Thai Fish Cakes (Tod Mun Pla)

j

by Sil Pancho

}

03.15.2024


Thai Fish Cakes (known as Tod Mun Pla) are not only super popular in Thailand but also across the world. If you love the fish cakes at your favourite local Thai restaurant, then try my easy authentic 20-minute version. All you need is fish, red curry paste, egg, corn starch and fish sauce.

Packed with flavour and is much cheaper and better than takeout! I love having these with Tofu Pad See Ew for Thai night at home.

Delicious Thai Fish Cakes served with sweet chilli sauce, lime wedges and Cos lettuce leaves.
Jump to:

🐟 What are Thai Fish Cakes?

Thai Fish Cakes are Thailand’s most beloved entree. Known as Tod Mun Pla in Thai, these are golden fried, spicy and chewy fish patties that have a springy, bouncy texture. In Thai “Tod Mun” means deep fry and “Pla” means fish.

Traditionally, in Thailand, these are made with Clown Featherback fish (known as Pla Grai) because of their unique elastic flesh. The flesh is beaten and whacked with a wooden baton or slapped against a bowl to activate the starch and create a bouncy, springy texture that makes Thai fish cakes so unique.

The fish paste that is created as a result is flavoured with red curry paste, Makrut lime leaves and fish sauce. It is then formed into patties and deep-fried. It is served with a cucumber and sweet-chilli sauce relish.

🦐 Best fish for Thai Fish Cakes

In the absence of Pla Grai, you can use a white fish that has firm, dense and reasonably elastic flesh. Adding 6-8 raw, peeled prawns also increases the elasticity of the resulting fish paste. Your fish must also be slightly fatty as this helps bind the fish paste.

You want to avoid small, lean or flaky fish. Try not to use red fish.

These are the best white fish to use,

  1. Ling (my recipes use this)
  2. Basa (great for Thai fish cakes and what I use for my Thai Green Curry Fish Cakes),
  3. Barramundi
  4. Catfish
  5. Cod
  6. Grouper
  7. Trevalla
  8. Mahi Mahi
Thai Fish Cakes on a serving platter.Thai Fish Cakes on a serving platter.

🧡 Why you’ll love this recipe

  1. You don’t need Thai fish paste or any special, hard to find ingredients for this recipe.
  2. They taste just like your favourite Thai takeout.
  3. They are super easy to make. Just blend a handful of ingredients in the processor, make patties and pan-fry. Done!
  4. Pan-fried, not deep-fried!
  5. Makes a big batch of 18. Super cost-effective and everyone can enjoy generous portions.

📝 Ingredients & Substitutions

Traditional Thai Fish Cakes are made with fish paste. Fish paste is made by beating white fish flesh (like Pla Grai / Clown Featherfish of the Knifeback family) with red curry paste and aromatics until it is starchy, elastic and firm.

To create this same authentic texture and flavour, we only need a handful of easily available ingredients.

Thai Fish Cakes ingredients measured and labeled.Thai Fish Cakes ingredients measured and labeled.

🥣 How to make Thai Fish Cakes?

Destem and chop Makrut Lime leaves very finely. Slice green beans thinly.Destem and chop Makrut Lime leaves very finely. Slice green beans thinly.
  1. Destem and chop Makrut Lime leaves very finely.
  2. Slice green beans thinly.
Add fish, red curry paste, egg, cornflour, fish sauce, coriander, garlic, ginger and lemongrass to the bowl of a food processor and process until it form a smooth and sticky paste. Transfer fish paste to a bowl and add Makrut lime leaves and green beans.Add fish, red curry paste, egg, cornflour, fish sauce, coriander, garlic, ginger and lemongrass to the bowl of a food processor and process until it form a smooth and sticky paste. Transfer fish paste to a bowl and add Makrut lime leaves and green beans.

3. Add fish, red curry paste, egg, cornflour, fish sauce, coriander, garlic, ginger and lemongrass to the bowl of a food processor and process until it forms a smooth and sticky paste.

4. Transfer fish paste to a bowl and add Makrut lime leaves and green beans.

Mix the fish paste very well, kneading and slapping it against the bowl to create a smooth texture. Using damp hands, make 1cm thick patties from 1/4 cup fish paste. Fry patties in shallow oil in a hot pan until cooked and golden on both sides.Mix the fish paste very well, kneading and slapping it against the bowl to create a smooth texture. Using damp hands, make 1cm thick patties from 1/4 cup fish paste. Fry patties in shallow oil in a hot pan until cooked and golden on both sides.

5. Mix the fish paste very well, kneading and slapping it against the bowl to create a smooth texture. Using damp hands, make 1cm thick patties from 1/4 cup fish paste.

6. Fry patties in shallow oil in a hot pan until cooked and golden on both sides.

Serve with sweet chilli sauce and Cos lettuce leaves.

Serve Thai Fish Cakes with sweet chilli sauce and Cos lettuce leaves.Serve Thai Fish Cakes with sweet chilli sauce and Cos lettuce leaves.

