Spicy Thai Fish Cakes, 'Tod Man Pla'

Tod man pla is one of the most famous Thai dishes but seems to be rarely offered on the menus of Thai restaurants in the United States. We're happy to show you how to make it, step-by-step, with great results. Get a good fresh piece of fish to ensure success. Also see our Thai Street Vendor video below left, for detailed guidance.


For 4 Person(s)

Fish Cakes

Cucumber Relish

  • 1/2 Cup White Vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Cucumber, coarsely chopped
  • 3 Shallots, finely sliced
  • 2 Fresh Thai chile pepper, sliced
  • 1 Tablespoons Roasted peanuts crushed in a mortar and pestle
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Method for Spicy Thai Fish Cakes, 'Tod Man Pla'

Method for fish cakes

Cut the fish into small pieces, then grind it up in a food processor or pound it in a mortar and pestle until it's a paste. Transfer to a large mixing bowl, and add the rest of the ingredients (except the oil).

For spicier taste, add a bit more red curry paste.

Using your hands, knead the mixture until sticky enough to form it into a disc about 2 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick. Heat oil in a wok or frying pan at med/high heat. Add fishcakes and fry until golden brown on both sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Serve warm with steamed jasmine rice, and a dish of cucumber relish which is to be spooned over the fish cakes at the table.

Method for cucumber relish

Cook vinegar and sugar in small saucepan over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Let cool. In a small serving bowl put cucumbers, shallots and Thai chile. Pour vinegar mixture over that, then top with roasted peanuts.