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Author: Funky Asian Kitchen

Poached Fruit

Poached Fruit

I don’t mean to alarm you, but the holidays are right around the corner. And that means trying to come up with menus for multiple holiday dinners. I always like to serve the expected favorites, but I also like to shake things up a little read more

Chinese Red Pork

Chinese Red Pork

Well it’s officially September. And for those of us who love to cook, that means only one thing. It’s time to return to braises and stews, and my version of Chinese Red Pork is a fall favorite! Spend a couple hours making this over the read more

Sardine Patties

Sardine Patties

So the inspiration for my Sardine Patties comes from this new cookbook, The Magic of Tinned Fish by Chris McDade. It’s full of wonderfully inventive recipes using all kinds of canned seafood. And it’s really got me wondering why we don’t we eat more canned fish in America? Many countries in Europe and Asia have rich cultural traditions around preserved seafood. And it makes sense. Tinned fish is processed at its absolute best. It has a long shelf life, requiring no refrigeration. It’s full of high quality protein and healthy fats, it’s more economical than fresh seafood, AND it tends to be way more sustainable. It doesn’t have to be flown around the world overnight, and outside of tuna, it’s usually smaller fish that are low on the food chain.

Now that I think about it, maybe it’s tuna’s fault. Too much collective trauma around soggy tuna fish sandwiches in our youth? Well, it’s time to embrace the more sophisticated tinned fish enjoyed all around the world, and that’s where these Sardine Patties come in. Think of them as sophisticated fish sliders. They’re highly seasoned, moist, and delicious served as a part of a meal or just between some soft squishy potato buns. And they’re so easy to make, so let’s get to it.

 

While you could choose tinned mackerel or salmon here, I use sardines because they are meaty and mild. I dress them up with some fun Japanese ingredients like panko for crunch, and a shichimi pepper blend to liven up the dip. Add a jolt of fresh ginger, some cilantro for refreshing flavor, and these Sardine Patties are a great introduction to the wide world of canned fish.

Making Sardine Patties

Start by prepping the aromatics-your ginger, garlic, onion, and mince the cilantro. This method is typical when making meatloaf, and it works great here too. You essentially make a flavorful mash that gets mixed into the protein.

mincing sardine patties

grating sardine patties

drain sardine patties

mixing sardine patties

Now it’s time to shape the Sardine Patties. I use a 1/4 cup scoop to portion out 9 balls, and then press them into about an inch thick. This makes for nice, consistently sized patties that cook evenly.

scoop sardine patties

press sardine patties

Now it’s time to bake these babies! Make sure to evenly spray the patties with oil before cooking so you get a nice golden crust.

crisp sardine patties

Make The Sauce

While the Sardine Patties bake, whip up the creamy sauce. The tangy lemon flavor gets just a little zing from the pepper blend. Not spicy, just a bit of heat and flavor. This sauce is even better the next day as the lemon zest has time to bloom in the sauce. So go ahead and make it the day before. You can also prep the sardine mixture the day before and cook them off the following day if that’s helpful to you.

lemon sardine patties

sauce sardine patties

These Sardine Patties are such a great way to break out of a cooking rut, and explore all the bounty of tinned fish offerings. Let me know what you think by rating and commenting on the recipe below, we love hearing from you! And tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen.

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recipe card sardine patties

Sardine Patties

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 Minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Category: Main
  • Cuisine: Japanese

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons peeled and minced ginger
  • 2 green onions, finely sliced
  • ⅓ cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ large onion
  • ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 3 cans sardines (you can also use mackerel or salmon) approximately 13 oz total weight 
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Oil spray

Sauce:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 Tablespoon shichimi pepper blend 
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste 

Instructions

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 425.
  2. Place the bread crumbs, garlic, ginger, green onions, cilantro, eggs, and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Grate the onion over the bowl using the large holes. Mix everything together to create a wet paste.
  3. Drain the sardines well and flake it with your fingers. Set aside.
  4. Add the sardines. Stir gently until everything is nicely mixed together. 
  5. Using a ¼ cup ice cream scoop or a measuring cup, portion out 9 balls. Scoop the balls into your hands and press the ball into a compact patty about inch thick.
  6. Place a piece of parchment paper onto the baking sheet and spray generously with oil. Put your patties onto the parchment lined pan.
  7. Spray the tops of the patties with oil.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes. Flip the patties over gently and bake for an additional 5 minutes until they are a nice golden color. 
  9. While the patties are baking, make the sauce. Over a small bowl zest the lemon and then juice it. Add the mayonnaise, shichimi pepper, salt, and ground black pepper to taste.
  10. Mix the sauce with a whisk or fork until smooth and creamy.
  11. Serve the patties immediately with the sauce.

Notes

*Both the sauce and patties can be made ahead of serving time. The sauce actually tastes better if it sits in the fridge overnight and holds it stays fresh for several days.

*The sardine patties can be mixed, shaped, and then refrigerated overnight. But they taste best freshly baked so I would not bake them until you are ready to serve.

*If your patties finish cooking but they are a little pale for your liking, broil them for a couple of minutes on the top shelf to get a golden crust. (Make sure you keep a close eye so you don’t over broil them.)

