We first came across this recipe about 6 years ago, when we bought a Pan-Asian cookbook.
We mainly bought it because it promised an insight into the culinary traditions of certain parts of the continent that were relatively unknown to us food-wise, such as Laos, Cambodia, and Burma.
Our cookbook library already featured books on the food of India, Pakistan, Japan, Thailand, and China, so we were prepared to either skip or skim read those chapters in the new book.
One recipe in the chapter on the food of Thailand quickly demonstrated that our existing books on Thai cuisine might not be as detailed as we had previously believed, a recipe for a Thai version of the humble fishcake.
Our curiosity piqued, we tried the recipe out, and it became an instant favourite. It’s quick and simple to prepare and cook, not to mention ridiculously tasty.
It’s versatile, too, perfect as a light lunch or supper, or, with a few extras, a more substantial dinner.
Thai Salmon Fish Cakes
- 500g salmon fillets
- 2 spring onions, finely sliced
- a handful of fresh coriander (cilantro)
- about 3 tbsp chopped fresh chives
- 2 heaped tsp Thai green curry paste – see notes
- ½ a beaten egg
- 1 tsp fish sauce – see notes
- 1 tsp lime juice
- coconut flour
- coconut oil
- Roughly chop the salmon fillets, and then place them in a food processor with the spring onions, fresh coriander (cilantro), fresh chives, green curry paste, fish sauce, and lemon juice. Pulse until the vegetables and herbs are finely chopped and the salmon broken down – don’t over process the salmon or you just might end up with an unworkable gloop.
- Transfer the fish mixture to a mixing bowl. Add the beaten egg, and mix it thoroughly in.
- Place some coconut flour on a small plate, breaking up any large lumps with a fork.
- To make the fish cakes take a golf ball sized portion of the fish mixture, and flatten it out into a round shape about as thick as the tip of your little finger. Dip both sides of the fish cakes into the coconut flour. Shake off any excess, and set aside. Repeat for the remainder of the fish mixture.
- Heat 2 tbsp of coconut oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Fry the fish cakes for 2½ minutes per side, until golden brown. Don’t overcrowd the pan – fry the fish cakes in several batches, cleaning and drying the pan between batches.
- If eating the fish cakes as a light lunch or supper, simply serve with a dipping sauce made up of fish sauce, lemon or lime juice, some sesame seeds, and a small drizzle of sesame seed oil. For a more substantial meal, simply add some zucchini noodles.
Use a fish sauce that contains only fish, water, and salt. You’re probably best looking in an Asian store for genuine Thai fish sauce, although if you’re in Britain Tesco’s own fish sauce fits the bill. I currently use Thanh Ha Phu Quoc.
Similarly, your green curry paste shouldn’t come full of sugar and other associated nasties. I currently use Mae Ploy brand, which contains green chilli, lemon grass, garlic, salt, galangal, shrimp paste (shrimp and salt), kafir lime peel, coriander seed, pepper, cumin, and turmeric.