Prepare your taste buds for a culinary journey to Thailand with Thai fish cakes Tod Mun Pla, that beloved delectable morsels, and Thai street food delicacy that will leave you craving more. An easy and high-protein appetizer that can be made in 20 minutes!
If you ever find yourself in Thailand, don't miss out on trying the delicious Thai fishcakes called Tod Mun Pla. These addictive street food snacks can be found with street vendors and Thai restaurants.
The recipe is easy, and the results are bursting with bold flavors. Made with minced fish, vibrant herbs, and a hint of spice, these fishcakes are a must-try.
Don't forget to pair them with steamed rice and crunchy string beans for a complete Thai food experience.
- Why You'll Love Thai Fish Cakes!
- What are Thai Fish Cakes?
- Ingredients for Thai Fish Cakes Tod Man Pla
- Fish options for making Thai fish cakes
- How to Make Thai Fish Cakes (Tod Mun Pla)
- Garnishing and Pairing Options
- Helpful Kitchen Notes and Tips
- Helpful Kitchen Tools for this Recipe
- What to Serve with Thai Fish Cakes (Tod Mun Pla)
- Top tip
- Thai Fish Cakes Tod Mun Pla
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Related Thai Recipes You'll Love
- More Thai Recipes You'll Enjoy
For more delicious Thai appetizers, make Thai egg rolls, Thai fried chicken, Thai shrimp cakes, Khao Jee Thai stick rice patties, Kanom Jeeb- Thai dumplings, Thai beef jerky and Thai grilled pork neck.
Why You'll Love Thai Fish Cakes!
- Explosion of Flavors: Tod Mun Pla offers an explosion of flavors in each bite, combining the umami of fish with aromatic Thai spices.
- The spiciness level is customizable! Adjust the red curry paste as needed for your taste buds.
- A healthy and protein-packed snack, appetizer, or finger food for any dinner functions
- Perfectly Balanced: These fish cakes strike the perfect balance between spiciness, sweetness, and tanginess, making them an ideal appetizer or main course.
- Authentic Thai Experience: You'll get to experience the authentic taste of Thailand right in your own kitchen, a culinary adventure worth embarking on.
- Impress Your Guests: Whether served at gatherings or enjoyed as a delightful snack, Tod Mun Pla will impress your family and friends.
What are Thai Fish Cakes?
Tod Mun Pla, or Thai Fish Cakes, are savory, deep-fried patties made from minced or ground fish mixed with a fragrant blend of Thai herbs and spices. These spicy fish cakes are famous for their unique texture, combining a crispy exterior with a tender, flavorful interior. Often served with a sweet chili sauce, they are a must-try for any lover of Thai cuisine.
Ingredients for Thai Fish Cakes Tod Man Pla
To create these delectable fish cakes, you'll need the following ingredients. The measurements are in the recipe card below.
- White fish fillets. The kind of fish meat used is crucial for the best results. Fresh Tilapia is highly recommended. Use fresh fish fillets instead of frozen fish.
- Tapioca flour. This is the glue that binds together the fish paste.
- Thai red curry paste. Use my homemade Thai curry paste or store-bought. *See kitchen notes below for curry pastes used for extra tips.
- Kaffir lime leaves. Find frozen or fresh kaffir lime leaf at your local Asian market. They are also called and labeled Makrut lime leaves.
- Green beans. In Thai cuisine, long beans are used for most recipes, but they can be difficult to find outside Thailand. Use any beans you can find at your regular grocery store.
- Fish sauce. I used squid brand fish sauce, which tends to be saltier with a strong umami taste. Adjust yours as needed by adding a small amount first, then add more as needed before frying.
- Egg. I used an entire egg rather than just egg whites in some recipes. The small amount didn't make that much difference in my recipe testing since I'm using only one egg.
- Sugar. You need a small amount to balance out the fish sauce, lime juice, and curry paste.
- Lime juice. For added tanginess and balance to the red-curry-flavored fish cakes. Use rice vinegar, Apple cider, or white vinegar as a substitute.
- Vegetable oil. (Use enough oil for frying). You can deep fry your fish cakes, but I opted for shallow fry instead for a healthier option.
Fish options for making Thai fish cakes
The choice of fish is crucial for having the right texture for the perfect fish cakes. Use fresh white fish fillets for making Thai fish cakes. Tilapia is my favorite, but these types of fish will work: Snapper, Salmon (you'll get a nice bright orange fish cake), Monkfish, Perch, and Flathead.
How to Make Thai Fish Cakes (Tod Mun Pla)
Step 1: Preparing the Fish Mixture
Begin by cutting the fish fillets into small pieces and place them into a small food processor. Combine the rest of the ingredients in the food processor and blitz until you have a smooth texture. Remove the paste into a medium mixing bowl.
*My top kitchen tips: I leave ⅓ of my green beans to add to the paste later for added texture and crunch in the recipe. This step is optional but fun to have added texture to my fish cakes.
