Tod Man Pla (Thai Fish Cakes)

It is possible to blend the mixture in a food processor and pulse it until it slightly thickens instead of slapping it to the side of a bowl. For a fresh side, serve with a cucumber salad.

Serves: 4Hands-on: 25 minutesTotal: 25 minutesDifficulty: Easy

Serves: 4


  • 1⁄3 cup white vinegar
  • 1⁄3 cup plus 1 tsp. sugar, divided
  • 3 small pickling cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 4 Tbsp. chopped cilantro, divided
  • 8 ounces ground cod
  • 4 Tbsp. red curry paste
  • 1 1⁄2 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tbsp. grated lime zest
  • 3 cups vegetable oil


  • In a medium saucepan, bring vinegar, 1⁄3 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, garlic, and 2 tablespoons cilantro. Toss to combine. Set aside for 20 minutes.
  • 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.
  • Mix in lime zest, scallions, and remaining 2 tablespoons cilantro.
  • Heat oil in a medium fry pan over medium heat to reach 350°F. Roll fish mixture into small discs and deep-fry. Drain on paper towels. Serve fish cakes with cucumber salad.