Fish cutlets are one of my favorite seafood recipes to make and to eat. I love seafood and I also happen to love cutlets. They are so versatile. You can serve them as a snack / appetizer (they go so well with a chilled beer), as a meal with a side of chips and / or a salad or you can use them to make a fantastic burger. I have shared a recipe for fish cutlets previously using fresh fish. You can find that one here. This recipe is fairly similar with the exception of one main difference. This one uses canned tuna.
Now, I love my fish fresh. I believe that fresh is the best way to enjoy fish. But yesterday, I found myself longing to eat some fish cutlets but didn’t have any fresh fish. Now that was just not going to do. So I put my thinking hat on and eventually decided to try to make cutlets using canned tuna instead. I had heard that some people make their cutlets with canned fish, but I’d never tried it out for myself. I happened to have a few cans of tuna chunks in the pantry, so I figured I had nothing to lose.
The cans I used were tuna chunks in spring water. You need to make sure you drain the tuna well. I didn’t know what to expect and found that I had to use a little extra egg for binding but in the end I was delighted with the results. The cutlets were delicious. It took a fraction of the time to make compared to if you were to use fresh fish because the fish has to be cooked and deboned. So in all, I was extremely pleased with this attempt.
The type of canned tuna will determine how much egg is needed. I would recommend starting out using one egg and if you can shape the cutlets easily without them falling apart, then you are good to go. If not add more egg to the mix.
Goan Fish Cutlets
Yields: 12 cutlets
4 cans of tuna (I used 95g cans of chunk tuna in spring water) (Or 1 can x 495g Tuna)
1 onion, finely chopped
2 red birdseye chillies, finely chopped (optional)
1/2 tsp fresh ginger, finely chopped (or you can use paste)
2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped (or you can use paste)
A small bunch of fresh coriander leaves and stalks, finely chopped
Salt, to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilly powder
1/4 tsp black pepper powder
2 slices of bread
Bread crumbs, to coat the cutlets
Oil for frying
Drain the tuna thoroughly and flake it in a large mixing bowl.
Soak the bread slices in water for about 5 minutes and squeeze thoroughly. Crumble the bread as fine as you can and add it to the bowl.
Add the rest of the ingredients except the panko bread crumbs and the oil to the bowl.
Place a layer of the breadcrumbs on a dry plate.
Using the fish mix, shape into cutlets and carefully coat on both sides with the bread crumbs.
Heat 1-2 tbsp oil in a pan on medium heat and carefully place the coated cutlets on the pan. Cook for a couple of minutes on medium heat till golden brown on one side.
Then carefully flip over to cook to a golden brown on the other side too. Add another spoon of oil to the pan as needed.
Repeat till the batter is over and all the cutlets are fried.
Now don’t get me wrong, we love the ready made stuff too. But the satisfaction of making your very own version, tops most of those ready ones. Also, not surprisingly, these turned out really tasty. Heck, they were tastier than a lot of the burgers that we’ve eaten from many different places. I think the only burgers that can top these are the ones that we had at BLT’s and Al’s Diner in Hong Kong. I used to think that the best burgers in Mumbai could be found at Hearsh’s or Candies in Bandra, but I now beg to differ. Though the burgers from both these places are good, I’d rather have the home made ones whenever possible. To sum things up, this was a wonderful treat. With a little planning you’ll enjoy the flavors and you’ll save a few bucks while you’re at it.
Over the past few months, whenever I pass by most eateries, fast food places or restaurants and am considering stopping there, I realize that a lot of my favorite stuff can be made at home, which turns out tastier and more economical. So really, I think I’ve ruined eating out for myself. (Well, except when we are at Candies. That place, I think, has some really wonderful food.) Do you find this happening to you? It’d be nice to know I wasn’t alone and possibly crazy, thinking like this. 🙂
Anyway, back to the burgers. Just yesterday I posted the recipe for these delicious Burger Buns.
In the past I’ve also posted an easy recipe for Homemade Mayonnaise. This can be made earlier, if you like, and refrigerated till you’re ready to assemble the burgers.
For the Burger Patties –
1/2 kg beef mince (ground beef)
1 large onion, chopped fine
2 green chillies, chopped fine
4-6 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1″ ginger, chopped fine
Salt, to taste
Freshly cracked black peppercorns, to taste
Oil for frying
Mix all the ingredients together till they’re well distributed.
Shape into patties.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan. Carefully place the patties on the pan and cook through as desired. We like out beef well done. So we let it sear on high heat for a few seconds to lock in the juices and then cook on a medium flame till done.
To assemble the burgers –
Slice the burger buns in half.
Spread some mayonnaise on the bottom half.
Place the beef patty on in.
Top with a slice of onion, a slice of tomato and season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Add a leaf of lettuce. Cover the the top half of the bun. Obviously, you can pick and choose the stuff that goes into your burger but this is what I used. Other interesting options are pickles, sauteed onions, maybe some crispy bacon etc.
P.S. Don’t be fooled by the size, this fills you up fast. The burgers that we buy here are seldom filling so we made a third burger which my husband and I figured we’d split in half. It was a task for both of us. I guess thats what you get with wholesome food. You know exactly whats in it, it tastes great and satisfies those crazy hunger pangs. We had these bad boys with some homemade fries.
2 potatoes, peeled and cut and kept in salted water.
Pat dry and deep fry till done.
Drain on absorbent kitchen paper. Season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
Serve with some ketchup if you’d like. We prefer ours without it.