crush the chillies and garlic together. Shake up with the other ingredients in a jar, use a hand blender, or simply mix it together in a bowl with a spoon.

  1. To make the fish cakes, put all the ingredients except the oil into a food processor and briefly pulse to blend together so you still retain some texture. If you don't have a small food processor, chop the fish and all the ingredients quite finely, put in a bowl and beat them together, mixing in one direction.
  2. Lightly grease a plate or tray with 1 tablespoon of the oil and grease your hands. Take a lump of the fish cake mixture and form a patty with your hands, about 4cm (1½ in) in diameter and place on the greased plate. Repeat with the remaining mixture to make about 16 fish cakes.
  3. Heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan (skillet) over a medium-high heat and fry the fish cakes for about 3-4 minutes until golden on both sides. I usually start by placing one fish cake in the pan at 12 o'clock, then add them to the pan clockwise so I know which ones to turn, then remove and set aside. Keep the frying pan handy.
  4. To make the broth, measure the boiling water into a saucepan and add the ginger and fish sauce. Add eight fried fish cakes, cover and simmer to let the ginger infuse for 7-10 minutes.
  5. In the same frying pan used to fry the fish cakes, heat the oil over a medium heat and fry shallots until golden brown without letting them burn. Then add the garlic and watch until it turns golden, then remove from the pan and set aside.
  6. Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions. Divide into bowls with the watercress, scallion, a pinch of dill, pepper, samphire, fried golden shallots and garlic and fish cakes from the pot. Bring the broth to a boil, then ladle hot broth onto each bowl. This will poach the samphire and seep into the fish cakes, and the watercress will flavour the broth. Serve immediately.

For the nước mắm

Use a knife to finely chop or a mortar and pestle to crush the chillies and garlic together. Shake up with the other ingredients in a jar, use a hand blender, or simply mix it together in a bowl with a spoon.

Additional Information

MAKE AHEAD:
Fish cakes: 2 days
Broth, herbs and noodles: morning

MAKE AHEAD:
Fish cakes: 2 days
Broth, herbs and noodles: morning

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