Fish of the month
Salted pouting and parsnip fishcakes
These deliciously savoury cakes are a wonderful way to use pouting and will also work with other white fish such as pollack. The light salting of the raw fish firms it up a little and seasons it beautifully.
200g pouting fillet
250-300g parsnips (2 medium ones), peeled and coarsely grated
1 small onion, coarsely grated
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
1 large egg, beaten
Sunflower oil, for frying
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Start by salting the pouting. Lay the fillets out on a board and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons salt in a thin, even layer. Leave for 5 minutes, then rinse off all the salt under a running tap and pat dry with kitchen paper. Slice the fish off the skin then cut the fish into 1cm cubes, discarding any bones. Combine the fish with the grated parsnip and onion, the garlic, rosemary and egg and season with black pepper.
Heat a thin layer of oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and when it is hot, put a handful of the fish and parsnip mixture into the pan. Squash it into a cake roughly 8cm in diameter and 1cm thick. Repeat until you have three or four cakes in the pan. Fry fairly gently so the heat has time to penetrate the centre of the cakes without the outside burning. Press each cake down with a spatula from time to time. After 5-7 minutes, when they are nicely browned on the underside, very carefully flip them over and continue until the second side is browned. The cakes are quite fragile - in order to keep them more or less in one piece, it is important to use a good layer of oil (1-2mm) and to let them sit undisturbed for several minutes so they can form a crust on the base before you turn them. When cooked, remove and drain on kitchen paper then repeat with the remaining mixture. Serve hot with a green salad. A fried egg or two makes a supper of them.