These fish koftas are not your typical koftas because they’re made with fish, not meat. But I spice them the same and shape them the same – so koftas it is!! Serve with Jewelled rice pilaf for a stunning platter of food.
When we think koftas, I know most people instantly think of skewers made with ground meat. But actually, koftas around the world come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, made with meat, fish and even vegetables. From the Indian sub-continent to the Middle East, Africa and the south-eastern area of Europe known as the Balkans, koftas come grilled, poached, steamed and baked with all sorts of various flavours, and all sorts of shapes. Not always on sticks!!
As for today’s fish koftas though, I’ve taken the lead from my Lamb Koftas in terms of flavouring, except we’re using fish instead. And I’ve stuck with sticks!!
Good Friday meat-free platter
Today’s recipe was specifically created to be part of a centrepiece meat-free dish for Easter Good Friday this year. Something a little different yet spectacular to look at and mouthwateringly delicious! Plus, I always like to share interesting-yet-easy ways with fish. Pan frying fish fillets gets dull. 😎
Discover more Easter food in my Easter super collection.
Economical fish recipe
The other thing I like about this recipe is that it can be made with virtually any fish, and it’s not one of those recipes where I (strongly!) urge you to use the freshest and best fish you can afford. It works great with good value fish, even frozen fish.
Though, if you’ve got a fisherman in your circles – I’m jealous!
What you need for fish koftas
Here’s what you need for these fish koftas.
White fish fillets – Pretty much any white fish will work here. I used snapper, barramundi and ling during various iterations of this recipe and they all worked great.
– very lean fish (swordfish, tuna – use this recipe)
– “fishy-fish” like sardines and mackerel (use this recipe for sardines, it’s a personal favourite!)
– delicate fish (flounder, Dover sole)
Egg and rice flour (or cornflour/cornstarch) – These are the two ingredients that make the blitzed fish mixture hold together, with the egg acting as a binder once the koftas are cooked.
Rice flour makes the inside of the kofta softer and juicier than plain flour (all-purpose flour) which makes it more dense. If you don’t have rice flour, use cornflour / cornstarch instead which will produces a similar result.
Spices – Regular spices, exotic combination! Cumin, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon (this is the secret spice that makes it smell so intoxicating).
Danish feta – Little pops of creamy, salty goodness when you bite into the koftas! Not strictly traditional in any type of koftas, but certainly adds a touch of special here. Also, it improves the texture of the koftas to make up for the absence of fat in fish compared to meat like lamb.
Danish vs Greek feta – Greek feta is more crumbly and firm whereas Danish feta is a bit creamy, more similar to goats cheese feta. Either Greek feta or goats cheese can be substituted in a heart beat.
Red onion – For freshness without being as harsh as brown or white onion. I grate the onion so you don’t have to cook it before mixing in, and also the juices from the onion adds even more flavour into the koftas. (Onion grating is my secret reader-loved tip for meatballs, meatloaf and similar. It really works!)
Parsley – For green bits. More visual than flavour so you can skip it. Or, substitute red onion with green onion instead.
How to make fish koftas
Blitz > shape > cook!
Fish and egg first – Cut the fish into pieces then put in a food processor with the egg white only (add the yolk to your scrambled eggs tomorrow morning).
Blitz fish until it’s a smooth paste without any lumps remaining.
Everything else – Add all the remaining kofta ingredients.
Blitz again until you can’t see the rice flour.
Feta – Fold through the feta gently, so it doesn’t disintegrate and smear. We want little chunks of feta!
Shape koftas – Use wet hands so the mixture doesn’t stick. Portion the mixture into 10 – 12 (70g each, about 1/3 cup), and shape into a 10cm / 4″ long cylinder. Thread onto skewers then slightly flatten so they are 1.75 cm / 2/3″ thick.
Cook half the koftas in a non stick pan over medium high heat for 2 minutes on each side, or until the internal temperature reaches 50°C/122°F.
Golden! This is the colour they should be. Gorgeous!! Remove onto a plate then cook the remaining koftas.
How to serve fish koftas
As mentioned in the opening, these fish koftas were created especially for Easter Good Friday, a day on which it is traditional to serve non-meat food. To be honest, the star recipe for Good Friday was the Jewelled rice pilaf I shared on Monday – it’s so colourful, how could it not steal the limelight!!
But I wanted a non-meat main to serve alongside it that was equally as delicious, even if it couldn’t rival the colour. Enter – these fish koftas. From a flavour perspective it certainly stacks up!
More ways to serve fish koftas
Like Shawarma wraps – with flatbread, lettuce, tomato and onion
Alongside a vegetable tagine for a hearty Moroccan dinner
Accompanied with a Spiced Chickpea, Tomato, Cucumber salad
So – what do you think? Is this platter of food Good Friday worthy? 🙂 – Nagi x
Watch how to make it
- 500g/1 lb white fish fillets ,skinless, cut in pieces (Note 1)
- 1 egg white (add leftover yolk to scrambled eggs!)
- 1/2 red onion , grated using a box grater (keeps koftas soft!)
- 2 garlic , finely minced
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
- 1 tsp cooking salt (kosher salt)
- 1/2 cup rice flour (sub cornflour/cornstarch)
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- 70g/ 2.5 oz danish feta , plus extra for optional garnish (Note 2)
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 cup plain yogurt , unsweetened
- 1/2 cup (tightly packed) mint leaves
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp cooking / kosher salt
- Fish & egg blitz – Place fish and egg white in a food processor. Blitz on high until smooth. (30 sec to 1 minute) A stick blender also works but it will take a bit longer.
- Kofta mixture – Add onion, garlic, all the spices, salt, rice flour and parsley. Blitz on high until smooth (1 minute). Consistency should be like a paste. (Note
- Feta – Remove the blade, then crumble the feta in. Aim for chunks. Mix delicately (so the feta doesn't disintegrate).
- Form koftas – Use wet hands so the mixture doesn't stick. Portion the mixture into 10 – 12 (70g / 1/3 cup each), and shape into a 10cm / 4" cylinder. Thread onto skewers then slightly flatten to 1.75cm / 2/3" thick. (Note 3)
- Cook – Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a large non-stick pan. Cook half the koftas for 2 minutes on each side until golden, or until the internal temperature reaches 50°C/122°F.
- Rest – Remove onto a plate and cook the remaining koftas. (Internal temperature of cooked koftas will rise to 55°C/131°F).
- Serve with Minted Yogurt and Jewelled rice pilaf for a stunning platter of food!
- Blitz all ingredients in a tall jug just large enough to fit a stick blender. Keep refrigerated until required.
- super lean fish (swordfish, tuna)
- delicate fish (flounder, Dover sole)
- small whole fish like sardines or mackerel
Life of Dozer
Caption this. (So many possibilities! 😂)