Tod Mun Pla (Fried Curried Fish Cakes)
As most thai children will know, fish cakes are the equivalent version of chicken nuggets to American kids. For some reason you can eat them, days on end and never get sick of it. Somewhere along the way, you transition to adulthood and start to dream about Tod Mun Pla. My parents love these and would always buy small frozen packs of these. Not only were they expensive, they were not as tasty. My mom isn't much of a gardener but she some how managed to keep our kaffir lime leaf plant alive. Had I known how easy these were to make, I would have started making these much much sooner. Kaffir can be hard to source, but if you do find it buy it and keep it in the freezer. It keeps really well.
Fried Curried Fish Cakes
- 1.5-lb package prepared fish paste
- 2 egg whites
- 4-oz red curry paste
- 1.5 cups thinly-sliced green beans
- 4 good sized kaffir lime leaves, fresh or frozen, chiffonade
- Vegetable/Canolda/Peanut oil for deep-frying - which ever is your preference as long as it has a high smoking point
For the Sauce
- 3tbsp Mae Ploy Thai Chilli Sauce aka Nam Jim Gai
- 1tbsp chopped roasted salted peanuts
- 2tbsp peeled and sliced cucumbers
- 1tbsp sliced shallots
- couple sprigs of cilantro
For the Fish Cakes:
- Place the fish paste in a large mixing bowl. Mix in two egg whites and curry paste. At first the mixture separates as the eggs white are getting incorporated. I fold the mixture vigorously using a wooden spoon until the mixture is sticky and even. This should take about 7-10 minutes
- Fold in the the sliced green beans and chiffonade kaffir leaves.
- Heat up oil in a small saucepan. I keep my fish cakes rather small so 3 inches of oil will do.
- Set the oil to medium heat. I do this so that the outside of the fishcake doesn't overcook before the center of the cakes are fully cooked.
- Use a spoon to get about 1 tbsp of fish cake batter and push it off with your thumb into the oil. Personally I love the irregular shapes. The chewy edges are my favorite.
- Use wooden chopsticks or tongs to move the fish cake around. Flip them at about one minute. The fishcakes should puff a little bit and float when cooked.
- Transfer cooked fishcakes to a plate with plate lined with a paper towel.
- Fish cakes can either be served with rice an relish as a en entree or without rice as an appetizer.
For the Sauce Cheat:
- Mix your ingredients of choice together, except for the cilantro, with the chicken sauce.
- Garnish with a couple leaves of cilantro