Not to be an alarmist but food prices continue to climb. Beef is at an all time high and chicken is starting to climb. Seafood is already out of reach for many.
But every once in a while you still get a hankering for something with fish. And I’ve been cooking with Swai now for a couple of years. This farm-raised fish has a light, white texture and color and an equally light flavor. In fact, it’s almost flavorless and needs a little help from seasonings.
I’ve fried it and sautéed it and recently I used it to come up with my version of fishcakes. And they were light tasting but still had that fish cake texture that’s a bit more “stick to the ribs”. Plus, the thing I like about swai is that it’s about the most reasonably priced fish out there selling at about $4 a pound.
Most recently I bought a package of individually wrapped, quick frozen filets. That’s fine with me because if they’re sold un-frozen at the grocery store then they’ve been thawed. I don’t like the idea of buying some thawed fish and then freezing it again if I’m not going to cook all of it at once. I’d rather buy the hard-frozen filets and then thaw them at home right before cooking.
What I did was take a look at a bunch of fish cake recipes and then I took a look at what I had in the pantry and in the fridge. I prefer to use what I keep on hand. Buying special ingredients tends to push the price up and if you don’t use up the special ingredients it adds to waste and expense. So making fishcakes with swai just seems to make a lot of sense.
So, here’s what I came up with for Swai Fishcakes. Give them a try and let me know how you like them. You can eat them as a fishcake sandwich or as an entrée. I tried them both way and liked them both ways.
Recipe: Fish Cakes with Swai
Summary: Here’s a light tasty fishcake made with Swai which is perfect for sandwiches or dinner.
- 1 lb Swai filets
- ½ cup chopped white or red onion
- ½ cup chopped bell pepper
- 1 chopped jalapeno pepper
- 1 egg
- ¾ cup cracker or bread crumbs (make your own rather than buying it)
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise or “salad dressing”
- 1 lime (juice only)
- 1-2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp Tabasco or other hot sauce or a couple of shakes cayenne
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp corn meal in a shaker
- 2-3 tbsp cooking oil
- Get out a large skillet, cutting board, chef’s knife, a medium mixing bowl and a small bowl.
- Prep the fish by chopping about half of it into small chunks and the other half into a fine dice.
- Put the fish in the mixing bowl.
- Rinse cutting board and chop onion, bell pepper and jalapeno and add to the bowl with the fish.
- Add cracker or bread crumbs and stir everything up.
- Add mayo and lime then a couple of good shakes of salt and pepper and stir everything. Taste.
- Add 1 tsp Dijon mustard and about half as much Tabasco/cayenne as you think you need and stir well.
- Taste. Then adjust seasonings to taste. Add more Dijon mustard and/or Tabasco/cayenne if needed. Taste again.
- Remember you can always add more seasoning but once it’s in you can’t take it out!
- Add the egg and stir everything together really well.
- Form the patties by scooping up about 1/3 cup and forming it in your hand. (You’re going to make 8 fishcakes)
- Put fishcakes onto bakery sheet. When all are made, put the sheet in the refrigerator for about ½ hour.
- Remove sheet from fridge. Put skillet on stove turned to medium heat. Add the oil to the pan.
- Shake corn meal generously over each side of each fishcake
- Fry each cake about 4 minutes per side until browned.
Preparation time: 15 minute(s)
Cooking time: 10 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 4
My rating 5 stars: ★★★★★ 1 review(s)
It’s that easy! Now, while the bakery sheet is in the fridge you can make a quick slaw with some cabbage and just enough mayo to bind it but not so much that it gets too liquid. Use this as a topping for your fishcakes if you’re making a sandwich/burger out of it.
Otherwise serve with oven fries or some yellow grits and a salad to make a tasty meal.
The Cheap Bastid Test: 1 lb of Swai filets is $4. The veggies added about $1. The egg cost $.15. The cracker/bread crumbs cost maybe $.25 if you make them yourself. Limes are $.10 right now. And let’s call the mustard, mayo, cayenne, Dijon and cooking oil another $1. Total for this dish for 4 was $6.50 or $1.63 each. Add another $.37 each for buns at the dollar store to make fishcake burgers and you’re at $2.00 per person or $1 each for fishcake burgers. That’s some pretty inexpensive eating!
That’s the Cheap Bastid Way: Eat Good. Eat Cheap. Be Grateful!