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Thai-Style Fish Cakes with Herbal Salad

Hoca

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amazingly golden brown fried fish cakes on a platter with herbal salad and dipping sauce


Serve these flavorful, juicy and crisp Thai-style fish cakes with herbal salad as a light meal or appetizer.

closeup of the thai fish cakes on a platter with the herbal salad and Thai sweet chili dipping sauce


This succulent Thai fish cake recipe was inspired by a delicious meal at a famous NYC Thai restaurant with an award-winning cookbook author, JJ Goode in 2014. I have updated it to share again today.

Ingredients​

the ingredients for the salad and fish cakes

  • White Fish: You can use either cod, tilapia or another white fish. You need 1 pound without skin or bones.
  • Thai Red Curry Paste: Find this in the international raise in the grocery store.
  • Lime Juice and Zest: Fresh lime zest adds flavor to the fish cake. After you zest it, juice it for the dressing. If you can find a lime leaf, mince it finely and use in place of the zest.
  • Galangal: Galangal is a root closely related to both ginger and turmeric. Find it in the produce department with the ginger root. Sub 2 teaspoons grated ginger root if you can’t find it.
  • Thai bird chilis: Try to find Thai bird chilis but if you can’t find them use minced habanero or Scotch bonnet to taste.
  • Thai fish sauce: Thai fish sauce very fairly salty and pungent. If necessary you can sub in a Vietnamese fish sauce.
  • Corn starch: This holds the cakes together.
  • Sugar: Important to balance the flavors. Use either 5 teaspoons maple syrup or brown sugar
  • Coconut oil: To pan fry the cakes
  • Canola oil: for the dressing
  • For the Herbal Salad: You’ll need fresh washed and torn basil leaves, cilantro and mint. To bulk it up, add either Romaine lettuce or Napa Cabbage to your shopping list. The other veggies are chopped scallion or green onion and julienne radish.
  • Thai Sweet Chili Sauce: To serve

How to Make Thai Fish Cakes​

the cod, seasonings and corn starch in the food processor before it is blended for the cake mixture

Step 1: Make Fish Cake​


Cut the fish into large chunks and place it in a food processor with the steel blade attachment. Add your cornstarch, the lime zest (or minced lime leaf), two tablespoons of the fish sauce, 1 tablespoon sugar or maple syrup, galangal (or ginger) and the Thai curry paste. Pulse the mixture to chop it and then process until the mixture comes together as a sticky rough ‘dough’.

forming the cakes

Step 2: Form Into Cakes​


Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Form fish mixture into 8 patties (1/4 cup each) with moist hands, and set on a baking sheet.

frying the thai fish cakes in a skillet with coconut oil

Step 3: Cook fish cakes​


Heat 2 tablespoon coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 4 of the fish cakes and cook until browned on the bottom, 2 to 4 minutes. Carefully turn over and continue cooking, adjusting heat as necessary to prevent burning, until cooked through and the other side is browned, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and keep warm. Repeat with the remaining 2 tablespoons coconut oil and cakes, adjusting heat as necessary.

ThaiFishCakes-6-700x1050.jpg

ThaiFishCakes-9-700x1050.jpg

Step 3: Make Thai Herbal Salad​


Whisk the remaining 2 teaspoons fish sauce, 2 teaspoons maple syrup, lime juice, canola oil and chili in a large bowl. Add Romaine (or Napa), scallion, radish and herbs and toss to coat. Divide salad among four plates top with the fish cakes and drizzle any remaining dressing from the bottom of the bowl over. Alternatively, arrange on a platter with a bowl of the sweet chilli sauce for dunking.

fish cakes on a platter with the herbal salad and thai sweet chili dipping sauce

FAQs and Expert Tips​

How to make these fish cakes ahead:
To make ahead, assemble the fish cakes but don’t cook. Place them in an airtight container with pieces of parchment paper placed in between each fish cake. Place in the fridge for 1-2 days or freeze for 1-2 months.

What goes with Thai Fish Cakes?
These are usually served as a starter at Thai restaurants, but you can serve them as a meal with jasmine rice or sticky rice.


Thanks so much for reading! If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my email newsletter to get a free weekly menu plan and the latest recipes right to your inbox. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you thought!

Happy Cooking! ~Katie

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the fish cakes on a platter with sweet chile dipping sauce

Thai-Style Fish Cakes with Herbal Salad




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Description


Thai fish cakes with shredded herbal salad is an appetizer to share with sweet Thai dipping sauce or serve as a light dinner with freshly steamed rice.


Ingredients

Units USM
  • 1 pound uncooked boneless skinless white fish
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest or 1 fresh kaffir lime leaf, minced
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons Thai fish sauce, divided
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons maple syrup (or brown sugar), divided
  • 1 tablespoon grated galangal, or 2 teaspoons grated ginger root
  • 2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil, divided
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh chili, preferably Thai bird chilis or 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or more to taste
  • 4 cups shredded Romaine or Napa cabbage
  • 1 scallion, minced
  • 1 cup julienne radish
  • 1 cup loosely packed torn mixed basil leaves, cilantro and mint
  • Thai Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce (optional)
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Instructions

  1. Cut the fish into large chunks and place in a food processor with steel blade attachment. Add cornstarch, lime zest (or lime leaf), two tablespoons fish sauce, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, galangal (or ginger) and curry paste. Pulse and then process until the mixture comes together as a sticky rough ‘dough’.
  2. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Form fish mixture into 8 patties (1/4 cup each) with moist hands, and set on a baking sheet.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoon coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 4 of the fish cakes and cook until browned on the bottom, 2 to 4 minutes. Carefully turn over and continue cooking, adjusting heat as necessary to prevent burning, until cooked through and the other side is browned, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and keep warm. Repeat with the remaining 2 tablespoons coconut oil and cakes, adjusting heat as necessary.
  4. Whisk the remaining 2 teaspoons fish sauce, 2 teaspoons maple syrup, lime juice, canola oil and chili in a large bowl. Add Romaine (or Napa), scallion, radish and herbs and toss to coat. Serve on a platter as an appetizer with the dipping sauce. Or divide salad among four plates top with the fish cakes and drizzle any remaining dressing from the bottom of the bowl over.

Notes


Make Ahead:

To make ahead, assemble the fish cakes but don’t cook. Place them in an airtight container with pieces of parchment paper placed in between each. Place in the fridge for 1-2 days or freeze for 1-2 months.

  • icon-clock.png
    Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • icon-clock.png
    Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • icon-folder.png
    Category: Main Course
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    Method: Stove Top
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    Cuisine: Thai

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2 cakes and 2 cups salad
  • Calories: 222
  • Fat: 11
  • Saturated Fat: 5 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 23 g

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