Keywords: tinned fish, sardine patties, sardine cakes, sustainable seafood

Japanese Spinach

Japanese Spinach

Japanese Spinach, known as oshitashi, is a vibrant veggie side dish that is so quick and easy. We’re talking on the table in 10 minutes quick. The spinach is blanched to retain its bright color (and nutrients!) and then served with a deeply flavorful sauce. You can read more

Ramen Hack

Ramen Hack

I’ve never met a single person who doesn’t love noodles, have you? When the world seems to be a scary place, there’s nothing more comforting than a huge bowl of noodles. And while noodles are already a pretty quick dish, who doesn’t love speedy tricks read more

Sriracha Tofu

Sriracha Tofu

Everyone needs a couple of quick and tasty tofu recipes in their repertoire, and Sriracha Tofu is a great one to have. I always have a block of tofu in the fridge and the sauce ingredients in my pantry. Tofu is economical, packed with protein, and can be easily supercharged with flavor. My Sriracha Tofu is nice and crispy, and it has an irresistibly sweet and spicy sauce. It’s also very fast and easy, making it an ideal recipe to serve as part of a plant based feast, or to serve with other dishes and rice as a complete meal.

Our house always has multiple meal times throughout the day. Between work, school hours, and different activities, we all need some meals that are tasty and quick. I like to have a bunch of different things in the fridge, ready to grab and go. This Sriracha tofu is perfect for that because it tastes great hot, at room temperature, or even cold. The sweet and spicy flavor always hits the spot. Let me walk you through how easy this crave worthy tofu is to prepare.

sriracha tofu ingredients

It Starts With Sauce

The sauce for Sriracha Tofu is absolutely addictive. And so easy! Just mix toasted sesame oil for nutty richness, soy sauce for tangy depth, sriracha for smoky heat, and mirin and honey which provide a touch of sweetness. (You can sub agave for the honey if you want it to be vegan) Just mix it all together and set aside. If you really want to level up, use my Homemade Sriracha!

sriracha tofu sauce

Prep Veggies

To keep this simple, I only add onion, garlic, and scallions to my Sriracha Tofu. They add flavor, body, and a little color to the dish.

onion sriracha tofu

Crisp Tofu

When people claim to not like tofu, they usually say it’s a “textural thing”. That is easily remedied though. For this recipe I start with medium firm tofu, which already isn’t mushy like soft or silken tofu is. When medium firm tofu is pan fried, it gets a delightfully crispy exterior, with a pleasantly chewy interior. You could also substitute firm tofu if you prefer.

slice sriracha tofu

The first trick to getting the tofu to fry up to a nice golden brown is to eliminate some water so it doesn’t steam in the pan. I press the tofu between sheets of paper towels to eliminate any extra water but you could also use kitchen or hand towels too. Use a little pressure but not so much that you squash the pieces of tofu. This process will allow the tofu to crisp up in the heat and reduce splattering when the tofu hits the oil in the pan.

press sriracha tofu

pan sriracha tofu

The second trick to getting tofu crispy is to use enough heat and leave it alone. You need the heat to build up around the tofu to create a nice crunchy crust. Moving it around constantly will hinder that, so keep your hands to yourself and let the pan do the work :) Cook one side for 2-3 minutes and then check one piece to make sure it’s ready. When it has a nice golden color, flip the tofu carefully to the other side and do the waiting game again for a couple of minutes before removing it from the pan.

Once you remove the tofu, you should still have some oil left in the pan to sauté the onions. But if your pan looks a little dry, then add another tablespoon of oil before continuing.

saute sriracha tofu

finish sriracha tofu

The sauce will thicken a bit as you let it simmer and then it’s time to add the scallions, toss, and serve!

scallions sriracha tofu

Sriracha Tofu is amazing as part of a meatless spread alongside Crispy Shiitake and Braised Burdock. Or just serve with Coconut Rice for a complete meal. Try it tonight and take a moment to rate and comment on the recipe; we love hearing from you! And don’t forget to tag us in  your pics @funkyasiankitchen.

sriracha tofu beauty shot

 

 

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sriracha tofu recipe card

Sriracha Tofu

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 Minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: small plates
  • Cuisine: Pan-Asian

Ingredients

Scale

Sauce:

  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons mirin
  • 2 teaspoons honey*
  • 4 teaspoons sriracha
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil

Tofu:

  • 1 package medium firm tofu
  • ½ large onion
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 45 tablespoons neutral oil
  • 2 scallions

Instructions

  1. Stir the soy sauce, mirin, honey, sriracha, and sesame oil together in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Peel and trim the onion and then finely dice. Set aside.
  3. Trim the scallions and slice finely on an angle. Set aside.
  4. Open the package of tofu and drain it. Cut the tofu in half lengthwise and then across the tofu 8 times to create 16 equal squares. Place 4 sheets of paper towels (double layered) on a plate and place the tofu on the paper. Place another couple sheets of paper on top of the tofu. Press down gently on the paper towels to eliminate moisture from the tofu. Set aside.
  5. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the oil and swirl it around the pan to evenly coat the surface with oil.
  6. Gently place the tofu in the pan  in one even layer. Cook undisturbed for 2-3 minutes. Flip the tofu carefully (it should be a nice, crisp golden brown) and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. 
  7. Take the tofu out of the pan with a pair of tongs or chopsticks and set it aside in a bowl. Put the pan back on the stove without washing it out and heat it for a couple minutes over medium high heat.
  8. If the pan looks dry, add 1 Tablespoon of neutral oil and then add the onions to the pan and stir fry for 3-5 minutes, moving the onion around regularly, until it has softened and started to lightly brown. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  9. Pour the sauce into the pan and add the fried tofu. Stir the tofu into the sauce to coat the pieces and continue to cook for a couple of minutes until the sauce has reduced.
  10. Add the scallions to the pan and toss to combine. Serve immediately.

Notes

*to make this vegan, sub an equal amount of agave syrup for the honey

Keywords: asian vegan, tofu, sweet and spicy, sriracha, plant based