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Thai Fish Cakes

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These Thai fish cakes are the best! I promise. 

One of the most popular starters at Thai restaurants is Thai fish cakes. These little fish patties are packed with flavour and are so good dipped into a good Thai sauce such as sriracha. This Thai fish cakes recipe is from my cookbook ‘The Curry Guy Thai’ which also includes some amazing Thai sauces that will go well with these fish cakes like the prik nam pla in the photograph.

Thai fish cakes served with a spicy, sweet, savoury and tart sauce.

About this Thai fish cakes recipe

This is a recipe I developed after trying many different recipes for Thai fish cakes. Most version include egg which is used as a binder. In this recipe, you have that option but personally I prefer the texture without the egg. Adding egg gives the Thai fish cakes a rubbery texture which some people like.

I recommend trying these fish cakes without the egg binder though. The fish patties stay together anyway so no binder is needed.

Working ahead

You can prepare the fish cakes a day or so ahead of cooking. That said, you will get best results using the freshest fish you can get your hands on so make sure your fish is really fresh before deciding to work ahead.

How do you prepare these Thai fish cakes?

It really could not be easier. Simply place all the ingredients for the fish cakes except for the green beans and spring onions. Blend for about 3 minutes to form a thick fish paste. Then you stir the chunky beans and spring onions into the fish paste.

Get a bowl of water ready before forming the patties. It’s easier to form the patties with wet hands. Then form the patties and fry in a little oil for about 4 minutes. Brown both sides and you are on your way to Thai fish cake heaven!

Which fish do you use in this recipe.

You can use any meaty fish. Don’t go for the expensive stuff like halibut though! Salmon, cod, codling, hake, haddock… Any of these will do.

You can use just one variety of fish or a selection. Just pick your favourites and you will love the results.

It is important which Thai curry paste you use?

Not really. I use Thai red curry paste for this recipe which I make myself. Homemade Thai curry pastes are always better. You could use another curry paste such as green curry paste or yellow curry paste if you like.

How long can you keep leftovers in the fridge?

These Thai fish cakes are much better served hot right out of the pan. If you do have leftovers, you can place them on a plate and wrap the tightly in cling film. Consume within 3 days.

To heat them up, you could simply place them in your microwave for a minute or so. That’s the most convenient way but you could also fry them in a little oil to heat through.

Can Thai fish cakes be frozen?

Yes. In fact they freeze quite well. You should, however prepare and freeze the fish cakes before frying.

Then just let the fish cakes defrost and fry as in the recipe.

What do you serve with Thai fish cakes?

Thai fish cakes are great served on their own, simply with a dipping sauce or two like those in the recipe below.

You might, however like to make your Thai fish cakes part of a larger Thai feast. I have you covered! Why not follow your Thai fish cakes with a good curry such as Thai green curry, red curry, yellow curry, Massaman curry or panang curry. Just one of these would be good but you might want to try them all. 

Do you like Thai noodles? Why not try Thai drunken noodles, pad si eew or the most famous of them all pad Thai?

A good steak is also nice. Give this weeping tiger steak a go! You might like to serve them with the crispy spinach (seaweed) shown in the photo.


Step by step photographs.

Ingredients for the fish cakes.

Get all your ingredients together before you start. It’s easier that way.

The fish cake ingredients in a food processor.

Place all of the ingredients except for the green beans and spring onions in a food processor.

Blending the fish and aromatic ingredients in a food processor.

Blend the fish with the other ingredients for about 3 minutes or until you have a thick fish paste.

The fish paste with the spring onions and green beans in it.

Transfer the fish paste to a bowl and add the green beans and spring onions. Mix well to combine.

Forming the fish patties before frying.

Using wet hands, form the fish paste into about 12 patties.

Frying the fish cakes

Fry the Thai fish cakes in about 5 tablespoon rapeseed (canola) oil. Brown them on one side.

Frying the other side of the Thai fish cakes.

Then carefully flip them over to fry and brown the other side. The whole cooking process takes about 4 minutes per batch.

The Thai fish cakes served with a dipping sauce.

Serve hot from the pan with sriracha or another sauce such as the Thai sauce for fish shown in the photo.

Crispy Thai fish cakes

You are going to love these!

Thai fish cakes

Dig in!

Yield: 4

Thai Fish Cakes

Thai fish cakes

These easy Thai fish cakes are even better with prik nam pla. That's the sauce in the photo.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 500g (1lb 2oz) meaty fish fillets, such as lemon sole, cod or salmon, skinned
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped coriander (cilantro) (optional)
  • 1 tsp sugar (optional)
  • 3–4 tbsp homemade Thai red curry paste or 2 tbsp
  • shop-bought paste)
  • 1 tbsp Thai fish sauce (gluten-free brands are available)
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 medium egg (optional)
  • 1 tbsp tapioca starch
  • 3 lime leaves, stalks removed and finely julienned
  • 2 spring onions (scallions), thinly sliced
  • 8 green (string) beans, thinly sliced
  • 5 tbsp rapeseed (canola) oil


  1. Place the fish in a food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients up to and including the lime juice. If you are using egg for a spongier fishcake, add it at this point too.
  2. Blend until you have a fine fish paste. It is worth blending for a few minutes as the heat from your blender will help thicken the paste.
  3. Transfer to a bowl and add the tapioca starch, lime leaves, spring onions (scallions) and beans and mix well with your hands.
  4. Divide into twelve patties. I often fry a spoonful of the paste to test for seasoning, then adjust if necessary.
  5. Heat the oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the fishcakes, in batches of about three or four, for about 2 minutes on one side, then flip over to cook the other side until they are nicely browned and cooked through.
  6. Each batch should only take about 4 minutes. Serve hot.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 364Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 157mgSodium: 779mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 9gSugar: 11gProtein: 44g

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I hope you enjoy this Thai fish cakes recipe. If you do try it, please leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.


Thursday 13th of June 2024

Hi what is the recipe for the dipping sauce in the photos?

Dan Toombs

Sunday 16th of June 2024

It’s this one

Thanks Dan

Nigel Darling

Monday 24th of April 2023

Hi Dan, really loving your recipes! Can I use a deep frier for the fish cakes?

Dan Toombs

Tuesday 25th of April 2023

Thanks very much and yes you can. Dan

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