Bill Granger recipe: Vietnamese fishcake parcels

Serves 4

Controversial, I know, yet this is my idea of a perfect Sunday lunch – quick, easy, packed with flavour and thanks to its DIY nature, a great way to get everyone chatting around the table.

500g white fish, chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 spring onions, thinly sliced
1½ tbsp fish sauce
50g green beans, thinly sliced
3 tbsp light-flavoured oil

For the nuoc cham dressing

1 garlic clove, crushed
1 red chilli, chopped
1 tbsp caster sugar
3 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp fish sauce

To serve

50g vermicelli rice noodles, soaked according to packet instructions
Handful mint sprigs
Handful coriander sprigs
1 iceberg lettuce, leaves torn into large pieces
2 limes, cut into wedges

Put the fish, egg, garlic, spring onions and fish sauce in a food processor and pulse until the mixture just comes together but isn't completely smooth. Stir through the beans. Cover with cling film and chill in the refrigerator.

Now combine all the ingredients for the nuoc cham dressing in a bowl and set aside.

Prepare the noodles, herbs, lettuce and limes to serve with the fishcakes.

Shape the fishcake mixture into small patties, about 2cm thick. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a high heat. Fry the fishcakes for 2 minutes on each side. Drain on kitchen paper and serve hot with the lettuce leaves, noodles, nuoc cham dressing, herbs and lime in separate dishes so that everyone can help themselves.

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