Exotic herbs and spices liven up a global favorite.
Middle Eastern Za’atar, fresh cilantro, parsley, and mint flavor these fabulous (and easy!) fish cakes. The clean buttery taste of barramundi is the perfect counterpoint to the complexity of these herbs and spices. This zesty update on one of the world’s favorite dishes is sure to brighten up your summer party! Recipe adapted from getflavor.com.
Step 1Make the Green Tahini Sauce. Put the parsley, cilantro, and mint in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the tahini, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon water until smooth. Continue blending, adding water 1 tablespoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached (thin enough to drizzle but not watery). Set aside.
Step 2Rinse out the food processor. Add the cilantro, parsley, mint, and pulse until finely chopped.
Step 3Add 1/3 of the barramundi, lemon zest, za’atar and pulse until roughly chopped and combined (you want it to be well mixed but not a smooth paste).
Step 4Remove from the food processor and fold into remaining 2/3 pounds of barramundi that have been chopped into a 1/4inch dice.
Step 5Form into 1-1/2-inch patties.
Step 6Heat the vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the patties, working in batches if necessary, and fry for 2 to 3 minutes per side, until lightly browned and cooked through.
Step 7Transfer barramundi cakes to a paper towel-lined plate as they finish cooking.
Step 8Serve the fish cakes as an appetizer with the green tahini sauce drizzled over or on the side for dipping. Plate with fresh herbs and lemon. To make it a full meal, serve with couscous or freekeh and a simple salad of chopped tomato and cucumber.
NotesThis dish is great served fresh, but are really terrific to have on hand in the freezer. Defrost them overnight in the refrigerator and they’ll be ready to cook the next day.
To get a good 1/4 inch dice on the barramundi, make sure the fish is very cold and patted dry. Thinly slice the filet lengthwise, then in half, then crosswise with a very sharp knife.