Thai Style Fish Cakes and Sauce

I worked and travelled in Thailand for one summer and ended up staying in Chiang Mai for 3 days in the desperate search to see an elephant. The 3 days then turned into 2 weeks, as I lost track of time. I never did get to meet an elephant in that particular city except for one sad, wizened elephant who accompanied its master through a seedy district of town as a novelty for tourists.  Although my exposure to these ancient pachyderms was a letdown, the rest of the city had plenty to offer.

I could spend countless posts praising or describing this incredible country, but will instead just focus on the couple of days when I signed up for Thai cooking classes at the renowned Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School, run by Thailand’s answer to Emeril: Chef Sompon. Classes would typically begin after lunch and last until dinner time and would include the preparation of 5 or 6 traditional dishes. Even though meals were spaced out, I would still skip breakfast each day just to make room for the feast that would follow. The Thai fish cakes were one of the meals made on the second day of my class and it was probably one of the only seafood dishes I recall eating during my stay. I know you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.


2 cups vegetable oil

Fish Cakes:

2 1/2 cups any white fish fillets, minced

5 tbsp red curry paste

4 tbsp fish sauce

1 egg, beaten

8 tbsp flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tbsp palm sugar

8 long beans thinly sliced (you can just use regular green beans)


6 tbsp water

6 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp vinegar

1 tsp chilli powder

2 tbsp roasted peanuts, chopped roughly

2 tbsp cucumber, thinly sliced

1/3 cup cilantro, chopped


1. To make the dipping sauce, add the water, vinegar and sugar into a pan and dissolve the sugar over low heat. Once the sugar has dissolved bring the water to a boil for 5 minutes.

2. Turn off the heat and add the chilli powder, peanuts and cucumber. Let cool and then sprinkle with chopped cilantro.

3. To make the fish cakes, mix all the fish cake ingredients together in a medium bowl.

4. Shape the fish cake mixture into small, flat cakes about 3 inches across.

5. Pour oil into a heated wok and when the oil is hot add the fish cakes, placing them in gently so as not to splash hot oil.

6. Fry until they begin to turn golden brown (2 to 3 minutes). When cooked, remove and place cakes on paper towel.

7. Serve the fish cakes hot, with dipping sauce and garnished with additional cilantro.


About gentlemangourmet

My name is Mike and even though I’m not always a gentleman, it’s safe to say I am in love with food. Like my more famous namesake, the kid on the cereal commercial from the early 80′s, I had an ability to eat just about anything and “like it.” I’ve become a tad more discerning since my toddler phase: I prefer Pinot Noir to the customary Shiraz my parents liked, I no longer eat parmesan cheese sprinkled from a container, and can pick out which ingredients I like or don’t in a recipe by smell alone. I blame my Lebanese heritage, my large Lebanese nose (all the better for smelling with) and exposure over the past few years to some exquisite ethnic cooking styles and cuisine, as well as to some stunning, inspiring cooks who are family or friends. I’ve included a lot of their favourite recipes on this site, as well as a few of my own that have become my staples over the years. I hope you find something here that you like. Happy cooking! View all posts by gentlemangourmet

2 responses to “Thai Style Fish Cakes and Sauce

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