Recipe: Thai Fish Cakes (Tod Man Pla)

One of my childhood comfort food is fish cakes or fish balls and somehow I just enjoy eating them. As such, even as I was planning the Thai dishes for this month’s blog recipes, I just had to include this Thai Fish Cakes (Tod Man Pla) recipe in! I am sure you will agree with me that this is one of the most prominent appetizers in most Thai restaurants’ menus apart from the papaya or mango salads.

This is quite an easy dish to make and nice to devour too. The kaffir leaves makes it aromatic and the long beans adds texture to each bite. You can either eat it as it is or you can make a dipping sauce to go with it. Not going to say more here now as I cannot wait to have more of this yummy fish cakes.

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Makes 5 to 6 pieces


300g of white fish (weighed after boning and skinning). {Click here to learn how to scrape the fish meat.}

1 egg

2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste

1/2 teaspoon corn starch

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon fish sauce

2 long beans (sliced)

3 kaffir lime leaves (roll them up like a cigar and slice thinly)

Oil for shallow frying

Dipping sauce: Combine the following ingredients in a small serving bowl.

3 cm cucumber (thinly sliced)

1 small red onion or 2 shallots (chopped)

1 tablespoon crushed peanuts

2 to 3 tablespoons Thai sweet chili sauce

1/2 tablespoon vinegar

Some chopped cilantro to taste



  1. In a food processor, add in the fish meat, corn starch, egg, curry paste, sugar and fish sauce. Combine them until the mixture appears mousse-like in texture.

Or by hand:

  1. In a mixing bowl, add in the fish meat (roughly chopped), corn starch, egg, curry paste, sugar and fish sauce. Stir briskly with a wooden spoon until the mixture is homogeneous, thick and sticky like a mousse.
  2. Transfer the fish paste into a bowl and fold in the sliced long beans and kaffir lime leaves.
  3. Let it rest for 10 minutes.
  4. Oil hands and form ¼ inch-thick rounds with roughly 2 inches in diameter.
  5. Heat oil in low heat and once it is hot, gently slide the fish cakes into the oil.
  6. Once one side is golden brown (about a minute), flip them.
  7. The fish cakes are done when you poke them lightly with the tips of the chopsticks or tongs and feel the bouncy resistance.
  8. Drain on paper towel.
  9. Serve the fish cakes with the dipping sauce as an appetizer or a main dish with rice.


  1. As usual the seasonings are just a guide and you may adjust them according to your taste buds.
  2. I use my own homemade Red Curry Paste (Prig Gang Kua) instead of store bought for this recipe. I usually make a lot more than required and freeze the paste in the freezer in small quantities. Once you have tasted the flavours of a curry paste you made yourself, you will not want to use the bottled ones from the store. But making this paste requires some hard work and a Mortar and Pestle.
  3. If you are interested in me sharing the red curry paste recipe, please comment on this post! 🙂

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Mummy's Kitchen

Hi! My name is Josephine Go. I blog at in a segment called Mummy’s Kitchen. I love to use fresh and natural ingredients in my cooking to promote healthy eating. Some of my recipes may not be in line with the traditional methods of cooking to the extent that some of the ingredients are different, but hopefully new recipes are being created in my style. I certainly hope that what I do will help guide kitchen first-timers on how to cook their first meal as well as further equip kitchen veterans with new recipes. My loving husband and two wonderful children are my best guinea pigs and critics. They have enjoyed (or endured) the food that has been served to them for all these years. Mind you, I did not know how to cook or ever knew that I could cook till I got married. So there is hope for everyone. If I can cook, you can cook. You will not know how good or talented you are until you put your hand in the plough.

8 thoughts on “Recipe: Thai Fish Cakes (Tod Man Pla)

  1. Hi there, can you please share the recipe for your homemade Thai red curry paste? Tqvm in advance 👌

  2. Looks yummy and one of my favorite dishes to order from restaurant. Would appreciate very much for the Thai red curry paste. Tqvm.

  3. Wud greatly appreciate the recipe for the red curry paste. Tqvm.

  4. May Young says:

    Ok share red curry paste recipe, tks very much. Btw I clicked on the fish paste above and it did not lead to instructions on how to scrape fish paste.

  5. Hi the fish cakes look delicious must try , can I please get the Thai red paste from you soon , thank you

  6. One of my favorite food & I’ve been looking for good recipes. Definitely gonna try this from scratch.
    Is it possible to share your red curry paste recipe too?

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