DJ Foodielow-carb, low carb, sugar free, sugar-free, gluten-free, gluten free, primal, paleo

Tod Man Pla (Thai Fish Cakes)

Prep: 20 min | Cook: 15 min | Total: 35 mins | Servings:6..

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Tod Man Pla (Thai Fish Cakes)Tod Man Pla (Thai Fish Cakes)Tod Man Pla (Thai Fish Cakes)
Some names, for me, just seem "unfortunate". That these are called "fish cakes" is, unfortunate. Something about the name doesn't really elicit visions of fresh fish blended with a spicy curry paste, vegetables and a bit of egg, then pan fried. Instead, it elicits visions more in the spirit of something Bugs Bunny might give to Elmer Fudd. The idea of a "fish cake" feels a bit cartoonish and filled with ulterior motives. These fish cakes are Thai, which somehow renders the whole thing exotic ... and cartoonish.

Because I detest the name "Fish Cake", I'm going to call these "Tod Man Pla", or "ทอดมันปลาทอดมัน", which is what they're really called by the street vendors that hawk these tasty cakes on the streets of Thailand.

These seem to come in a wide variety of tastes and flavors, but there do seem to be some consistent elements between them all. They're all fish, they're all fried and they're all kind of springy.

I decided to add a few vegetables into mine, which gives them a heartier texture, a little more depth of flavor and specks of delightful color!

Note: This is delicious served with some thin slices of cucumber and chilies, tossed with some fish sauce, rice wine vinegar and a bit of sweetener.

. .
IngredientsCaloriesFatProteinCarbsFiberSA'sNet Carbs
1 1/2 lb (681g)  firm, fresh, raw, white fish (cod, halibut, sole, shrimp, scallop, lobster, etc.)696.1210.08136.20000
3 each (99g)  egg whites480120000
1 tbsp (6g)  fresh ginger, minced4.80.121.08.1200.96
4 each (12g)  garlic cloves, minced0000000
1 tbsp (15g)  red curry paste (Buy Now) 22.501.53003
1/4 cup (72g)  fish sauce (Buy Now) 25.203.62.88002.88
10 each (10g)  fresh kaffir lime leaves, cut into very thin strips (lime zest is an acceptable substitute)8001001
1/2 lb (227g)  green string beans, ends and string removed, cut into thin little discs70.37.272.7216.197.7208.47
1 small (74g)  red bell pepper, seeded and cut into small dice22.940.744.441.4802.96
2 tbsp (28g)  light oil (for sautéing ... such as coconut, olive or ghee)2402400000
salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste0000000
Totals (of 6 Servings):1137.9334.35g156.88g28.59g9.32g0g19.27g
Per Serving:189.665.73g26.15g4.77g1.55g0g3.21g *

Method:

  1. In a food processor, place your fresh fish, egg whites, ginger, garlic, curry paste and fish sauce. Puree the mixture into it is a smooth frothy paste. Transfer the mixture to a bowl.
  2. Fold in your lime leaf strips, green bean discs and red bell pepper dice. Season with a bit of salt and pepper.
  3. Heat a skillet or large sauté pan over medium heat and add your oil. These are often deep fried, but I opted to cook them like pancakes (less mess, less need to use a lot of fat/oil, for the purposes of frying). You can do it in any manner you see fit.
  4. Add your oil to the pan. When the oil ripples, place little plops of paste into the oil (I tend to use a small ice cream scooper for this). Press down a bit, to flatten them out. They'll cook more quickly and evenly.
  5. When one side is nice and golden brown, flip them to cook the other side.
  6. When they are cooked through, serve!

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* Learn More: More about this recipe and nutrition ...

Comments

I made these last night, and they were great (although I might cut back on the fish sauce next time, to diminish the saltiness). I served with cauliflower rice for a nice low-carb meal. However, I'm wondering if anyone has any tips for keeping these things from falling apart during cooking? Thanks!

 Jessica  5/18/2015

 (Reply)

---Reply posted by DJ on 5/20/2015
HI Jessica, I can't imagine why they would be falling apart! They should be almost like glue balls. They should be impossible to fall apart. It makes me think that the emulsion was broken and that perhaps your base wasn't a smooth puree. Make sure you're using cold equipment and cold ingredients next time, when you puree everything in the food processor. This should help the emulsion stay together. Then, fold in the other goodies after the base has been made. Does this sound like advice that makes sense, or ... can you think of another area where maybe things went wrong? I'm sorry it wasn't all you'd hoped it would be, but ... I'm also glad you still seemed to enjoy it!

Not sure where to buy fish sauce.  The Amazon one you refer to says it takes 27-43 days to ship.  Gotta be a closer one than overseas.  Thanks

 Kelli  1/14/2015

 (Reply)

---Reply posted by DJ on 1/14/2015
Hi Kelli, I don't know where you are, but finding fish sauce in the states is generally fairly easy. There is typically an Asian foods aisle where interesting sauces, condiments, noodles, spices, canned good and other tasty ingredients live. Does this type of thing ring a bell? Do you have any Asian oriented markets in your area? Chances are good you've got a Thai or Vietnamese restaurant someone neaby. Perhaps you could call and ask them. They may know where to purchase such a thing. In any event ... good luck with it. It's a strange ingredient, but FULL of flavor!

