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Thai Fried Fish Cakes

Learn how to prepare Thai fish cakes at home. They are light, bouncy, airy, and juicy. Each delicious bite is bursting with fish sauce, red curry paste, and herbs.
Thai fried fish cakes.

Thai fried fish cakes.

Fish cakes are one of my greatest comfort food, especially Asian fish cakes. No matter which country they are from, Asian fish cakes are usually very airy and light, and has a great bounce and bite.

Fish cakes range from plain white balls made primarily from fish and not much else, to something colorful and filled with spices and herbs such as these Thai fish cakes.

If you love Thai food, I think you will be in love with these Thai fish cakes. They are very easy to prepare, which is a great thing, since you will be making plenty of these once you learn how to make this just once in your life. :)

Ingredients for Thai fried fish cakes: fish fillet, Thai red curry paste, fish sacue, white pepper, coconut palm sugar, garlic, egg, scallions, cilantro, lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves.

Ingredients for Thai fried fish cakes: fish fillet, Thai red curry paste, fish sacue, white pepper, coconut palm sugar, garlic, egg, scallions, cilantro, lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves.

Ingredients for Thai fried fish cakes

We will need white fish fillet, garlic, egg, fish sauce, Thai red curry paste, coconut palm sugar, ground white/black pepper, scallions, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and cilantro.

Which white fish is suitable for Thai fish cakes?

You can use any kind of white fish with a firm flesh to prepare Thai fish cakes. You can use fresh fillet or frozen fillet, I have tried both and either works beautifully.

Some fish variety that you can try include swai/dory, tilapia, catfish, sea bass, and cod.

When making meatballs, you want some fat to create juicy meatballs. The same is true when making fish cakes. Fishes with higher fat content fish in general will taste better, and that is one of the main reason why I love using swai/dory or catfish for Thai fish cakes.

(1) Place fish fillet, garlic, egg, fish sauce, Thai red curry paste, coconut palm sugar, and white pepper in a food processor. (2) Puree into a smooth paste. (3) Transfer fish paste into a mixing bowl, along with scallions, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and cilantro. (4) Stir until well mixed.

(1) Place fish fillet, garlic, egg, fish sauce, Thai red curry paste, coconut palm sugar, and white pepper in a food processor. (2) Puree into a smooth paste. (3) Transfer fish paste into a mixing bowl, along with scallions, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and cilantro. (4) Stir until well mixed.

How to make Thai fish cakes

Use a food processor to puree fish fillet, garlic, egg, fish sauce, Thai red curry paste, coconut palm sugar, and ground white pepper into a smooth paste.

Transfer pureed fish paste to a mixing bowl, stir in scallions, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and cilantro until well mixed.

Heat 2 inches of oil for deep frying over medium heat. Once the oil is hot (~ 170 Celsius/340 Fahrenheit), scoop about 2 tablespoons of fish paste and gently drop into the hot oil to fry.

Fry until the fish cakes turn golden brown. It only takes a very short time to fry the fish cakes, so you must be vigilent not to let the fish cakes becoming too brown. It took me about 1 minute to get the desired doneness.

Remove fried fish cakes from hot oil and drain over a wire rack over a baking tray, or a stainless steel strainer/colander over a mixing bowl.

Scoop about 2 tablespoons worth of fish paste and fry in hot oil until golden brown. Drain to remove excess oil.

Scoop about 2 tablespoons worth of fish paste and fry in hot oil until golden brown. Drain to remove excess oil.

I want flat fish cakes like the ones from Thai restaurants

I use a medium cookie scoop per fish cake and use the release mechanism of the scooper to drop the fish paste into hot oil. If you do this, you will end up with roundish fish cakes like the ones in the photos.

If you prefer fish cakes that look more flat like the ones in Thai restaurants, you will need an additional step.

Instead of releasing the scooped fish paste directly into hot oil, you will want to release it to a spatula first. Then flatten lightly with another spatula so the fish paste is more flat. Then gently drop the flattened fish paste into hot oil.

My family is never fussy about the shape of their food so long as they are good, so I rarely bother with this extra step. But if you want flat fish cakes, you know how to do it now. :)

Thai fried fish cakes.

Thai fried fish cakes.

How to store fish cakes

Don’t store raw fish paste since it will become tough and grainy after even just one night in the fridge.

Please store only fried fish cakes. You can store any leftover fish cakes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can also freeze fish cakes for up to 3 months.

Thai fried fish cakes.

Thai fried fish cakes.

How to serve Thai fish cakes

If you visit any Thai restaurant that serve fried fish cakes, you will most likely spot them in the appetizer section of the menu. So these fish cakes are a great option for appetizer.

Another of my favorite way is to use them as noodle toppings. I usually cut each fish cake into thin slices and add them to my noodles. Even instant noodles will taste a million times better with these fried fish cakes.

Thai Fried Fish Cakes

5.0 from 6 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson

Categories:

Cuisine:

Ingredients:

Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 10 mins

Total Time: 25 mins

Serves: 12 fish cakes

Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 450 gram (1 lb) white fish fillet, such as swai/dory, catfish, cod, or tilapia.
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 4 teaspoon Thai red curry paste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon coconut palm sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper/black pepper
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemongrass, white part only, minced
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped
  • 4 stalk cilantro, finely chopped (~ 2 tablespoon)

Instructions

  1. Use a food processor to puree fish fillet, garlic, egg, fish sauce, Thai red curry paste, coconut palm sugar, and ground white pepper into a smooth paste.
  2. Transfer pureed fish paste to a mixing bowl, stir in scallions, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and cilantro until well mixed.
  3. Heat 2 inches of oil for deep frying over medium heat.
  4. Once the oil is hot (~ 170 Celsius/340 Fahrenheit), scoop about 2 tablespoons of fish paste and gently drop into the hot oil to fry. (Note 1)
  5. Fry until the fish cakes turn golden brown. It only takes a very short time to fry the fish cakes, so you must be vigilent not to let the fish cakes becoming too brown. It took me about 1 minute to get the desired doneness.
  6. Remove fried fish cakes from hot oil and drain over a wire rack over a baking tray, or a stainless steel strainer/colander over a mixing bowl.

Notes

  • (1) I use a medium cookie scoop per fish cake. You can shape them into patties, or just leave them roundish like what I did.
Indonesian Pantry
Indonesian Kitchen

Comments

  • Scarlet Scarlet says:

    I love to try new things so this Thai fried fish cake recipe will be just up my alley! Thanks.

  • Stephanie Stephanie says:

    These Thai fried fish cakes are amazing! So juicy and full of flavor.

  • Anjali  Anjali says:

    These look so flavorful and delicious!! Perfect for a dinner party!

  • Tyler Kiser Tyler Kiser says:

    Love the Thai flavors in this recipe!! This one’s a keeper!

  • Emily Liao Emily Liao says:

    These fried fish cakes were so delicious! Will definitely make again :)

  • Priya Lakshminarayan Priya Lakshminarayan says:

    This is mouthwateringly delicious! Thanks for the detailed recipe

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