If you haven't tried Thai fried fish cakes, you're missing out. They’re usually served as fancy appetizers here in the States, but in Thailand, they are a common street food. The vendor normally has a big wok filled with hot oil, so they can be fried fresh to order. They’re served in a plastic bag along with a little bag of dipping sauce and a long toothpick to eat them.
There’s nothing hard about making fishcakes at home, if you have a food processor. Frying them up is quick too. They probably only take about 3 minutes a batch (so I recommend having all the patties made before you start frying). This recipe makes quite a few cakes, perfect for serving at large gatherings. They can also be frozen after they are fried.
- 2 lbs white fish cut into cubes (bones removed), such as tilapia, sole or cod
- 3 tbs cornstarch
- 2 tbs fish sauce
- 2 eggs
- ½ bunch cilantro
- 2 tbs Thai curry paste (red is traditional, but green or yellow is fine)
- 3-4 kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced
- 4 green onions, finely sliced
- ¼ cup Chinese green beans, finely sliced (regular green beans are fine too)
- oil for deep frying
- dipping sauce (recipe follows)
In a wok over medium-high heat, add enough oil to for deep-frying. When it’s hot (check by dropping a small piece of fish mixture in), add the fish patties. Don’t crowd them. Fry on one side until golden, then flip them. They should puff up and take on a nice brown color. Remove with a spider and drain on paper towels or cooling rack. Serve with dipping sauce.
- ½ cup white sugar
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- 1 tbs fish sauce
- sambal oelek or chili-garlic sauce, to taste
- ¼ cup seeded cucumber , chopped
- 2 tbs shallot (preferably Asian), thinly sliced
- 2 tbs chopped cilantro
- chopped peanuts (optional), to taste