Fish Cakes with Broccoli

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Homestyle Chinese Cooking

Homestyle Chinese Cooking

By Yan-Kit So

Published 1997

  • About

An excellent summer dish when the hot weather dampens your appetite for meat. If dried shrimp are not available, 1-2 ounces of minced ham can be used as a substitute. Also, many other vegetables, such as Chinese cabbage, spinach, snow peas, bean sprouts, and so on, can be used instead of broccoli. Although they are not difficult to make, fish cakes do require a little time. You can always make them in two stages: You can either make up the fish paste in advance and refrigerate it for a while, or you can make the paste into fish cakes and then keep them in the refrigerator for 1 or 2 days before cutting them into finger-sized pieces and frying.


  • 2-3 tablespoons dried shrimp
  • 12 ounces skinned and boned haddock fillet, minced
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons egg white, lightly beaten
  • 6-8 turns white pepper mill
  • 1Β½ teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 3-4 scallions, cut into small rounds
  • 2 long green chiles, seeded and cut into small rounds
  • 7 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 8-12 ounces broccoli, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2-3 thin slices fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine or medium-dry sherry


  • 1Β½ teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon thick soy sauce
  • 1-1Β½ tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 6 tablespoons stock or water


  • Rinse the shrimp. Pour over just enough very hot water to cover and leave to stand for 15-20 minutes. Drain. Mince in a food processor or finely chop by hand.
  • Prepare the fish paste. Put the minced haddock in a bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of the salt and stir vigorously in the same direction for about 1 minute, until gelatinous in texture. Sprinkle with the cornstarch, add the egg white, then stir until the fish mixture becomes one sticky lump again. Add the pepper, ginger, scallions, and chili and stir to mix well. Divide into 2 equal-sized lumps.
  • Blanch the broccoli. Half-fill a wok with water and bring to a boil. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the broccoli, return to a boil, and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes, or until it is tender yet still has a bite to it. Pour into a colander and refresh under cold running water. Drain.
  • Mix the sauce ingredients together and set aside.
  • Reheat the wok over a high heat until smoke rises. Add 2 tablespoons oil and swirl it around. Add 1 lump of the fish paste and immediately flatten it with the wok scoop or metal spatula to a circular cake about 7 inches in diameter. Fry for about 30 seconds, lower the heat to medium, and fry for another 60 seconds. Flip over and fry the other side the same way. Both sides of the fish cake should be golden brown but not burned. Remove onto a plate and keep warm nearby.
  • Turn up the heat again and add 2 tablespoons of the oil. Fry the remaining lump of fish paste as before. Wash and dry the wok.
  • Cut the fish cakes into finger-sized pieces.
  • Reheat the wok over a high heat until smoke rises. Add 1 tablespoon oil and swirl it around. Add the ginger slices, stir a few times, then lower the heat to medium. Return the broccoli to the wok and stir until thoroughly hot. Remove to a warm serving dish.
  • Reheat the wok until smoke rises. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and swirl it around. Return the fish cakes and flip and turn until very hot again. Splash the wine or sherry around the side of the wok and, when the sizzling dies down, pour in the well-stirred sauce, continuing to stir as the sauce thickens. Remove and arrange on the broccoli. Serve immediately.

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