Yep! The okonomyaki would taste a lot like this, but ... without the zing of the curry and more of the hallmarks of the Japanese flavors. It's a seemingly more foreign taste, but ... still a pleasant one, if you like those kinds of flavors. Seeing how much you liked this, it might be worth tinkering with, especially if you're one to tinker (which it sounds like!). I'm glad you liked this recipe. It's really pretty simple, actually. Thanks for the kind words! Ah, and ... yep! Look through the sauce recipes. I don't have either of the sauces you just suggested, but ... noted for the future! ;)

 DJ  7/21/2014

 (Reply)

After reviewing your okonomiyaki recipe, those must taste a lot like this! Guess that's why they weren't considered "authentic". Usually not much fish in okonomiyaki! I digress. THESE ARE FOOLPROOF! Perfect for those of us who like to cut corners with ingredients. I had leftover red curry paste (delicious, no crap ingredients, from maesri brand!) and exactly 3 egg whites, so I planned to get the rest of the ingredients for this. Unfortunately I forgot limes, and fresh green beans. So, I made due with bottled lime juice and canned green beans (they were soft and horrible, so I was worried.) I also had to use ground ginger. I decided to throw in sliced basil leaves in place of the lime leaves, as I've heard they have a good place in thai cooking. I also used 1 lb of raw flounder and 1/2 lb of canned white crab for something different. The smorgasborg worked!! I deep fried these, so that even if the poor ingredients affected the cakes, at least all that oil would help cover it! I ate 3 right away (it made about 20-22! really don't need much batter.) and they tasted like heavenly fish tempura. I plan on making a red curry mayo or lime mayo for dipping them to up the fat.... Maybe I'll just look through your sauces archive! :)

 Emma  7/20/2014

 (Reply)

Awwww ... thank you for the kind words, Heather! The way you talk about the various curry pastes makes me want to eat dinner at YOUR house! What time should I be over!? ;)

 DJ  3/16/2014

 (Reply)

I made these today, and they were wonderful! My husband loved them, too. I think they will become a regular thing in our house. We love Thai curries, so we always have some panang, red, or massiman curry paste in the pantry. I saw this recipe on Facebook on the Low Carbing Among Friends Page the day after we had Grouper Panang Curry with Cauliflower Fried Rice. We had some leftover curry and "rice", so I decided to make these with some of the leftover panang curry, and serve it with the leftovers. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! My tastebuds are so happy! Next time, I will make it with the red curry paste, as suggested. You are a genius DJ!

 Heather E  3/15/2014

 (Reply)

Thanks, Nemo. Fixed! :)

 DJ  2/16/2014

 (Reply)

Another OCD editor here - a Thai vendor would be "hawking" (selling) fish cakes, not "hocking" (pawning) them. Recipe sounds great!

 Nemo  2/14/2014

 (Reply)

Hi Robyn! There are times where I do make specific recommendations, but for the most part, I run on the assumption most people do what I do. They put things in bags and tupperware, or bowls and plates wrapped in saran wrap, etc. I'm personally a big fan of vacuum packing raw meats and some soup bases, sauces, meat blends, etc. For the most part, however, there's no master technique that I particularly use. Out of curiosity, what prompted the comment? Lots of fish cakes leftover?

 DJ  4/16/2013

 (Reply)

How do I store leftovers? That would be a great thing to include on recipes, hint, hint

 Robin  4/16/2013

 (Reply)

I'm making this tonight. I'm using lime zest as I couldn't find lime leaves. I can't wait to try these!

 Robin  4/16/2013

 (Reply)

Christopher, I'm glad to hear it! For whatever reason your description makes me feel like you've got a sort of Indo-Thai thing going on. YUM!

 DJ  4/10/2013

 (Reply)

To the unknown individual, it depends largely on how big you make the cakes, but in my mind the cakes are about 2 inches in diameter and a serving is roughly 3 of them. The recipe is listed as containing 6 servings, so it's however many cakes you get from one-sixth of the batter. I hope this helps!

 DJ  4/10/2013

 (Reply)

I just made this tonight and oh my gosh it was absolutely delicious! For the fish I used about 300grams of mahi, so I did about half a recipe. I did make several alterations, also, since I didn't have all of the ingredients. I used zucchini instead of beans, I used an entire egg instead of egg whites, I added some shredded coconut and coconut flour (just a tad of each), and instead of fish sauce I used coconut aminos. I did add some sweet curry powder as well. I pan-fried the cakes for about 1 minute on each side using coconut oil, then put them in the oven for about 8 minutes at 400. They ended up extremely moist and wonderfully flavorful. I'll definitely be making these again. Thanks for the recipe!

 Christopher  4/10/2013

 (Reply)

just tried this recipe, it's good! i am assuming that 1 cake is a serving?

 unknown  4/10/2013

 (Reply)

Thank you, Jasmine! I like to think the people creating the two words had it backwards and I'm just trying to straighten it all out. I've just complied. Thank you for the feedback. I LOVE constructive criticism. You've just made me a better writer. THANK YOU!

 DJ  4/7/2013

 (Reply)

Lovely recipe, but my inner editor is cringing a bit. The word you are searching for is "elicit" not "illicit". http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/elicit

 Jasmine  4/7/2013

 (Reply)

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