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Thai Fish Cakes (Tod Mun Pla)

A popular snack and appetizer in Thailand

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/5
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0
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SERVES
5
Cooks in
25
min
LEVEL
Fair
SERVES
5
Cooks in
25
min
level
Fair

Instructions

Tod Num Pla, also known as Thai Fish Cakes, is a popular snack and appetizer in Thailand. Every Thai mom or restaurant has his own signature recipe, but they have a few things in common; fresh fish, good curry paste, sliced snake beans, and a lot of lime leaves! Some of them remove the flesh from the skin with a spoon and then mix all the ingredients by hand, resulting in a more chunky structure. In a lot of places they also use a food processor to create a very smooth paste. I like my Tod Num Pla to be a compromise of the two methods; I do use a Food processor, but I like to keep it fairly chunky for the best texture.

These fish cakes are traditionally served with a sweet and spicy dipping sauce made from sweet chili sauce, diced shallots, fresh cucumber, and chopped peanuts. You can perfectly make the mixture ahead of time an keep it in the fridge for maximum of 12 hours, but make sure you fry them just before serving. This way you spend as little time in the kitchen as possible while you have guests. 

ingredients tod num pla
ingredients for Tod Num Pla

Step 1
Begin by preparing the dipping sauce. In a small bowl, combine the sweet chili sauce, diced shallot, diced cucumber, and chopped peanuts. Stir well and set aside.

Step 2
Rinse the fish fillet and pat dry with paper towels. Cut the fish into small pieces and place them in a food processor or blender. If you don't want use a food processor scrape the fish of the skin with a spoon, as shown in the picture below.


Step 3
Add the red curry paste, egg, and fish sauce to the food processor. Pulse the ingredients together until they form a smooth paste. It can still be a bit chunky, don’t over-pulse the mixture.

Step 4
Transfer the fish paste to a mixing bowl and add the sliced beans, chopped krapao leaves (thai basil), and lime leaves. Mix well.

Step 5
Heat some oil in a deep frying pan or wok over medium heat.

Step 6
Using a spoon, scoop up a small amount of the fish mixture and form it into a small patty. Carefully place the patty into the hot oil. Repeat until you have used up all the mixture, making sure not to overcrowd the pan.



Step 7
Fry the fish cakes for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until they are golden brown and cooked through.

Step 8
Use a slotted spoon to remove the fish cakes from the oil and transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels to drain off any excess oil.

Step 9
Serve the fish cakes hot with the dipping sauce on the side. Enjoy!

Chefs tip
"Use fish that is in season in your region and as fresh as possible. This will ensure the best flavor and will reduce the cost. You can think of Snapper, Cod, or any other firm white fish. Enjoy!"

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