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Thai fish cakes in a platter.

Thai Fish Cakes Tod Mun Pla​

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  • Author: Suwanee
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 12-15 pieces 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Prepare your taste buds for a culinary journey to Thailand with Thai fish cakes Tod Mun Pla, the 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! 


  • 1 pound fresh halibut, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste. Use more or less as preferred, but adjust the fish sauce and sugar slightly if adding more.
  • 1/2 cup very thinly sliced green beans. Around 1/4 inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour or cornstarch
  • 1 medium egg
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves, julienned
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce, Squid brand
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1/4 cup oil or as needed for pan frying the 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. 

  1. Preparing the Fish. 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 1/3 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. 
  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.
  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 cautious not to overcrowd the pan, which can affect the cooking process.
  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.  Have my Thai sweet chili dipping sauce in a small bowl to serve with your tasty fish cakes. 
  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.


  • I tested my recipes with homemade Thai red curry paste using Mae Ploy and Maesri store-bought paste. 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.

** Thank you so much for visiting my blog! This is truly a passion for me. If you have enjoyed these recipes and appreciate the hard work I put into them, I would love it if you would share them with your friends! Your recommendation is the highest review I could hope for, and I’d appreciate it! **

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Category: appetizer, fish recipes
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: Thai