Rick Stein Thai Fish Cakes Recipe

Thai Fish Cakes Recipe Rick Stein
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 15 Mins Cook Time: 15 Mins Total Time: 30 Mins

Rick Stein Thai Fish Cakes are a delicious appetizer or snack, featuring tender fish mixed with fragrant herbs and spices, shaped into patties, and fried until golden and crisp. They are served with a sweet and tangy cucumber relish that complements the spicy flavors of the fish cakes. This recipe makes 16 fish cakes and can be prepared in about 45 minutes.

In this article, I will show you how to make Rick Stein Thai Fish Cakes step by step, with tips and tricks along the way.

What are Rick Stein Thai Fish Cakes?

Rick Stein Thai Fish Cakes are a popular dish from Thailand, where they are known as tod mun pla. They are made with white fish, such as cod, haddock, or pollock, that is minced and blended with red curry paste, fish sauce, egg, cornstarch, and fresh herbs, such as cilantro, kaffir lime leaves, and green beans. The mixture is then formed into small patties and deep-fried in hot oil until golden and crisp on the outside and moist and tender on the inside.

Rick Stein Thai Fish Cakes are usually served as a starter or a snack, accompanied by a cucumber relish that is made with cucumber, shallots, vinegar, sugar, and red chili. The relish adds a refreshing contrast to the spicy and savory fish cakes and also helps to balance the richness of the fried food.

Rick Stein Thai Fish Cakes Recipe

Other Rick Stein Recipes

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

There are many reasons to love this recipe, such as:

  • Simplicity at its best. With just a food processor, a frying pan, and a sprinkle of love, you can create these delightful fish cakes. The cucumber relish, a breeze to prepare, can be made in advance and chilled, ready to brighten your dish at a moment’s notice.
  • A burst of flavors. Every bite of the fish cakes is a journey through a garden of aromatic spices and herbs, kissed by the exotic tastes of red curry paste and fish sauce. The cucumber relish dances on your palate with sweet and tangy notes, perfectly complementing the rich flavors of the fish.
  • Crafted for creativity. Feel free to let your culinary imagination run wild! Choose your favorite white fish and adjust the heat to your liking. Whether served as a tantalizing appetizer, a comforting snack, or the centerpiece of your meal alongside rice and a fresh salad, these fish cakes adapt to your every desire.

Ingredients Needed to Make Rick Stein Thai Fish Cakes

To make Rick Stein Thai Fish Cakes, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 500 g (1 lb) white fish fillets, such as cod, haddock, or pollock, skinless and boneless
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) green beans, trimmed and finely chopped
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

For the cucumber relish, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 red chili, seeded and finely chopped

Instructions to Make Rick Stein Thai Fish Cakes

To make Rick Stein Thai Fish Cakes, follow these steps:

Step 1: Make the fish cake mixture

  • Cut the fish fillets into large chunks and place them in a food processor. Pulse until the fish is finely minced, but not pureed.
  • Add the red curry paste, fish sauce, egg, and cornstarch, and pulse until well combined.
  • Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in the cilantro, kaffir lime leaves, and green beans. The mixture should be sticky and hold together when pressed.
  • Shape the mixture into 16 equal-sized patties, about 5 cm (2 inches) in diameter and 1 cm (0.4 inch) thick. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and refrigerate for 15 minutes to firm up.

Step 2: Make the cucumber relish

  • In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the vinegar, sugar, and salt to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and let it cool slightly.
  • In a medium bowl, toss the cucumber, shallots, and chili with the vinegar mixture. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Step 3: Fry the fish cakes

  • In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, heat about 2 cm (0.8 inch) of oil until hot but not smoking. Carefully lower the fish cakes into the oil in batches, leaving some space between them. Fry for about 3 minutes per side or until golden and crisp. Drain on paper towels and keep warm in a low oven until all the fish cakes are done.

Step 4: Serve the fish cakes

  • Serve the fish cakes hot or at room temperature, with the cucumber relish on the side. Enjoy!

Rick Stein Thai Fish Cakes


What Do I Serve With Rick Stein Thai Fish Cakes?

Elevate your dining experience with these perfect pairings for Rick Stein Thai Fish Cakes:

  • Rice: Whether it’s the simplicity of steamed rice, the fragrance of jasmine, or the creamy touch of coconut rice, each grain offers a comforting base to embrace the flavors of the fish cakes and relish.
  • Salad: Add a splash of color and a burst of freshness with a green salad, a zesty Thai papaya salad, or a cucumber and mint salad. These vibrant choices bring a refreshing contrast and a dose of healthy greens.
  • Dipping Sauce: Dive into an ocean of flavors with a choice of dipping sauces. Sweet chili sauce, creamy peanut sauce, or the zing of nam jim offer endless possibilities to customize each bite with your favorite flavors.

Pro Tips to Make Perfect Rick Stein Thai Fish Cakes

Master the art of creating these culinary delights with these expert tips:

  • The freshest catch. Opt for fresh fish to capture the essence of the sea and ensure your fish cakes are tender and flavorful. If using frozen, thaw it carefully and pat dry to maintain the ideal texture.
  • Texture is key. Aim for a finely minced fish texture, avoiding the temptation to overprocess. A coarse blend ensures your fish cakes boast a satisfying bite.
  • A cold start. Chilling the fish cakes before frying solidifies their shape and eases handling, ensuring they don’t crumble into the depths of your pan.
  • Room to fry. Avoid the siren call of overcrowding your pan; frying in batches preserves the oil’s heat, achieving that perfect golden crust while keeping the inside moist and tender.
  • Drain for perfection. Letting the fish cakes rest on paper towels after frying whisks away excess oil, leaving you with a crisp exterior that yields a succulent center.

