On one fine morning, my mother went to Costco and bought a potato bag. Before they start sprouting roots, I must find way to finish them. Therefore a few dishes here will probably potato-related. By the way, if you’re a poor student like me, then it’s good to buy thing in bulk size, cook them, and put them in the fridge. You can always heat them up again, saving time, money, and energy. Furthermore, depend on the dish I guess, but chances are that reheated dishes taste little “deeper”, since the ingredients sink in more. For example, the soup gets saltier or something like that. Just don’t over reheat them too many times, then it’d just become pasty and slimy.
Today, we will cook the Veggie Fish Flats.
So I learned this from here. However, I notice that following recipes can be a little bit irritating sometimes when you don’t have enough ingredients or when you don’t know where to buy stuff, especially the mocked meat. All in all, this is my version of the recipe.
Here is nice song just to entertain you.
In Vietnamese, it's called, "ham nhao".
1 cup of Vegetarian Ham Paste – Okay, so, if you haven’t had this in your fridge or see it somewhere already, this is probably the hardest to hunt for on this ingredient list. Try your local stores. It’d mostly likely to appear in the asian food stores. Because I live in San Diego, I know a few places. For example, not only the Veggie Ham Paste, T & L Food sells load of Veggie meats. If that’s still too far, local Chinese and Vietnamese supermarkets in your area probably have them. If you have trouble finding them in the store, you can ask the employee or look in places near the freezer. For the ingredient I can’t find or too lazy to get, I usually replace it or just leave it out. However, for this recipe, this ingredient is absolutely needed.
- 2 Potatos – For every one cup of Veggie Ham Paste, use two potatoes. If you want to use the entire Ham Paste (like the pic above), you need around 5 or 6 potatos. Since the website I showed you earlier listed the ingredient under the 1 cup size amount. I will probably do the same here. Although, when I did it, I used the entire Ham Paste, which is around 3 cups, so just triple the ingredients if you want to do the same.
- 4 Tablespoon of roasted Sesame Seeds - I bought these in Henry. I don’t think my seeds were roasted. They were more pasty… Anyway, they’re not hard to find, so if you can get, get it because it enhances the taste.
- 1 Green Onion – This is optional actually. I didn’t like onion or had any at the time, so I didn’t use it. The 2nd time I did this, I did use it. It was not much different, but for the heck of it, I do suggest you use it, unless you hate green onion like me. :)
- 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
- 1/3 Teaspoon of White Sugar
- 1/3 Teaspoon of Sesame Oil – Okay, I didn’t have this either, so instead I put in Flaxseed Oil because that’s the only thing I have at the time beside Canola. If you don’t have it, I don’t really suggest you use Canola. Use olive or something else instead.
A pinch of Black Pepper – I put in around half a Tablespoon. :P Depend on your taste.
1 Tablespoon of Tapioca Starch – You can find that pretty much everywhere in asian stores. Anyhoo, I only have cornstarch at the time, so I used that. For cornstarch, I put a little more than 1 Tablespoon; I think around 2 Tablespoon, so they stick together. The more you put, the more stiffy it’d gets after you fried it.
Canola or any vegetable oil for frying. :D
LET’S DO IT
- Wash potatoes. Steam about 25 minutes until done. Peel off the skin. Mash the potatoes while they’re still hot. Let cool. (I suggest go over 25 minutes unless you have a potatoes masher at home because doing it by hand and a fork is a pain. Let it sink for 45-60 minutes. Depend on your heat. I put mine in Medium-High because I put too much, so high heat will make water overflow.)
- Finely chop green onion.
- The Mixture
Thaw veggie ham paste. (Make sure it’s not frozen. Completely not frozen.) Mix with seasonings, then add mashed potato. Mix again. Add (in addition) a little bit of tapioca starch if the mixture is too soft. Season to taste.
- Form the veggie ham paste mixture into round balls, then press down to shape the balls into round patties. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on both sides of the patties. (I find rolling it into a ball is extremely hard. Maybe because I used cornstarch, so it didn’t stick as much. However, even though it’s not dough-like, as long as you put starch in it, it’d fairly stick when you fry it. So don’t worry too much if it’s not a perfect round ball and pressed down. The 4 Tablespoons is for putting inside the mixture too [for step 3], so don’t forget.)
- Heat cooking oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, put in the patties and fry until golden. Remove the patties and put on a plate lined with paper towel (to absorb some of the oil).
- Put the veggie fish cakes on a large plate. This dish can be enjoyed as an appetizer, and serves well with steam rice or bread.
Okay. So I quoted it. The black lines are my comments/changes.
I serve this a little bit different than suggested in step six. It’s pretty nice to eat with Sweet Sauce. You can find sweet sauce anywhere in food stores. Any kind is fine. Just whatever brand you like the best. I don’t have my favorite with me, but these are the ones I used.