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Thai Fishcakes with Cucumber Pickle


This Thai street-food dish is ideal to serve with a drink at the beginning of a meal, according to Sydney-based chef and food consultant Tom Kime.

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The recipe comes from Kime’s new cookbook Thai Food Made Easy, which includes advice for building a pantry of essential Thai ingredients and making your own pastes and marinades, as well as recipes for classic dishes such as Pad Thai and Coconut Fish Curry.

Thai Fishcakes with Cucumber Pickle

Recipe and image from Thai Food Made Easy, by Tom Kime (Murdoch Books, $39.99).

Serves 6
Makes 24
Preparation: 10 minutes
Chilling: 30 minutes
Cooking: 10 minutes


500g white fish fillets (such as cod or ling)
2 garlic cloves
2 coriander roots, washed and chopped
4 shallots, finely sliced
4 long red chillies, halved, seeded and finely chopped
4cm piece of ginger, peeled and finely grated
5 kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped
60g green beans, finely sliced
1 cucumber, finely sliced
Juice of 1 lime
4 coriander sprigs, leaves picked and coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fish sauce
75ml rice vinegar
2 tablespoons caster sugar
2 tablespoons toasted crushed peanuts
Vegetable oil, for deep-frying


Mince the fish in a food processor or blender for a few seconds: a little texture is good, so it doesn’t have to be blended until completely fine.

Pound the garlic, coriander roots, 1 of the shallots, 3 of the red chillies, ginger and ½ teaspoon salt using a mortar and pestle until you have a smooth paste. Add to a bowl with the minced fish, fish sauce, kaffir lime leaves and sliced green beans. Thoroughly mix everything together, kneading the mixture with your fingers.

Lightly oil your hands and roll the mixture into 24 small balls and place them on an oiled tray. Transfer to the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

While the fishcakes are chilling, make the cucumber pickle. Warm the vinegar, sugar and salt together in a non-reactive saucepan to melt the sugar. Simmer for 1 minute, then leave to cool. When the vinegar is cool, add the cucumber, remaining shallots and chillies and stir gently. Add the lime juice, chopped coriander and toasted peanuts. Set aside until needed.

When ready to fry the fishcakes, pat them into at cakes about 5cm wide and 1cm thick. Fry then drain on paper towel and serve with the cucumber pickle.

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