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Fish Cakes - Thai (Tod Man) Recipe

Traditional fishcakes, usually served with a Cucumber dipping sauce (see below).

They freeze well, and if you're careful, can be cooked straight from the freezer.

If you enjoy cooking take a minute to look at - top-class dishes from beginners upwards


Equipment: A food processor

1 kg/2 lb 4 oz skinned white fish fillets, such as Cod, Coley or Haddock
100g piece of chopped Spanish Onion, or the same weight of shallots
A small bunch, about 20g of fresh Coriander leaves, roughly-chopped
A 6cm/2½ in piece of fresh Ginger, peeled and finely-chopped
1 stem of fresh Lemongrass, the outer leaves discarded, and the remainder finely-chopped
The finely-grated zest from 2 Limes or one unwaxed Lemon
2 Red Chilis (use larger, milder varieties); deseeded and chopped
2 tablespoons (30ml) Thai Fish Sauce (Nam Pla)
90g/3 oz Green Beans, trimmed and cut into small lengths
4 tablespoons (60ml) Vegetable Oil
Salt and freshly-ground Black Pepper
2 level tablespoons of skinned unsalted peanuts, roughly-chopped (optional)


1. Check the fish fillets for any stray bones, and remove these if found.
2. Roughly-chop the fish into small cubes of about 2cm/½ in; add all the other ingredients - except the beans and oil - season with a litle salt and pepper.
3. Mix well together, and process in batches in a processor, using the 'pulse' button if you have one. The aim is to achieve a roughly-chopped mixture not a smooth paste.
4. Transfer the processed mixture back to a bowl, mix in the beans and divide the mixture into about 30 balls. Flatten these into small patties of about 6cm/2½ ins.
5. Fry over a medium heat in the oil, for about 2 minutes on each side, and keep them warm in the oven, if you are using them all in one go.

Serve with Cucumber Dipping Sauce, and scatter with chopped peanuts, if you have them - See Below.

Cucumber Dipping Sauce; Thai:
10cm/4 in length of Cucumber, deseeded and diced
350ml/12 fl oz Rice or White Wine Vinegar
6 level tablespoons (90ml) Caster Sugar
2 medium Carrots, peeled and finely-diced, by hand into cubes
2 Shallots or ¼ of a mild Spanish Onion, peeled and finely-chopped
2 fresh Red Chilis, deseeded and finely-chopped

1. Combine the vinegar and sugar together in a non-reactive pan (so not aluminium), and melt the sugar over a low heat - stirring until it has fully dissolved.
2. Bring to the boil, and simmer for 5 minutes, until it has become a syrup.
3. Set the syrup aside to cool.
4. When cold, add the cucumber, carrot, shallot or onion and chili.

Transfer to a serving bowl.

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