Classic Thai Fish Cakes
Thai fish cakes are a very flavorful common street food in Thailand. The fresh taste of the fish, spices, and herbs make this dish simply delicious.
- Serves: 6 persons
- 1lb. fish fillets (white-fleshed, such as cod)
- 3tbsp. coconut milk
- 2 ½tbsp. fish sauce
- ½tbsp. chili powder
- ⅓tsp. cumin (ground)
- ¼tsp. coriander (ground)
- ½tsp. brown sugar
- ½cup bread crumbs
- 6makrut lime leaves (cut into thin strips, or 1/2 tsp. grated lime zest )
- 2green onions (thinly sliced)
- 1inch-sized knob galangal (or ginger, grated)
- 3garlic cloves
- 1red chili (minced, or 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. dried crushed chili)
- 1to 2 tbsp. oil for high-temperature frying (such as peanut oil )
Step 1Rinse fish and pat dry thoroughly. Cut into chunks and place in food processor or large chopper.
Step 2In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the coconut milk , fish sauce, chili powder, cumin , coriander, and brown sugar. Stir with a fork to combine, then pour into the processor over the fish.
Step 3Add 1/2 cup bread crumbs , makrut lime leaf strips, green onion, galangal or ginger, garlic, and chili pepper. Pulse to combine. You should be able to pick this mixture up in your hand and form it into cakes. If you find it too wet, add more breadcrumbs and pulse again until you get a good consistency. (Much of this will depend on the fish you're using and how much moisture it contains).
Step 4Scoop up a small amount in your hand (about the size of a golf ball), pat into a small cake and set on a clean plate. Note that traditional Thai fish cakes are small and not too thick (about 2 inches in diameter and 3/4- to 1-inch thick). It helps to rinse your hands every so often with cool water to prevent the mixture from sticking.
Step 5Set the plate of cakes in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to firm up. Meanwhile, pour oil into a small frying pan or wok , at least 1-inch deep, and prepare your garnishes.
Step 6Heat oil; when hot enough (a breadcrumb should sizzle and cook immediately when dropped in), gently set cakes in oil. Fry 30 seconds to 1 minute before turning, gently lifting cakes from the bottom of the pan. Fry until golden brown and drain on paper towel.
Step 7Serve immediately with cucumber and Thai sweet chili sauce on the side for dipping. Top with fresh cilantro and serve with lime wedges that should be squeezed over just before eating.