Japanese Deep Fried Fish Cakes (Satsuma Age) Recipe

  • 1 lb. (450g) aji horse mackerel fillets, bone and skin removed
  • 1/2 lb. (230g) cod or pollock fillets, bone and skin removed
  • 2 oz. (60g) gobo burdock root, shaved as if sharpening a pencil
  • All-purpose dashi stock (happo dashi) (see other post)
  • Seasonings:
    • 1/3 cup (80ml) dashi stock (see other post)
    • 2 tsp. sake
    • 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
    • 1 1/2 tsp. soy sauce
    • 1 1/4 oz. (40g) white miso
    • Tamamoto (mix 1 large egg yolk and 1 tbsp. vegetable oil in a ramekin ahead of time)
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying
  • Grated ginger and grated wasabi as condiments
  • Soy sauce for dipping

Yield: 12 cakes

  1. On a paper-lined sheet pan, lightly salt the mackerel fillets, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  2. In a food processor, pulse and grind the fillets into a coarse paste. 
  3. Transfer into a bowl and set aside.
  4. Blanch the shavings of burdock root in the all-purpose dashi stock, drain and set aside.
  5. Pulse the cod or pollock in a food processor, gradually adding 1/3 cup of the dashi stock. 
  6. Add sake, sugar, soy sauce and white miso, then give a few more pulses. 
  7. Transfer the mixture into a large bowl. 
  8. Add the aji horse mackerel paste, the egg-oil mixture (tamamoto) and the burdock shavings. 
  9. Mix well with rubber spatula. 
  10. Make 12 oval cakes, about 2/3 inch (1.5cm) thick. 
  11. Lay on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  12. To deep fry: In a large heavy saucepan, heat the oil to 340° F (170° C). 
  13. Deep fry the cakes until golden brown, about 4-5 minutes. 
  14. Transfer to a paper-lined plate to drain excess oil.
  15. To serve: 
    • Cut each cake into quarters and arrange on a plate with the grated ginger and wasabi on the side. 
    • Serve soy sauce in individual small dishes for dipping the cakes.

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