A herby, spice filled fishcake with quinoa and bulgur. It is super healthy – low in fat, high in protein and fibre, but we can talk about that in a bit. First let us talk taste.
We use cod – easy to cook, flaky and a lean tasty protein that lends itself well to a multitude of herbs and spices. We cook ours by poaching in a milk-stock mixture. It is quick, easy and ensures a perfectly soft cooked fish.
Both bulgur (cracked) wheat and quinoa are flavourful with a nutty taste and texture. The interesting thing is when you grind them into a paste they make a mash that is sticky enough to hold the fish without any extra binding agents such as egg or cornflour. We added chilli, a bit of cumin (we have a love thing going on with cumin most days) and coriander.
So a word about quinoa – it looks and cooks like a grain. It is not a grain though, but a seed. It is a complete protein (containing all nine essential amino acids), high in fibre and contains anti inflammatory omega 3 essential fatty acids. Rinse quinoa well before cooking, the seeds have a slightly bitter tasting coating that washing removes.
Bulgur wheat is derived from wheatberries that have been parboiled, dried, and cracked. It is also rich in fibre and although not as perfect as quinoa, has a high protein content.
So essentially we cook each component – fish, quinoa, bulgur and bring them together in a mash, coat with breadcrumbs and shallow fry.
The result – a crispy, light fishcake with delicious flavourful grains instead of bland mash.
- Half pint milk
- Half pint vegetable stock
- 1 sprig thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cod loin fillets
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro (coriander)
- Half teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
- salt and pepper
- 1/3 cup bulgur wheat
- 1/3 cup quinoa
- 1 egg
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- Light olive oil for shallow frying
- Pour the milk and stock in a saucepan with the thyme and bay leaf
- Submerge the cod loin fillets in the liquid and heat over a low to medium heat to a gentle simmer.
- Poach the fish until it is just cooked - around 5 minutes of simmering depending on thickness.
- Remove the fish from poaching liquid and place in a sieve to allow it to drain a little
- Flake the fish and place in a covered bowl in refrigerator.
- Cover the bowl with cling film and cool for an hour in the fridge.
- Rinse the quinoa and bulgur wheat in a fine mesh sieve then tip them into a saucepan.
- Add 1 and 1/3 cup water and cook for 15 minutes until they are cooked and soft.
- Drain well then tip the quinoa and bulgur wheat in a food processor and blitz into a mushy, sticky paste.
- Scrape this out into a bowl and mix in the fish, chilli flakes, cumin and cilantro (coriander).
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Beat the egg and place in a small, wide bowl.
- Put the breadcrumbs into a second bowl.
- Form patties from the fishcake mixture by picking up tablespoon amounts, rolling into balls and squashing gently.
- Roll in egg mixture and then in the breadcrumbs.
- Place on a parchment lined greaseproof paper.
- Once all the fishcakes have been shaped and breadcrumbed, cover the tray with clingfilm and chill till use or transfer to a sealed container to freeze till needed.
- To cook the fishcakes, shallow fry a few minutes each side until golden brown.
- If cooking from frozen, allow to defrost before frying.
More fish ideas –
And this healthy fishcake from Dannii