Fish Cakes (Tod Man Pla)

It is possible to blend the mixture in a food processor and pulse it until it slightly thickens instead of slapping it to the bowl. Be careful not to over mix because the cakes will be very chewy.

Serves: 4Hands-on: 30 minutesTotal: 30 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 4


  • ⅓ cup white vinegar
  • ⅓ cup plus 1 tsp. sugar, divided
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 small pickling cucumbers, very thinly sliced
  • 1 small serrano pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 small shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp. minced ginger
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 8 oz. cod, minced
  • 4 Tbsp. red curry paste
  • 1½ Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 large egg
  • 5 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped green beans
  • 3 cups vegetable oil


  • In a medium saucepan, bring white vinegar, ⅓ cup sugar, water, and salt to a boil to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat and let cool. Transfer the cooled mixture to a medium bowl and add cucumbers, serrano pepper, shallot, ginger, and cilantro. Toss to combine. Let the salad rest for 20 minutes.
  • While cucumber salad rests, combine fish, curry paste, fish sauce, remaining 1 teaspoon sugar, and egg in a stainless steel or sturdy mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly. Gather the mixture into a ball and throw it back to the side of the bowl. Continue slapping the mixture to the side of the bowl until the mixture is thick and sticky.
  • Stir in lime leaves and green beans.
  • Heat oil in a fry pan over medium heat to reach 350°F. Roll the fish mixture into small discs and deep-fry until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels and serve with the cucumber salad.