Comfort food re-defined. Bits of smoked fish are mixed with mashed potatoes, formed into patties and lightly fried in butter.
I did a similar dish once using spicy bottled sardines but the potato cake was much larger — as large as the frying pan. The sardines were too oily and the mashed potatoes turned a bit too mushy and the cake did not turn out to be as crisp as I’d like.
By using tinapa (smoked fish — milkfish, in this case), no excess oil went into the potatoes. And by making the cakes smaller (i.e., single serve), it was easier to flip them in the pan to brown both sides evenly until nice and crisp. The smoky-salty flavor made the potato cakes much, much tastier too.
Tinapang bangus (smoked milkfish) and mashed potato pancakes
- 1 boneless tinapa - smoked milkfish
- 2 to 2 ½ mashed potatoes - just potatoes — no butter, no milk, no seasoning
- 1 egg - beaten
- salt - to taste
- pepper - to taste
- 8 tablespoons butter - for fying
- eggs - fried sunny side up
- onion leaves - finely sliced
- fried garlic
- Peel off the skin of the smoked fish. Discard the head and tail.
- Break the flesh into small pieces. I don’t recommend flaking — it’s much nicer to have discernible pieces of fish in the potato cakes.
- Mix together the smoked fish and mashed potato.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Stir in the beaten egg.
- Divide the mixture into four portions. Form each portion into a patty about three-quarters of an inch thick.
- Heat a frying pan. Melt one tablespoon of butter. Fry one potato cake at a time. To brown both sides evenly, scoop the cake with a spatula and melt another teaspoonful of butter before flipping. It’ll take about two to three minutes over medium-high heat to brown each side.
- To serve: Place one potato cake on a plate. Top with a fried egg. Sprinkle with onion leaves and toasted garlic bits.
- It’s a very filling and very tasty breakfast or brunch dish. But, if you like, you can have bread on the side.