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Thai Fishcakes

Updated: Jun 10

by Mat Follas from Fish (Ryland Peters & Small)

Photography: Steve Painter © Ryland Peters & Small

One of my favourite dishes, this always transports me back to a beach in Thailand, where I was lucky enough to live for a short while. No potatoes or egg are used in these fishcakes and the resulting tough but tasty skin formed upon cooking is delicious.

Prepare: 15 Minutes

Cook: 10 Minutes

Serves: 4


3 garlic cloves, peeled

1 red chilli

2 brown onions, peeled and chopped

1 teaspoon chilli powder

1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin

1⁄2 teaspoon ground coriander

50 g grated fresh ginger

1 teaspoon tamarind paste

grated zest and freshly squeezed juice of 1 lime

2 tablespoons fish sauce

400 g white fish fillet (such as hake, pollock, whiting or cod), chopped into 2-cm/3⁄4-in. pieces

vegetable oil, for frying


2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon dark soy sauce

2 tablespoons sesame oil

1 tablespoon fish sauce

freshly squeezed juice of 1 lime

1⁄2 carrot, finely diced

1⁄2 cucumber, finely diced



Begin by making the dipping sauce. Heat the sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil and fish sauce in a saucepan set over a medium heat. Remove from the heat and let cool, before adding the lime juice, carrot and cucumber. Set aside until ready to serve.


Put the garlic, chilli and onions in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped and combined. Add the spices, ginger, tamarind, lime zest and juice and fish sauce, and pulse again to combine. Finally, add the fish pieces and pulse briefly until fully combined – it should be the texture of a thick porridge. Don’t over-blend the mixture once the fish has been added as it can easily become a paste.


Heat a little vegetable oil in a saucepan set over a medium heat. Scoop tablespoonfuls of the mixture into the hot pan. After about a minute, flip the fishcakes over and cook for a further minute, until golden brown.

Serve warm with the dipping sauce.

Drinks tasted on air alongside the dish.

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