Thai Recipes from Time for Lime’s Cooking School on Koh Lanta (Ko Lanta), Thailand.

Fish cakes with a kick – tod man pla

Serves 6, around 20 small fishcakes

  • This recipe might seem boring, but believe me – when I”ve served this for friends or at events, people can”t get enough of it. Perfect finger food!
  • The fish cakes don”t have to be hot; they are just as good at room temperature. You can regulate the spice level yourself depending on how much red curry paste you add. They”ll also keep in the fridge for 2 days un-cooked.
  • The fish should be fresh, if it”s frozen it”ll lose its texture and the fish cakes won”t have that springiness.
  • Even if it sounds unappetizing, have a small taste of the mixed fish blend when raw, to see if you have added enough salt or curry paste. At Time for Lime we use barracuda or even better king mackerel filet, not so easy to find at home. So we suggest fresh pollock or cod.
  • The traditional Thai way is to only serve it with fresh sweet & sour cucumber salad. The cucumber salad not only tastes fantastic but actually works as a digestive too.
  • After experimenting I have also come up with a tasty spicy mayonnaise fusion dip which I think complements both the fish cakes and the sweet & sour cucumber salad.

Fish cakes

  • 500 g fillet of firm white fresh fish e.g. pollock or cod
  • 12 kaffir lime leaves, prepared the ‘eat me’ way
  • 2 tbs red curry paste,
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsps black pepper, freshly ground
  • 6 tbs coconut cream/milk
  • 5 long beans or 150 g asparagus beans cut in very thin rings
  • Oil for deep-frying

Fish cakes- how to make

1. Coarsely chop the fish meat. Put all the ingredients except the beans in a food processor (blender) and blend it. You can of course use the good old pestle and mortar and pound the mince as well, the real Thai way. The mince should be sticky. Adjust the consistency with coconut cream. Make sure it”s not too runny.

2. Remove the mince from the food processor and blend in manually the bean rings.

3. Have a bowl ready where you add water and lemon or lime or juice, both to moisten your hands and keep the fish smell from sticking in your skin. Roll little balls, and give them a squeeze to flatten them so it becomes the same size as a chocolate chip cookie.

4. Heat up the oil for the deep-frying. The temperature should be right when it starts to form small bubbles around a toothpick when you stick it in the oil.

Deep-fry 4 – 6 fish cakes at a time until they are nice and golden in color. They should be cooked through but not dry. Drain off excess oil e.g. on a paper towel.


Sweet & Sour Cucumber salad

  • 1 dl rice vinegar
  • 1 dl sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 – cucumber, divided in 4 length wise, slice thinly
  • 2 large mild chills sliced thinly in rings
  • 4 Thai red onions or 1 red onion, finely sliced in thin rings

1. Add vinegar, sugar and salt in a small pot. Bring to the boil and stir until the salt and sugar is dissolved. Cool down for half an hour.

2. Add the chili, onion and cucumber to the vinegar mix. Leave to marinate for half an hour before serving.

Spicy mayonnaise dip

  • 2 dl mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 3 tbs fresh limejuice
  • 2 tbs fish sauce
  • 2 tbs red curry paste,
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons coriander leaves, chopped

1. Mix sugar, limejuice and fish sauce in a bowl. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.

2. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.


tps = teaspoon – tbs = tablespoon (the one you eat with)



Download this recipe as a PDF

Download this recipe as a PDF