One of my earliest memories is of eating fiskbullar (effectively "fish balls") for lunch at dagis (day care) in Sweden. I must have been three or four years old, they came canned in a dill sauce, heated up and served with potatoes, andI loved them. That early meal intertwined with fuzzy memories of naps and playgrounds must have had an impact because I still think of them fondly. And really, the idea of fish balls is not a bad one at all. Here, these soft dumplings are lightly spiced in a Thai-inspired noodle broth that makes for a delicious light supper.
For the dumplings 500g pollock (or haddock), skinless and pin-boned
2tbs soy sauce
1tbs fish sauce
½ lime, zest and juice
1 red chilli, finely chopped
½ thumb of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
5 spring onions, finely chopped
3tbs toasted sesame seeds
2tbs toasted sesame oil, for frying
For the noodle soup
2tbs olive oil
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ thumb of ginger, peeled and chopped
1tbs Thai red curry paste
1 litre chicken or fish stock
2tsp fish sauce
440ml coconut milk
200g dried rice vermicelli noodles
1 lime, cut into wedges
1 red chilli, sliced
1 small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
To make the dumplings, add the fish to a food processor along with the soy, fish sauce and lime juice, and pulse until broken up into a thick paste. Tip into a large bowl and mix together with the chilli, ginger, garlic, three of the spring onions, and the sesame seeds. Roll into walnut-sized balls and set aside.
Heat the sesame oil in a frying pan and fry the fish balls in batches until cooked through, about 8-10 minutes, moving constantly so they are golden all over.
To make the noodle soup, heat the olive oil in a saucepan, add the garlic, ginger and curry paste and fry for a minute or so. Add the stock, fish sauce and coconut milk, bring to a simmer, then add the noodles. Turn off the heat and leave until the noodles are just cooked, stirring occasionally so they don't stick together.
To serve, divide the soup among four bowls and add the dumplings. Serve with a squeeze of lime and scatter with the chilli, the remaining spring onions and the chopped coriander.
Recipe taken from Lagom: The Swedish Art of Eating Harmoniously
Photography by Yuki Sugiura