Valentine’s Day is this Sunday, 2 days away. When one thinks of Valentine’s Day the first things that comes in mind almost instantly are red roses, puffy hearts and sweet decedent chocolates. Most definitely fish cakes does not cross people’s mind. For others it’s the sales and discounts at their favorite stores. No matter what people says, thinks or feel about Valentine’s Day it is one of the most celebrated holidays around the world. In my country, Cambodia, it’s refer to as Tngai Bonn Songsa with literally means Boyfriend/Girlfriend Day. I think it extends to Husbands/Wives too, no? Hmmm.. I hope so. 😀
I went to watch the Superbowl at my Sister’s house last weekend. My Mother sent back with me a couple package of prepared fish paste to post in the store (coming soon). These are prepared fish paste which has some of the basic spices and herbs in there already however, you can still mix your own flavors into them. I’ve added the Khmer Kroeung (lemongrass paste) to make ប្រហិតត្រីទ្រង់គ្រឿង Pa’het Trey Troong Kroeung or Lemongrass Fish Cake with a kick. You can also add chop green beans and green onions for a whole new flavor and texture. Since Valentine’s Day is around the corner I got a bit festive and shape my fish cakes into hearts. This is totally optional of course. Follow along as I will be using my Mother’s prepared fish paste in a variety of recipes coming soon .
Cambodian Lemongrass Fish Cakes (makes 15)
(Pa’het Trey Troong Kroeung) ប្រហិតត្រីទ្រង់គ្រឿង
1 cup prepared fish paste (available in my store soon)
1/3 cup Khmer Kroeung (lemongrass paste)
1 tablespoon red pepper powder, optional
oil for frying
Cucumber relish, see recipe
cilantro for garnish
shape cookie cutter, optional
a sheet of wax paper 8×10
In a bowl add fish paste and Khmer Kroeung (lemongrass paste). Combine and mix well. Set aside for about 30 minutes.
To form the shape of your choice, just scope out a tablespoon of fish paste and fill it inside the shape cutter using a back of a small spoon to press it evenly. Lay it on a sheet of wax paper to avoid it from sticking. You can also roll it into a ball and press it flat between your palms like a patty. Add a pinch of red pepper powder to the center (one side) for an extra kick, optional.