Thai Fish Cakes with Cucumber Relish

From Ching Li

2016 Mar/Apr


  • 1 c. rice vinegar
  • 2 T. sugar
  • 6-inch piece of cucumber, julienned into thin matchsticks
  • 6-inch piece of carrot, grated
  • 1 small shallot, finely sliced
  • 1 medium red chile, finely sliced
  • 1 lb. basa fillets
  • 2 T. red curry paste (see recipe right)
  • 3/4 c. finely chopped Chinese longbeans
  • 5 kaffir lime leaves, stem removed and finely chopped
  • vegetable oil for frying


To make the relish, combine the vinegar and sugar in a saucepan and heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves, then boil to produce a thin syrup. Remove from heat and let cool. When the syrup is cool, add the cucumber, carrot, shallot and chile. Mix well and set aside.

Cut the basa fillets into 2-inch pieces and put into a food processor. Pulse to form a smooth paste, then transfer to a large bowl. Add the curry paste and blend thoroughly with the fish paste. Add the green beans and kaffir lime leaves and mix well. Shape into small flat cakes about 2 inches across and 3/4-inch thick.

Heat about 3 T. of oil in a pan and fry the fish cakes until golden brown, flip over and fry the other side. Don’t flip more than once. Add more oil to the pan as needed to prevent cakes from burning. Serve with cucumber relish.

Makes 20 cakes.