Cutlets (Sri Lankan fishcake balls)


Here’s a Sri Lankan canapé or “shorteat” recipe for the holidays. It’s basically a crumbed and fried fishcake with spice, using the humble tinned tuna. I use a currymate, a paste that you can get in some Asian supermarkets, and hopefully will be available in supermarkets over here someday soon. For those of you who can’t get hold of it, I’ve jotted down the spice mix for you to have a go too. This recipe also works well with other oily, tinned fish like mackerel.


Makes about 30:

– 1 red onion, finely chopped
– 160g tinned tuna

– 1-2 tbsp Sri Lankan fish currymate
– 2 cloves garlic, crushed
– 2cm ginger, minced
– 1/2 tsp chilli powder
– 1/4 tsp tumeric
– 1/2 tsp ground coriander
– 1/2 tsp ground cumin
– 5-10 small curry leaves

– 1 large baking potato, boiled and coarsely mashed
– 1 green chilli, finely chopped
– Juice of 1/2 lime
– Salt and pepper to taste

– 1 egg, beaten
– 2 cups dried breadcrumbs
– vegetable oil for deep frying

Sweat the onion, add the drained fish, curry mate or spice and fry for a couple of minutes. Add the mashed potato and mix well. Add the chilli, lime and salt and pepper to taste.



Shape the mixture into balls, toss in the beaten egg and then the breadcrumbs. Deep fry till golden.

Here’s halfway through a batch of 60+ for a Christmas party with my classmates:


Enjoy and Merry Christmas!








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