Everyone loves Thai fish cakes. These are unlike the usual fish cakes that everyone is accustomed to; they have a prominent hold on the category for their bold, aromatic flavours and another reason is, these are these are usually served as hot nibbles for appetizers (not as mains). They are also perfect when dipped in a sweet & sour cucumber relish.
Really fresh and firm white fish is required for this dish. I am using “Pla Krai” or “Clown knifefish” which may be considerably hard to get your hands on if you are not from Thailand, however, any firm-fleshed fish will do or you could just pick any ‘off-shelf’ fish paste.
Having said that, it is really an easy dish to prepare and is one of those dishes that always win much praise. It might just become your favourite way to start of a Thai course meal.
- 200gms Firm-fish
- 4 strands long string beans, chop into small pieces
- 2-3 kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp good quality red curry paste
- 2-3 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 whole egg
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- ¼ cup tempura flour
- 1 tsp sugar (optional)
- Oil for deep frying
For the relish
*Note :- The famous maepranom’s Thai sweet chilli sauce is a great relish for this dish. But if you are looking for just the perfect accompaniment then you must try making your own cucumber relish, which can be easily put together in a matter of minutes.
You will need:
- 1 large cucumber, diced into small pieces
- ¼ cup vinegar
- 1 tbsp crushed roasted peanuts
- ¼ cup sugar syrup
- 2-3 shallots
- 2 fresh chilli, crushed
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
For the cucumber relish, simply mix to combine all the ingredients together.
- If not using ready fish paste, blend your choice of fish in a food processor to form a paste. Use salt & water to aid in the process.
- Add the red curry paste, fish sauce, egg and oyster sauce into the blender and blend to combine the ingredients together. (If serving to children, lessen the amount of the red curry paste used).
- Transfer the blender ingredients into a bowl. Add the chopped beans and kaffir lime leaves to the paste. Knead with your hands.
- Add sugar and tempura flour to the paste.
- Leave to rest in the refrigerator for about 2 hours.
- Lightly grease your hands with a little oil, use a tablespoon to scoop out the fish paste from the bowl (using a tablespoon each time assures you get the same size for all of your fish cakes). Flatten the paste on your palms.
- Slowly drop these flat cakes into a pan with heated oil (keeping the flame on medium low) so that the vegetables cook through.
- Serve hot with any relish of your choice.