I don’t know Thai, but I think it means Tod Mun Pla, or fish cakes in Thai.
Let me tell you the story about how I fell in love with ทอดมันปลากราย, or Thai fish cakes.
Every time I go to Bangkok, I love wandering about in the city, looking for interesting street foods to eat. Recently, when I was in Pratunam, I chanced upon this old lady with a push cart equipped with a big wok of hot boiling oil. On the push cart, there is a huge container of orange-hued mixture. It didn’t look too appetizing to me and I didn’t know what it was…
The old lady then wet one of her hands, shaping a small ball from the mixture, and using only her fingers, she flattened the ball into a nice patty and then dropped it into the wok. Within a minute or so, the flat patty floated to the top and I realized that she was making Thai fish cakes. She made many of these Thai fish cakes in a jiffy; all of them floated to the top to golden-brown glory. I knew I had to taste them.
She packed 10 pieces of the Thai fish cakes into a plastic bag, drenched a dollop of chili sauce onto the fish cakes, and then topped them with a few slices of fresh cucumber. All for only 20 Bahts. It was love at first bite, the best Thai fish cakes I’d ever tasted. They were so fresh, juicy, and simply exquisite. I wished I could have taken the pictures, but I left my camera in my luggage.
So here I am sharing my recipe and pictures of Thai fish cake with you, trying to re-create what I had. They are as good as they get.
8 oz. fish paste (I used store-bought fish paste)
1/2 egg (beaten)
2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste (Mae Ploy brand or Maesri brand)
5 snake beans/long beans (thinly sliced)
5 kaffir lime leaves (cut into fine thin strips)
In a small bowl, mix all the ingredients above to form a smooth fish paste. Make sure the red curry paste is well blended with the rest of the ingredients.
Heat up a pot of oil. Wet your hands and pick up the fish paste (about the size of a ping pong ball). Use your fingers and palms to flatten it and make it into a patty. Drop it into the cooking oil and fry till golden brown. Repeat the same for the rest of the fish paste. Alternatively, you can prepare all the fish aste first and then deep fry all of them at once.
Serve the fish cakes hot with Thai sweet chili sauce and sliced fresh cucumber. (Please refer to my Thai Fried Chicken recipe and find out how I dressed up store-bought Thai chili sauce.)
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