Step 2: Shaping the Fish Cakes
With slightly wet hands, take one heaping tablespoon of fish paste mixture and shape them into round fish balls, then gently flatten them with your hands to make them into patties. The moisture on your hands prevents the mixture from sticking.
You'll need wet hands and a wet spoon every 3-4 patties to keep the sticky paste from clinging to your palms. Having a bowl of cold water nearby is handy.
Step 3: Frying to Perfection
Heat vegetable oil in a pan over medium heat. When the oil reaches the right temperature, gently place the fish cakes into the pan. Fry them until they turn a beautiful golden brown on both sides.
Be sure not to overcrowd the pan, which can affect the cooking process.
Step 4: Remove and Serve
Once the fish cakes are perfectly golden brown, carefully remove them from the hot oil. Place them on paper towels to absorb any excess oil. Lined a shallow small serving bowl with sliced cucumbers or cabbage for serving your fish cakes.
Make my Thai sweet chili dipping sauce in a small bowl to serve with your tasty fish cakes.
Step 5: Serve with Dipping Sauce
Thai Fish Cakes (Tod Mun Pla) is traditionally served with a dipping sauce. While sweet chili sauce is a classic choice, you can pair it with Thai sweet chili sauce, Thai cucumber salad relish, or a zesty Thai green chili sauce.
Garnish and Enjoy
For an appealing visual touch, garnish your Tod Mun Pla with thinly sliced kaffir lime leaves and sliced cucumber before serving.
Garnishing and Pairing Options
- Fresh herbs such as Thai basil or cilantro leaves can add freshness to your dish.
- Enjoy your Thai fish cakes with fresh salad. It's a great option for a high-protein dish.
- Thai fish cakes can be served as appetizers, finger food, or a side dish.
Helpful Kitchen Notes and Tips
- I tested my recipes with homemade Thai red curry paste using Mae Ploy and Maesri brand store-bought pastes. Mae Ploy paste is on the saltier side, so use less fish sauce in the recipe. Maesri paste is tangy and sweeter, so use less lime juice, vinegar, and sugar.
- Find both brands of curry paste at your Asian markets. I have never used Thai kitchen brands; they are sold at mainstream grocery stores, so I wouldn't know how to recommend them.
- Choosing the right fish with a firm texture is essential for achieving the perfect consistency of the fish cakes.
- Frozen fish is not recommended as the water content will make the fresh fish paste runny and too flakey in a chalky way.
- A food processor is your best friend for finely mincing the fish and blending all the ingredients seamlessly.
- Don't rush the frying process; patience will reward you with beautifully crispy fish cakes.
Helpful Kitchen Tools for this Recipe
- A food processor for effortlessly mincing the fish and mixing the ingredients.
- Food mixing bowl.
- Spatulas for mixing the fish cakes
What to Serve with Thai Fish Cakes (Tod Mun Pla)
- These fish cakes are typically served as an appetizer or main course with jasmine rice and Thai sweet chili sauce.
- Experiment with different types of fish or seafood to create your unique twist on this classic recipe.
- If you can't find Thai red curry paste, you can make your own by combining red chili peppers, lemongrass, garlic, shallots, and other spices.
- Use Penang curry paste or Prik Khing curry paste if red curry paste is unavailable.
- While Tod Mun Pla is best enjoyed fresh, you can store any leftovers in an airtight container for later enjoyment. The hardest part is not to do half of it before serving others! So, doubling up on the recipe is a good idea! (;
Sample and taste test your fish cakes. Test a small amount of the fish cake by microwaving it for 20-30 seconds. Adjust your fish cakes with any additional seasoning that will give you the perfect balance for your taste buds. Fish sauce, lime juice, a touch of sugar, or a dash of white pepper could boost your cakes.
Frequently Asked Questions
I don't recommend it, but if you have to, you can use frozen fish, but make sure to thaw it completely and remove any excess moisture before mincing.
You can experiment with vegetarian or vegan alternatives, such as tofu or plant-based fish substitutes.
While sweet chili sauce is popular, you can also explore dipping sauces like peanut or tamarind.
The spiciness can be adjusted based on the amount of Thai red curry paste you use. Start with less if you prefer milder fish cakes.
You can freeze the mixture in small portions and fry them as needed for a quick and delicious snack.
Related Thai Recipes You'll Love
- Beef Penang curry and Panang curry paste.
- Thai basic red curry paste
- Pad Thai - Thailand's famous stir-fried noodle dish- sweet and savory.
- Thai Chicken Satay - Skewered and grilled chicken served with a rich peanut sauce.
- Thai Basil Fried Rice - Thai-style fried rice is a quick and flavorful meal option.
- Thai Beef Salad - A refreshing salad with tender slices of beef and zesty Thai flavors.
More Thai Recipes You'll Enjoy
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