Sunday, November 30, 2008

Fish Cutlet - With Canned Tuna

New pic above was added Sep 25, 2009 since I had always wanted to add a better picture. Granted this is not as best as it could be but I realize it is the best I could do before the whole set is gobbled up each time I make them now that my little girl also has joined the fish cutlet bandwagon.

Some years back when I came here as a student there was nary a kitchen bone in my body. Luckily my room mate was a business undergrad from Srilanka with at least a few of those bones if not many. She also was up to experimenting in the kitchen. This is based mostly on the canned tuna cutlet that she made successfully in our student kitchen. It was rather a welcome change from the calcium fortified orange juice which stood in for a meal many times for lack of time and inclination. She also had a toffee recipe that I diligently wrote down in my Mrs KMM cookbook then. That will come later.

My husband the resident 'beef cutlet' expert (yummy ones too!) kind of looked down on these 'fish cutlets' and they never got made. Finally he has turned his attention to fish as a possibility and this got me to look back on the forgotten recipe. The final version is mostly the old recipe with some cookbook references and some advice from the expert especially on techniques.

In The Mix

canned tuna - 500g (18oz)
green chili - 3
ginger - 3/4" piece
red onion - 1/4"
eggs - 2
potatoes - 2 medium sized
cinnamon stick - 1 piece ground (or 1/4 tsp powder)
cloves - 4 ground (or 1/4 tsp powder)
salt and pepper powder - to taste (can add chili powder instead of pepper)
oil - 1 tbsp + enough for frying
bread crumbs - enough to cover the cutlets

How To Do

Boil the potatoes, remove skin and mash very well.
Chop or thinly dice the onion, ginger and green chilies together.
Heat oil and saute onion, ginger, chili mix with salt.
Add cinnamon and cloves. This is optional but will add to the taste.
Mix together and add the tuna. Add pepper and more salt if needed.
Saute for a while and add the mashed potato.
Stir together in medium heat for 5-8 minutes.
Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Make into nice oval shapes by rolling and then flattening with your finger. I am obviously not an expert in this as witnessed in the pictures:-)

Beat the egg, dip the cutlets into this and roll in bread crumbs one by one. My husband has a very convenient system where he dips the cutlet with one hand, drops into the bed of crumbs and roll with the other hand which prevents your rolling hand from lumping up. This is indeed useful.

Now fill a pan with enough oil to cover more than half of the cutlet's sides and fry each side for a minute or two. Drain on paper towels and enjoy with old fashioned onion/vinegar/chili salad or with rice and papad. Had leftover oil? Fry those papads in it. Fishy papads are pretty good!

For Onion Salad
Slice one red onion. Squeeze together with vinegar, water and salt in a large strainer. Check for salt and a touch of vinegary taste. Mix with thinly sliced green chilies and onion salad is ready.

The pic below was the original top picture when I first published the post. Don't want to get rid of it...