🍽️ Serving Suggestions

These Thai Fish Cakes are delicious on their own and served as appetizers at the start of an Asian meal. Serve them with Thai cucumber and sweet chilli dipping sauce along with some fresh Cos lettuce leaves and shredded carrot.

But they can be also served as a main dish with some steamed jasmine rice. Serve these delicious fish cakes alongside these delicious Thai dishes.

  1. Tofu Larb
  2. Prawn & Tofu Pad Thai
  3. Thai Prawn And Mango Salad
  4. Thai Pineapple Fried Rice
  5. Thai Cabbage Salad
  6. Thai Red Curry Tofu Soup
  7. Thai Chicken Noodle Salad
  8. Noodle Free Pad Thai

Cooked fish cakes will keep in the fridge for up to 2 days. Gently heat in the microwave before eating. Freezing these fish cakes is not recommended as they can get water-logged and rubbery after thawing.

Thai Fish Cakes dipped in sweet chilli sauce.Thai Fish Cakes dipped in sweet chilli sauce.

👩🏻‍🍳 Recipe FAQs

🇹🇭 More Thai Recipes

Recipe

Hungry For More Recipes? Subscribe to my newsletter. Check out Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest to see everything I share! And if you love cooking and new cookbooks, join my free Cooking Club on Facebook!

Thai Fish Cakes served on a platter with sweet chilli sauce, lime wedges and Cos lettuce.Thai Fish Cakes served on a platter with sweet chilli sauce, lime wedges and Cos lettuce.
  • To destem Makrut lime leaves, remove the center stem using a sharp paring knife. Slice the leaf into very thin slivers. You can leave them as these slivers or chop them further.

  • Place fish fillets, red curry paste, fish sauce, coriander, egg, sugar, corn starch, garlic, ginger, lemongrass (if using) in the bowl of a food processor.

  • Pulse and process to a smooth paste.

  • Transfer to a medium bowl. Add Makrut lime leaves and green beans.

  • Mix well using your hands to get a smooth, bouncy, lump-free fish paste. Pick up the paste and slap it against the bowl a couple of times until firm.

  • Have a small bowl of cold water ready. Dampen your hands by dipping your fingers in the water bowl. Scoop ¼ cup of the fish mixture and form 1cm high, round patties. Repeat with the remaining paste, wiping your hands with a tea towel and wetting them after every 2-3 patties. You will get approximately 18 patties.

  • Heat enough vegetable oil on medium-high heat in a skillet to cover the base. Add 5-6 patties to the hot oil at a time. Cook for 2-3 minutes then gently turn them over and cook for 2-3 minutes until golden brown.

  • Remove onto a plate lined with a paper towel. Repeat with the remaining patties. If they start browning too quickly, reduce the heat slightly. If they take too long to brown, increase heat slightly.

  • Serve hot with sweet chilli sauce, lime wedges and fresh Cos lettuce leaves.

Fish – I use Ling for my recipe. It is firm and has dense, elastic flesh. Basa is a great substitution. You want a fish that is not lean and slightly oily/fatty as this helps bind the fish paste. Other firm textured, non-flaky white fish to use are Barramundi, Grouper, Cod, Catfish, Trevalla and Mahi Mahi. Red Curry Paste –  I use the Maesri brand of red curry paste. It is a good amount of spicy, salty and savoury. It adds a delicious kick to the fish cakes without being overtly spicy. Some other good brands are Ayam, Marion Grasby (this one is properly spicy!) and Mae Ploy Fish Sauce – This adds saltiness and umami to the fish cakes. If you don’t have it, substitute with half light soy sauce and half lime juice. Makrut Lime leaves – Also known as Kaffir lime leaves. If you can’t find lime leaves, substitute with a teaspoon of lime zest. Beans – Snake beans are thinly sliced and added to the fish cakes. If you can’t find snake beans, substitute with regular green beans. Corn starch and Egg – These are both essential to creating a starchy fish paste that can be shaped into patties. Corn starch (also known as corn flour) is the superfine white powder that is used to thicken Asian sauces. Garlic, Ginger, Coriander, Lemongrass – These are traditionally not added. But my local Thai restaurant adds some of these and boy does it elevate the flavour. These four aromatics enhance the other flavours in the fish cakes. If you don’t have Lemongrass powder, you can substitute it with a teaspoon of finely chopped white part of lemongrass or leave it out. But make sure you add garlic, ginger and coriander. Cleaning – When you finish processing the fish mixture, immediately clean the bowl of the processor by filling it with hot water and scraping off bits of the mixture stuck to the sides and blades. If you don’t do this, the fish and cornflour mixture will dry and be pretty much impossible to clean. Storage – Keeps fresh in the fridge for up to 2 days. Freezing is not recommended.

Calories: 39kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 95mg | Potassium: 96mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 422IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 0.3mg



Source link

HalfwayFoods.com is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Follow us on Social Media

Featured Articles

Comments

0 Comments

Related Articles

The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

photo from Three Girls on Spring The Vegetarian Resource Group maintains an online Guide to Vegan/Vegetarian Restaurants in the USA and Canada. Here are some recent vegan restaurant additions. The entire guide can be found here:...