Variations of Rick Stein Thai Fish Cakes

Transform your Rick Stein Thai Fish Cakes with these creative twists that cater to a range of tastes and dietary needs:

  • Explore the Ocean’s Bounty: Venture beyond white fish by incorporating salmon, tuna, or shrimp into your cakes for a burst of flavor and texture. Mixing fish varieties not only enhances the taste but also introduces a delightful variety of nutrients.
  • Herbal Harmony and Spice Symphony: Infuse your fish cakes with a garden of flavors by adding basil, mint, or lemongrass. For those who enjoy a kick, ginger, garlic, or a change in curry paste (green, yellow, or massaman) can radically alter the spiciness and color, allowing each bite to be a new discovery.
  • Cheesy Delight: Introduce a melt-in-your-mouth experience by blending in grated cheese such as cheddar, mozzarella, or parmesan into your mixture. This cheesy twist adds a comforting richness and a touch of indulgence, along with beneficial protein and calcium.
  • Gluten-Free Goodness: Accommodate all dietary needs by opting for gluten-free cornstarch and fish sauce. For an added crunch, gluten-free breadcrumbs or almond flour can be a fantastic coating, ensuring everyone can enjoy these delicious fish cakes regardless of dietary restrictions.

How do I Store Rick Stein Thai Fish Cakes Leftovers?

Ensuring your Rick Stein Thai Fish Cakes remain as delightful as the day they were made involves proper storage techniques, following these steps will keep them fresh and delicious.

  • Cool Down First: Allow your fish cakes to cool to room temperature before storing. This prevents condensation inside the container, which can make them soggy.
  • Refrigerate or Freeze: For short-term storage, place the fish cakes in an airtight container and refrigerate them for up to 3 days. For longer storage, wrap each fish cake individually in cling film or aluminum foil, then place them in a freezer bag or container. They can be frozen for up to 3 months.
  • Label and Date: Whether refrigerating or freezing, always label the container with the date. This helps you keep track of how long the fish cakes have been stored, ensuring you use them while they’re still at their best.

How do I Reheat Rick Stein Thai Fish Cakes Leftovers?

To reheat Rick Stein Thai Fish Cakes leftovers, you can use one of these methods:

  • Oven Method: Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F) and arrange the fish cakes on a baking sheet. Bake them for 15-20 minutes to recapture their original crispiness and warmth.
  • Microwave Method: For a quick warm-up, place the fish cakes on a microwave-safe plate, cover with a damp paper towel, and microwave for 2-3 minutes. Remember to flip them halfway through. This method is perfect for when you’re short on time but be cautious to avoid overcooking, which can dry them out.

Nutrition value:

The nutrition value for one fish cake (without the relish) is approximately:

  • Calories: 97 kcal
  • Fat: 5.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 2.6 g
  • Protein: 9.6 g

The nutrition value for one serving of the cucumber relish (about 2 tablespoons) is approximately:

  • Calories: 35 kcal
  • Fat: 0.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 8.5 g
  • Protein: 0.4 g


Can I Make Rick Stein Thai Fish Cakes Without a Food Processor?

Yes, you can prepare Rick Stein Thai Fish Cakes without a food processor by finely chopping the fish and other ingredients by hand. Ensure the fish is minced to a consistency that allows it to bind well with the herbs, spices, and binding agents like egg and cornstarch. Mixing thoroughly ensures the flavors are well distributed throughout the mixture.

What Are the Best Fish Choices for Making Thai Fish Cakes?

The ideal choices for making Thai Fish Cakes include white fish such as cod, haddock, or pollock due to their mild flavor and firm texture. However, you can also use salmon, tuna, or shrimp for a richer flavor and a different texture. The key is using fresh or well-thawed fish to achieve the best taste and consistency.

How Can I Prevent My Thai Fish Cakes from Falling Apart While Frying?

To prevent Thai Fish Cakes from falling apart during frying, ensure the mixture is chilled in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes before frying. This helps the patties to firm up and hold their shape better. Also, avoid overcrowding the pan and flip them gently. Using a moderate amount of oil and maintaining a consistent medium-high heat can also contribute to keeping the fish cakes intact.

Can I Prepare Rick Stein Thai Fish Cakes in Advance?

Yes, you can prepare the fish cake mixture and form the patties up to a day in advance. Keep them covered on a plate or tray lined with parchment paper in the refrigerator until you’re ready to fry. The cucumber relish can also be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, allowing the flavors to meld together beautifully.

Final Words

Rick Stein Thai Fish Cakes are a scrumptious and satisfying dish that will transport you to the exotic flavors of Thailand. They are easy to make, versatile, and perfect for any occasion. Whether you serve them as an appetizer, a snack, or a main course, you and your guests will love these crispy and tender fish cakes with their refreshing cucumber relish.

I hope you enjoyed this article and learned how to make Rick Stein Thai Fish Cakes. If you have any questions, comments, or feedback, please feel free to leave them below. I would love to hear from you.

Thank you for reading and happy cooking!

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