Eating Thai food is a fantastic experience. Each flavour should be able to be tasted separately. Leaving the mouth feeling clean and ready for more. Thai cooking is about balance and harmony and no particular flavour should dominate. The five flavours of Thai are:
- Sweetness (sugars & certain fruits)
- Sourness (lime juice, vinegar, tamarind & green mango)
- Saltiness (sea salt, shrimp paste & fish sauce)
- Heat (chillies & peppercorns)
- Herbal/bitter (such as garlic, shallots, galangal, lemongrass, coriander, basil)
These Thai fish cakes are incredibly simple and yet hold so much flavour. I thought they would be lovely to share with you to enjoy on this long weekend ahead. You can’t, and won’t, stop at one. Make many and share with friends and family.
Tod Mun Pla (Thai Fish cakes)
Makes approx. 18 small fish cakes
To avoid the fish cakes becoming rubbery in texture, cook them on a low to moderate heat and try not to brown them too much. These are fantastic as part of your Thai banquet or for parties served as finger food.
500g skinless fish fillet (trevally minces well) and mince in a food processor
3 tablespoons Red curry paste
1 teaspoon of palm sugar, finely grated
2 tablespoons of fish sauce
1 tablespoon of finely shredded kaffir lime leaves
4 snake beans, cut into very thin slices *
Oil for frying
Mix together the minced fish with the curry paste, palm sugar & fish sauce until well mixed and sticky. Stir in the kaffir lime leaf shreds & sliced beans, making sure they are evenly distributed through the mixture. Take a dessert spoon full at a time form into flat cakes.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan & fry on a low – moderate heat until golden brown on each side. Serve warm or at room temperature with a good quality sweet chilli sauce, if desired. (n.b – Please don’t drown the cakes in a sauce though as you will lose all the beautiful & subtle flavour of the fish cake.)
*Snake beans can be found at all Asian grocers. If you have difficulty finding them, you can use green beans instead.
3 fresh red chillies, deseeded and roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic
3 coriander roots
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup white sugar
½ cup water
½ cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
Fresh coriander leaves, to serve
Pound chillies, garlic & coriander root with the salt in a mortar and pestle.
Transfer to a saucepan and add the sugar, water and vinegar.
Bring to a gentle boil and then simmer for 4 minutes. Stir in the fish sauce and remove from the heat.
Transfer into a serving bowl/s with fresh coriander leaves on top.