Whenever I visit Thailand, my all-time favourite travel destination, or visit any Thai restaurant, the first thing I’ll always crave for and order is the Thai Fish Cake, also known as Tod Mun Pla or ทอดมันปลา. It is a delicious typical street food found commonly in on the streets in Thailand, you will see vendors making it on the spot and frying it right in front of you. It is also commonly sold as a side dish in casual and high-end restaurants. The Thai fish cake is amazing addictive, and I can easily finish 4-5 pieces of it in one-go.
The Thai Fish cake is usually served with a sweet chili sauce that you can easily buy from grocery stores or supermarkets. I love making it myself as I can control the amount of sugar that goes into it. I am feeding a family who’s very health-conscious and picky about food that contains too much sugar. You will commonly find the dipping sauce comes with cucumber slices, ground peanuts and shallots.
These classic fish cakes are made of really simple ingredients, namely red curry paste, fish meat, kaffir lime leaves, long beans (I used French beans in this recipe instead), Thai basil leaves (optional), and seasoning (optional, you will notice I didn’t add any additional seasoning as the curry paste is quite heavy on the flavour).
Prepare the red curry paste in advance
Red curry paste can be made in advance and keep in the fridge or freezer. This is such a versatile paste and so easy to make, I usually make a batch and use it to make dishes such as curry chicken, laksa or even stir fry with noodles.
The ingredients in the recipe below yield about 400g of curry paste, you can store the paste in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 month or freezer for up to 3 months.
Watch how to make Thai Fish Cake on YouTube
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Thai Fish Cake (Tod Mun Pla ทอดมันปลา)
Thai Fish Cake
- 400 g white snapper fish bones removed
- 3 tbsp red curry paste
- 5-6 kaffir lime leaves washed
- 5-6 French beans washed
- 1 egg
- Cooking oil
Red Curry Paste
- 20-25 dry chilli soaked and cut into small pieces
- 6 cloves garlic peel and cut into small pieces
- 6 shallots peel and cut into small pieces
- 3 fresh coriander roots washed
- 1 inch galangal peel and cut into small pieces
- 1 tbsp shrimp paste
- 3-4 kaffir lime leaves stem removed
- ½ tsp cumin powder
- ½ tsp coriander powder
- 2 stalks lemongrass ends removed and bruised
- Salt season to taste
Make the Red Curry Paste
- Add all ingredients into the blender and blend at high speed. Once paste is consistently blended and quite smooth, the paste is ready.Optional to add salt as seasoning. For detailed steps, you may check out this recipe.20-25 dry chilli, 6 cloves garlic, 6 shallots, 3 fresh coriander roots, 1 inch galangal, 1 tbsp shrimp paste, 3-4 kaffir lime leaves, 1/2 tsp cumin powder, 1/2 tsp coriander powder, 2 stalks lemongrass
Make the Thai Fish Cake
- Separate egg yolk from egg white and set aside.1 egg
- Wash 5-6 French beans, trim off both ends, and chop french beans into 2mm pieces.5-6 French beans
- Wash 5-6 kaffir lime leaves. Remove the stem in the middle. Stack the leaves and roll them up, slice the leaves thinly.5-6 kaffir lime leaves
- Use a metal spoon to scrape 400g white snapper meat away from the skin. Carefully remove any remaining bones. Note: to add some springiness to the meat, lift up the meat and slam it back to the plate a few times.400 g white snapper fish
- Place the fish meat into a food processor. Add 1 egg yolk.
- Add 3 tbsp red curry paste. Start blending at high speed until well-mixed. Optional: add fish sauce as seasoning. For this recipe, I omitted it as the curry paste is already quite heavy in flavour.3 tbsp red curry paste
- Scoop out the fish mixture into a bowl and add the kaffir lime leaves and French beans, and mix well.
- Wet your fingers and shape each scoop of fish cake paste into a 8-10mm thick patty. Note: using wet fingers will make the handling of the fish cake paste easier as it does not stick as much.
- Heat cooking oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Place the fish cake patties into the pan and fry a few minutes on each side until the fish cakes turn golden brown. Flip 2-3 times to ensure even cooking.Cooking oil
- Serve warm with sweet chilli sauce.