Fish Cutlets

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Cutlets are so delicious…I’m sure most of you will agree! In fact, you can do a lot with cutlets. You can have them sandwiched in a burger bun, rolled in chapattis, stuffed in pita pockets or just enjoy them plain! They are so versatile … there are umpteen ways of making them – mildly spicy or hot & fiery… you can stuff them or combine them with so many different vegetables & spices. Vegetarian or non-vegetarian, they are yummy either ways…
They are so simple & easy to make. They store well in the freezer & you can fix a meal or a snack in minutes! If you have unexpected guests or you are running short of time to fix a meal then they can really save your day! Above all, you can pan fry, grill or deep fry… whichever way you choose they are super tasty!
Those lovely golden fried balls look irresistible & taste so sumptuous. You really need a lot of will power to refuse a good cutlet. Cutlets are great as a dry lunch especially in children’s lunch boxes & wonderful for working people & bachelors. They are awesome finger eats to serve at kitty parties, kids’ parties or as cocktail snacks.
I make several types of cutlets & store them in the freezer. They are handy as they save a lot of time. If you are looking for a quick fix meal then this is it. Whenever, you have time on your hands, just make cutlets & stock them in your freezer…
Fish & seafood top the list for us. It is good to include fish in your diet as it is light & healthy. It is important to balance the flavors in the cutlet. Fresh Tuna is so good for making cutlets. I always fillet the fish by the fishmonger. Many prefer tinned tuna for making cutlets but I like to use both. You can use any fish of your choice for this cutlet. I made these cutlets using fresh Tuna. This time I made the cutlet using white sauce as a binder. These turned out so good that I want to share this lovely recipe with you… Enjoy! J
Ingredients:
200 gms. Fresh Tuna Fillets
1 med. Onion (peeled & roughly chopped)
2 fresh Green Chillied (slit)
1 Clove Garlic (lightly crushed)
½ tsp. fresh Ginger (peeled & grated)
4 Black Peppercorns
½ stick fresh Celery (lightly bruised)
Juice of ½ Lime
Salt to taste
Water for Poaching
Vegetable Oil for deep frying
For Binding the Cutlets :
4 tbsps. White Sauce
2 tbsps. freshly chopped Coriander Leaves (optional)
2 tbsps. Breadcrumbs or moistened bread slice without the edges
For Dipping &Rolling; the Cutlets :
1 Egg (lightly beaten)
1 cup Breadcrumbs
2 tbsp. Corn Flour
Procedure :
In a sufficiently large & deep pan place the washed tuna fillets with enough water to just cover the fish with about ½ tsp. salt. Do not put in excess water.

Place the pan on high flame & let the water come to a boil.

Skim off the floating impurities & then add in the chopped onions, slit green chillies, crushed garlic clove, grated ginger, black peppercorns, bruised celery stick & lime juice.

Stir once & let it poach till the tuna is just tender & cooked.

Gently transfer the tuna fillets in a sufficiently large bowl & strain the poaching liquid if any. You may use the liquid for soup or curry.

Roughly flake the tuna & discard bones if any.

Add white sauce, breadcrumbs/bread slice, coriander leaves & salt to the flaked tuna.  Mash & mix well with your finger tips. Taste & check the seasonings.

Form cutlets from this batter. The thickness & shape of the cutlets depends upon you.

 Mix together breadcrumbs & corn flour on a plate/tray.

First dip each cutlet in the lightly beaten egg.

Drain to remove excess & immediately roll into the breadcrumbs mixture. Place on a tray.

When all cutlets are done, cover up with a cling wrap and put in the refrigerator for at least an hour. This helps the bread crumbs to set well on the cutlets.

Heat oil in a kadhai/wok till hot.

Reduce heat to medium & gently lower few cutlets at a time.

Deep fry evenly & uniformly till lightly golden.

Drain excess oil completely with a slotted spoon.

Transfer on a serving plate lined with absorbent tissue.

Serve hot as a snack with your favorite chutney/sauce/ketchup/dip.

Tips & Suggestions :
Always test the temperature of oil before deep frying by just dropping in a few breadcrumbs in the hot oil. It should rise up immediately. Then fry the cutlets.

When the oil is very hot, reduce the heat & then lower the cutlets in oil. Maintain the temperature or adjust accordingly.

Let the cutlet fry well on one side before turning over. This way they will not break.

Frozen cutlets should be first defrosted & then grill or pan fry.

Do not cook cutlets in the microwave.

Do not thaw the frozen cutlets completely if you intend deep frying them.

Only deep fried cutlets will give you evenly crispy & golden color.

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