Thai fish cakes recipe

Thai fishcakes, also known as to munpla in Thailand, are bursting with flavor. They are a portion of popular street food in Thailand and have become very famous worldwide.

Full of flavor thanks to fish sauce, onions, and curry paste.

The perfect a, soft, almost sponge-like texture.

Affordable – much cheaper than local restaurants.

These are great for appetizers, party finger food, or dinners.

You get more value for your money. These are just as good, or even better than the local Thai restaurants. You’ll never repurchase them. The perfect umami taste dipped into a sweet and tangy Thai cucumber relish.

Want to make a Thai feast at home? Serve some Thai satay, then follow it up with a lighter dinner of Lime Coconut Chicken.

What are Thai Fish Cakes?

The texture of traditional Thai fishcakes is spongy but still tender. These are classic Thai street foods, usually served with a skewer for picking them up and a cucumber-based sauce called ahead.

These are packed with flavor thanks to the classic Thai ingredients: fish, fish paste, spring onions (which add crunch), lime, green beans, and curry paste. I use Green Curry Paste instead of red curry paste in this recipe. These are a cross between Thai fish cakes and Thai prawn cakes. I combine both prawns with fish.

Ingredients that you will need

The recipe card below contains exact quantities and instructions.

Fish Try a nice White fish – you can also try Snapper, Basa, Ling, Dory, Cobbler, Hoki, or Perch. Avoid substantial fish such as swordfish and sharks or oily fish such as sardines or mackerel.

Shrimps: Although I like the addition of shrimp, this is not a traditional recipe. You can use any fish.

Curry Paste: In the past, curry paste was made with red curry, but I prefer the freshness and flavor of Green curry paste. Choose your favorite.

Spring Onions: Also called scallions, green onions, or spring onions, these onions are a great way to add a little onion flavor while also adding some freshness.

Fish Sauce: It is impossible to skip the fish sauce.

Lime adds tanginess and freshness.

Green beans are a must-have ingredient for Thai fish cakes. Green beans are less flavourful than you might think. They add crunch rather than flavor.

How to make Thai Fish Cakes (step-by-step)

They are easy to make. You only need 10 mins and a processor to prepare the mix for frying.

The recipe card below contains exact quantities and instructions.

Combine fish with spring onions, curry paste, fish sauce, and lime zest in a food processing machine. Just process until you have a few pieces left.

Add the prawns and blend until you are happy with the texture. You can keep some chunks or make it smooth. I like to have a few small pieces of prawn remaining.

Mix in green beans, then form the mixture into small patties.

Fry patties on both sides until golden.

Dipping sauce for Thai fish cakes

The classic Thai fish cake dipping sauce is often served with Satay. My version is based on the one I like at my favorite Thai restaurant, which has small cubes made of onion, cucumber, and chili. This sauce is so delicious, and I use it on everything from satay chicken to spring rolls to my prawn toasts.

Serve these with sauce sweet and sour.

The recipe card below contains exact quantities and instructions.

Boil rice vinegar with sugar and water in a saucepan for one minute. Then let it cool.

Mix cucumbers, onions, chili, and fish sauce.

Tricks and tips

When shaping the patties, wet your hands. Since this is a sticky and soft mixture, slightly moistening your hands will prevent it from sticking.

Use the cookie spoon to scoop up the mixture. If available, you can use a scoop that is about two tablespoons. The fish cakes will be all the same size.

Refrain from overcrowding your pan. Fry fish cakes in batches to avoid them steaming. The fish cakes will stay warm if you cover them with foil and place them on a plate.

Make this sauce in advance: This sauce can be made ahead of time and will sit happily in your refrigerator for days.

Thai Fish Cakes: What to serve?

Thai fishcakes (Tod Mun Pla) are usually served as appetizers or starters in restaurants. They’re perfect for parties or even for a portion of simple finger food.

Rice Serve with plain steamed rice or try my shrimp fried rice.

Asian Slaw is also delicious – it’s crunchy and tangy.

Noodles – Try them with pad Thai noodles or pad see ew.

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Thai Fish Cakes

Thai fishcakes are a favorite Thai restaurant dish and are easy to make yourself. This classic Thai street food has many flavors and is served with crunchy, sweet, tangy Thai cucumber sauce.


Stirring constantly, heat rice wine vinegar and sugar with water. Bring to a rolling boil and let it cool.

Add the cucumber, onion, and chili once cooled. Stir in fish sauce.

Peel and devein prawns. Chop them into small pieces. Set aside.

Place the fish in a food processor after removing the bones.

Add the green curry paste, egg, and spring onions to the food processor. Add the spring onions, green curry paste, fish sauce, and egg to the food processor. Use a Microplane for zesting the lime. Add the zest to the food processor.

Blend until only a few pieces remain.

Blend the prawns again until they are all finely chopped.

Add the green beans to the mixture and combine with a spatula.

Wet your hands and carefully press two tablespoons of the mixture into a disc about 5cm wide.

Heat half of the oil in a nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. You may need twice as much fat if your pan isn’t nonstick.

Cook for 2 minutes or until the mixture is visible halfway up the fishcake. Flip the fish cake over and cook for another 2 minutes.

Transfer the fish cakes to a plate covered with paper towels. Repeat with the remaining oil and fishcakes.

Slice the limes into wedges. Serve the fishcakes with lime wedges on the side (squeeze a little lime juice over the cakes) and Thai cucumber sauce.

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Tablespoons I measure with a standard Australian tablespoon of 20ml (equivalent to four teaspoons). Check the size of yours first.

Prawn Meat: The weight shown is only for the meat. You’ll need at least two times as many prawns if you buy them in their shells.

Curry Paste: Traditional Thai red curry paste has been used, but I prefer the freshness and flavor of green curry paste. Use whatever you have or like. Leave it out if you do not want your fishcakes to be spicy.

Thai cucumber dip. If making the sauce is not for you, then a store-bought Thai Sweet Chili Sauce will work.

Consistency: you can blend it until the mixture is completely smooth. However, I prefer a few chunky pieces of prawn.

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