Mix up your fish cakes with these unique patties! Finely ground white fish mixed with miso and other seasoning make for an unforgettable dish to try. Hot or cold, these cakes are delicious served on their own or as a side, or they can even be added to Japanese style soups!
You’re probably thinking, what is “satsuma-age”? Satsuma refers to Kagoshima, an area of Japan, which was once known as Satsuma. Age means fried, so together they mean fried in the style of Satsuma. I love the intense flavor of the fish cakes, with so much seasoning mixed in, they are delicious all on their own.
One thing I love about Japanese style fish cakes is that the meat is usually ground into a paste called surimi. Most American fish cakes consist of chopped fish, so while delicious, they can fall apart. These cakes, on the other hand, are so firm, they can be thrown into soup no problem. Cooking them in a broth helps them absorb even more flavor, so it’s no wonder they are often added to oden, a winter Japanese soup filled with various cakes.
My husband and I went fishing a few weeks ago for the first time, and came back with an excellent haul of catfish. Trying to think of Japanese ways to prepare it, I thought, why not give satsuma-age a try?! You can make it with any white fish, with cod probably being most popular. To get some added color and texture, various root vegetables can be mixed in. I include carrot, but gobo root is a traditional Japanese vegetable used. While surimi is traditionally ground in a suribachi, a food processor is a much quicker alternative!
Recipe – Satsuma Age:
– Place the fish to food processor or suribachi and grind until smooth. Add the sake and soy sauce half way through blending, adding additional water as needed until it’s blended smooth. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the carrot, egg, miso and sugar.
– Add enough oil to a small pot to cover the cakes and place over medium high heat. Shape the paste into 8 to 10 cakes. When the oil is hot, cook for about 5 minutes per side until golden brown.
– Transfer cakes to paper towels. Pat dry to remove any excess oil.
– Serve plain or with your favorite dipping sauce. They pair well with light sauces such as ponzu sauce, and try mixing in grated ginger or wasabi!