Fried Fish Cakes with Green Bean (Thawt Man Plaa)


The little Thai CookbookFish cakes are just one of many delicious snacks sold as street food in Thailand. Batches are fried on request and served in a plastic bag, along with a bamboo skewer for eating them and a small bag of sauce for additional flavour.

  • Yield: 30


  • 1 lb (450 g) firm white fish fillets
  • 1 tablespoon red curry paste or bought paste
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 2 oz (50 g) snake (yard-long) beans, thinly sliced
  • 5 makrut (kaffir) lime leaves, finely shredded
  • peanut oil, for deep-frying
  • sweet chilli sauce, to serve
  • cucumber relish, to serve
How to Make It
  1. Remove any skin and bone from the fish and roughly chop the flesh. In a food processor or a blender, mince the fish fillets until smooth. Add the curry paste, fish sauce and egg, then blend briefly until smooth. Spoon into a bowl and mix in the beans and makrut lime leaves. Use wet hands to shape the fish paste into thin, flat cakes, about 5 cm (2 in) across, using about a tablespoon of mixture for each.
  2. Heat 5 cm (2 in) oil in a wok or deep frying pan over medium heat. When the oil seems hot, drop a small piece of fish cake into it. If it sizzles immediately, the oil is ready.
  3. Lower five or six of the fish cakes into the oil and deep-fry them until they are golden brown on both sides and very puffy. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Keep the cooked fish cakes warm while deep-frying the rest. Serve hot with sweet chilli sauce and cucumber relish.
  4. For a variation, make up another batch of the fish mixture but leave out the curry paste. Cook as above and serve both types together.

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