These easy Thai fish cakes are so simple to make. Using a food processor means they're a great recipe for an easy midweek meal. Full of Thai flavours, they're a delicious homemade fish dish that's perfect as a light meal or starter.
For my honeymoon many years ago we went to Thailand, to Bangkok and Koh Samui. I loved it - the atmosphere, the scenery, the weather, and the food of course. So, last week on Masterchef I was delighted when the contestants were flown to Thailand to cook in a market and then for a royal banquet.
Some of the best Thai food we ate was also in a market, so I was especially interested in the street food. Like with lot of Thai food, the paste is the base of the dish and so the contestants spent a long time pounding away with pestle and mortars.
I was a little lazier when making my easy Thai fish cakes. I have a powerful food processor so I just put all the ingredients into the food processor and blitzed! However, if you don't have a very powerful food processor, it is a good idea to use a pestle and mortar too. You can use it to break down any tough ingredients such as the galangal or lemongrass, unless you are using a paste.
I made the spice paste for the Thai fish cakes first and then added the fish and blitzed again just enough to break it down. That meant I could taste the paste to make sure it was the right flavour. It also meant that the fish didn't get blitzed too much!
The result? Really easy fish cakes, much easier than making them in a Thai market.
What ingredients do you need for Thai fish cakes?
To make these Thai fish cakes you'll need:
- Lemongrass -You can use a paste or a fresh lemongrass stalk. It just depends which is easier for you to get hold of.
- Galangal - Galangal used to be hard to find in the UK but is much easier these days. I often see fresh galangal in the supermarket and galangal paste as well. If you use fresh galangal it is very hard and you will need a strong food processor to blend it up.
- Red chillies - As I use a few chilli peppers for flavour I usually remove some of the seeds as well so that the fish cakes are not too super spicy! You can remove or keep as many as you like depending on your tolerance to chilli heat.
- Shallots - I often replace the shallots with an onion. The flavour is very similar.
- Garlic - You can use fresh garlic or a paste.
- Coriander leaves - These add a lovely freshness to the fish cakes.
- Ground spices - Just a little ground coriander and cumin
- Fish sauce - This adds a lovely flavour and seasons the fish cakes.
- White fish - You can use cod, haddock, pollock or any other white fish that is easy to get hold of. Try to feel it and remove any bones before making the fishcakes.
- Lime - This is to serve with the fish cakes. You can also serve them with a lemon if you don't have lime.
How do you make Thai fish cakes?
These easy Thai fish cakes are really simple to make and there is a recipe card further down the post.
First roughly chop any whole ingredients such as shallots, garlic, lemongrass stalks or galangal roots and put everything in the bowl of a food processor. Blitz to a paste. You may need to keep stopping and scraping the contents back down into the bowl.
Before adding the fish, run your fingers over it carefully and removed any bones that you feel. If it has skin on, remove the skin too. Roughly chop the fish and add it to the food processor. Blitz until just combined.
Form the fishy paste into fishcakes and put them in the fridge to rest for at least half an hour.
Heat some oil in a frying pan and fry the fish cakes for about 3 minutes on each side.
Do Thai fish cakes contain flour?
I don't use any flour as it leads to denser, heavier fishcake. These easy fish cakes stay really light and juicy, but hold together well and are bursting with flavour. It's definitely a recipe to make again.
What can you serve with Thai fish cakes?
I serve these homemade Thai fish cakes with a squeeze of lime juice and they are delicious with a sweet chilli dipping or sriracha sauce as well.
I love them with lots of salad on the side. Sometimes I make this Vietnamese rice salad to go with them but replace the chicken with the fish cakes.
Or why not make this Thai cucumber salad to go with them?
Storing and reheating the leftovers
If you have any leftover fish cakes you can keep them in the fridge for up to 48 hours. You can reheat them in the oven, fry them again or put them in the microwave. I also use my air fryer to reheat them.
Can you freeze leftover Thai fish cakes?
Yes! To freeze them, put them on a baking tray in a single layer. Once they have frozen you can transfer them to a freezer bag. You can defrost them in the fridge overnight and then reheat them for about 8 minutes in the oven at 180C. Fry them again or heat them in the air fryer for about 5 minutes.
More Thai inspired recipes
If you love Thai food as much as we do then why not try one of these recipes:
Easy Thai Fish Cakes Inspired by Masterchef
- 2 teaspoon lemongrass paste or a lemongrass stalk
- 1 teaspoon galangal grated
- 4 red chillies most of the seeds removed
- 4 shallots or one large onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoon coriander leaves chopped
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- 200 g white fish
- 1 lime to serve
- Add all the ingredients to the food processor except the fish. Blend to a paste. Taste and make any adjustments if necessary.
- Roughly chop the fish and add it to the food processor.
- Take the mixture out of the food processor, using a tablespoon. Place spoonfuls on a plate and flatten slightly. You'll get about 6 spoonfuls. Put in the fridge for half an hour.
- Heat some oil in a frying pan and then fry the fish cakes for about 3-4 minutes on each side. Serve with lime wedges and a sweet chilli sauce.
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Do let me know if you make these easy Thai fish cakes or any of my other recipes. I love to get feedback from readers.