Lamb is the meat traditionally used for making kebob but, these days, especially with the popularity of vegetarian diets, anything can be skewered and cooked as a kebob. I grilled mine using bangus (milkfish) back fillets. I minced the fish flesh and the vegetables in a food processor and stirred in the seasonings and spices by hand.
The kebobs were served with peanut sauce. Although these milkfish kebobs were substantial enough for a main dish, you can form the minced fish mixture into smaller patties and serve the kebobs as finger food. And if you want extra aromatic kebobs, use lemongrass stalks instead of bamboo skewers (see a related recipe).
Bangus (milkfish) kebobs
- 1 pack skinless bangus (milkfish) back fillets about 1/2 kilogram, or substitute any fish — even shrimps will be good
- 2 shallots (or one onion), peeled and quartered
- 4 cloves garlic peeled
- 1 thumb-sized piece ginger peeled and cut into small pieces
- 4 tablespoons cilantro roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon cayenne powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons patis (fish sauce)
- juice of half a lemon
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 10 bamboo skewers soaked in water for 30 minutes
- With the motor of the food processor running, drop the shallots (or onion) into the funnel. The garlic follows, then the cilantro and, finally, the fish fillets. Process until you have a paste. You can also do this by hand using two cleavers. Just chop away until a paste is formed.
- Transfer the fish mixture to a bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well.
- Take about two tablespoonfuls of the mixture. Flatten a bit. Place a bamboo skewer down the middle. Flatten and form the patty to about three inches long and a third of an inch thick. Repeat until all the fish mixture has been skewered.
- Brush the grill with some vegetable oil. Grill the fish kebobs (I used a stovetop grill but live coals will make your kebobs taste and smell better) for about two minutes. The patty should be quite cooked and firm before the kebob is flipped. Otherwise, the patty will separate from the bamboo skewer. Wait until the edges of the patty turn white which is usually a sign that it is almost cooked. Flip over and grill for another minute.
- Serve hot with peanut sauce.
To make the peanut sauce, mix together:
2 heaping tbsps. of smooth peanut butter
1 heaping tbsp. of hoisin sauce
juice of half a lemon
patis (fish sauce), to taste