The Kitchen Tool Ina Garten Uses To Form Perfectly Even Fish Cakes

Fish cakes have been a part of the culinary story for over 4,000 years, according to That Cooking Thing. A whale of a tale or something somewhere in the middle, the blog shares these little cakes made of ground fish found their first audience with the wives of a Chinese emperor. A lowly fisherman served them up to the hungry spouses, and they were an instant hit. So, the emperor asked the fisherman to share his fish cake-making skills and this dish spread across the country. 

Regardless, of how the fish cake came into existence, it has evolved to become a staple for many cultures. Uwajimaya explains that these cakes are formed using whatever fish you might have on hand, along with some type of flour, and then fried or steamed to perfection. They can look very different depending on where you eat them. 

You would be hard pressed to visit the United Kingdom without eating the meal known as fish and chips, which is synonymous with the country, per Great British Magazine. Order up this British fare and you will find the fried fish cake has a different shape from eatery to eatery. Meanwhile, if you find yourself in Japan, they might be shaped into round balls (via Recipe Tin Japan). 

But, if you want to make a perfectly even, flat as a pancake fish cakes like Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa says you are going to need one kitchen tool.    

It's for more than ice cream

According to an episode of her Food Network show, "The Barefoot Contessa," Ina Garten uses an ice cream scooper to create perfectly even and uniformed fish cakes. After Garten sautés some cod with onions, seasonings and a myriad of other ingredients, including yummy Panko bread crumbs and lobster tale, the celebrity chef shares her pro tip and that's using the ice cream scoop. What size ice cream scooper? If you check out the recipe, Garten uses a two-and-a-quarter-inch ice cream scoop to measure each cake before frying. The directions note this will create 14 three-inch fish cakes — just enough to satiate a hungry crew. 

But fish cakes are not the only food item Garten uses her ice cream scoop for. The cook book author shared in a Q&A session on her blog that she also turns to this kitchen tool when she is baking. Garten explained to a fan that when she makes muffins and cupcakes, she uses this very same size ice cream scoop; However, she turns to her one-and-three-quarter-inch ice cream scoop when she makes cookies to get them the same size and shape. 

Who knew the ice cream scoop was so versatile?