Monday 24 September 2012

Chia Seeds and Chia Seed Fishcake Recipe

Chia seeds are the recent food to be elevated to the status of 'superfood'. Whilst chia seeds are rich in vitamin B components, and have a generous component of dietary fibre and essential fatty acids, the 'superfood' label is nonsense and merely a marketing ploy.

Still, chia seeds  can be an useful addition to a balanced diet.

Chia seeds are the seeds of Salvia hispanica, a member of the mint family native to central and south Mexico and Guatemala. They were an essential part of the Aztec diet and the word 'chia' is derived from the Nahuatl (Aztec) word chian (literally 'oily').

Chia seeds are typically ground before use or they are eaten whole and raw. They can be soaked in water, where they produce a gelatinous substance known as 'chia gel'.

Because of the flurry of interest in chia and its health benefits there has been a profusion of recipes including chia on the internet. This Asian-inspired dish is my contribution.

Asian-inspired Chia Fish Cakes Recipe
Serves: 8

500g sweet potatoes, peeled and quartered (or substitute potatoes)
400g cauliflower, separated into florets
250g cooked salmon, flaked (you can also use tinned)
1 red chilli, finely chopped
core of 1 lemongrass stalk, finely chopped
1/2 tsp freshly-grated lime zest
1 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp finely-ground chia seeds
3 shallots, finely sliced
120ml finely-chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves
olive oil for frying

Bring a pan of lightly-salted water to a boil, add the sweet potatoes and cook for about 20 minutes, or until tender. Place the cauliflowers in a steamer on top of the sweet potatoes and cook for about 15 minutes, or until tender.

Turn the cooked cauliflower into a food processor with the salmon, chilli, lemongrass, lime zest and lime juice. Process until thoroughly combined.

Drain the sweet potatoes into a bowl and mash until smooth. Work in the cauliflower and salmon mixture then work in the chia seeds, shallots and coriander leaves.

Shape the mixture into patties then heat a little oil in a non-stick frying pan. Add the fish cakes and fry for about 4 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through.

Serve two patties per serving and accompany by Thai sweet chilli sauce.

For more information about Chia Seeds and for more Chia Seed recipes see the Celtnet Chia Seed information and Recipes page.

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