Fish Cakes with Rémoulade
"Fire + Ice: Classic Nordic Cooking"
Fish cakes appear in various guises throughout the Nordic lands. Originally considered poor man’s food, they are an excellent way to use scraps of fish that might otherwise go to waste. The surprise in this Danish version is its gorgeous green hue, a gift from the fresh herbs that are mixed in. When the fish cakes are topped with yellow rémoulade, the dish is wonderfully colorful on the plate.
Danish rémoulade offers a good example of the culinary adoption process. Through its shipping empire, Denmark had access to exotic spices. Danes took a particular liking to curry powder, which they often combine with a classic remoulade sauce, itself adopted from French cuisine. The addition of yellow mustard and curry powder to the mayonnaise turns the sauce a vivid yellow.
Reprinted with permission from Fire + Ice: Classic Nordic Cooking, by Darra Goldstein, copyright © 2015, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photographs copyright © 2015 by Stefan Wettainen
1⁄2 cup mayonnaise
1⁄4 cup minced dill pickle
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives
1⁄2 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon
1⁄2 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
1⁄4 teaspoon curry powder
1⁄8 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground white pepper
1 small yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1 pound cod or other whitefish, skin removed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1⁄2 cup chopped fresh dill
1⁄2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1⁄4 cup flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons melted butter, plus 1 tablespoon
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Make the rémoulade: stir together all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Scrape into a serving dish and refrigerate until well chilled. (Note: make this sauce ahead of time and refrigerate for a few hours to give the flavors a chance to blend and the mayonnaise time to absorb the color of the curry powder and mustard.)
Process the onion finely in the bowl of a food processor. Add the fish, dill, parsley, flour, egg, 2 tablespoons of melted butter, salt, and pepper and pulse until ground medium-fine. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and refrigerate, covered, for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours (the longer you refrigerate the fish mixture, the greener the fish cakes will be).
Shape the fish mixture into 8 patties. Set them on waxed paper. Heat the oil and the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in a heavy, wide skillet over medium heat. When the butter begins to foam, add the fish cakes and cook for about 6 minutes, until golden, periodically sliding a spatula under the cakes to make sure they don’t stick. Carefully flip the fish cakes, lower the heat to medium-low, and continue cooking until nicely browned, about 6 minutes more, periodically using the spatula to keep the fish cakes from sticking. Serve immediately, with remoulade sauce on the side.