Spicy Fish Cake


I normally avoid deep frying recipes – not favouring the amount of oil used and the CLEAN UP afterwards. But I just can’t resist to make these when I found this easy Spicy Fish Cakes recipe by Rohani Jelani. What caught my eye is the twist to the usual Thai Fish Cake recipe and it can be made in a jiffy with a food processor. Also this method is shallow fry instead of the usual deep frying for fish cake recipes.

I tested out this recipe to prepare for the Chinese New Year family dinner middle of this month. I got skeptical when the batter turn out to be a bit watery and I could not form proper patties (I would reduce the amount of yogurt next time). With a squeeze of lime juice and a dip of sweet Thai chili sauce, these juicy fish cakes are simply delicious and rather addictive. These fish cakes can be made ahead of time and quickly reheated (in a pan or microwave oven) just before eating. I’ll definitely add these Spicy Fish Cakes to my family Chinese New Year dinner.

5.0 from 4 reviews
Spicy Fish Cakes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This recipe is the twist to the usual Thai Fish Cake recipe and it can be made in a jiffy with a food processor
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 13-15
  • 100ml Plain Yogurt
  • 300g Mackerel Fillet (Tenggiri) - de-bone and cut into 2cm chunks.
  • 1 Egg
  • 3 tablespoon Thick Coconut Milk
  • 1 level teaspoon Salt
  • 1 level teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 level teaspoon Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Fish Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Lime Juice
  • 1 small Onion (70g) - quartered and sliced
  • 1 Red Chilli - halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 3 heaped tablespoon roughly-chopped coriander (leaves and stalks)
  • 2 Kaffir Lime Leaves - finely shredded
  • 2 Long Beans - thinly sliced
  • 4 - 5 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
  1. Place the first 8 ingredients into the food processor and whiz until mixture forms a thick paste.
  2. Transfer mixture into a bowl and stir in the onion, chilli, coriander, kaffir lime leaves and long beans. Mix well.
  3. Using two spoons, form mixture into 3cm wide patties.
  4. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Dip a wooden chopstick into the oil. The oil is ready when bubbles begin to appear around the tip of the handle.
  5. Cook fish cakes for two to three minutes per side or until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon. Serve with a squeeze of lime juice and Thai chilli sauce.

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  1. Hi Shannon,

    I subscribed your websites for a year or two. Love your blog .
    I have a question to ask for recently recipe of Thai fish cake calling for makarrel fish. Can I substitute other fish like swai fish I have on hand? Love to try out this Thai fish cake. Thanks

    • You can use any white fleshed fish fillet. I have not eaten swai fish, so I have no idea what texture is it. From googling it, swai fish is also use for batter frying so I think it should also be good for the recipe.
      Thanks for being my long time subscriber!

  2. Very delicious recipe, and very pretty photos and presentation!!!! Great post fr sure!!!

  3. These do look delicious! While we generally don’t mind the deep frying of most fish cakes it’s nice to find a “healthier” version. Can’t wait to try these, we can just taste the lime and that sweet Thai chili sauce. Very nice!

    • Yes I forgot to mention in the post that this recipe is a ‘healthier’ version. The lime and Thai chili sauce does add extra ‘zing’ to the fish cakes.

  4. These look great! I love how quickly they come together. Gorgeous photos too!

  5. Ooh, yummy! And so beautiful, too! I’ve only made crab cakes, but this opens a whole new world!!! Thanks for the inspiration~

    • Thank you Liz for your comments and for dropping by. Your presence have made my day. I don’t think I’ve tried crab cakes, but I think the Thai flavours could go very well with it too. I think I’ll try that next time when I see frozen crab meat.

  6. Love fish cake! I don’t mind deep frying so this is very tempting – I have to reduce spice level though. I love how you presented this dish – flat fish cake is like cookies, so hard to photograph. Your presentation looks really delicious! Make me want to have a piece right now! 😉

    • Actually the red chili is not spicy for me, but maybe it might be spicy for kids. The spiciness comes from the thai chili sauce.
      Thank you for your kind comments about the photo. Totally agree with you about flat food is so hard to photograph. I usually have a hard time trying to style food or imagine it in my head first. So I would search for images of the same recipe and ‘copy’ the style or presentation 🙂

  7. These fish cakes look awesome! First time on your blog, it looks wonderful! You have lovely recipes and photographs. Happy to follow you.

  8. Wow! That pic looks like it came from the cover of a fancy cookbook. I like the sound of putting everything in a food processor. The only trouble is I also don’t fancy deep frying. I guess I could do a shallow fry 😀 but it might not turn out as pretty and I hope not too oily.

    • Thank you Ping for your kind words.. wah cover of a fancy cookbook.. yeah maybe one day soon 😛
      Sorry for misunderstanding, actually I should amend my writing that the recipe is more shallow fry on each side for 1-2 minutes than deep frying. The recipe uses 5-6 tablespoon of oil but lesser oil can also work well.

  9. Happy New Year Shannon…these are some gorgeous fish cakes!

  10. Shannon, I enjoyed your 2011 highlights and these fish cakes are a great start to the New Year! Lol, I dislike “clean up” after frying, too — but it’s a good way to deep clean my stove now and then. 🙂 Happy New Year to you, too!

  11. I’m with you on the deep frying, but I can see why you made these cakes the exception. Beautiful photos too!

  12. I love fish cakes and these would be a great variations on the ones I’ve had before. Yum, thank you for sharing!!

  13. i also do not do the deep fried thing but i sure do like my fish cakes.

    how many does this recipe make? and i’m wondering if a quick sear on either side would suffice and then put in the oven to bake to completion…

    • The batter was quite runny, so I scoop up with a spoon and slowly ‘drop’ the spoonful of batter into the oil. I got 16 pieces.
      Actually this recipe uses only 5-6 tablespoon of oil, so it’s more like shallow fry. The oil can be further reduced, or i think it might also work without oil on a non-stick pan.

  14. These spicy fish cakes have yumminess written all over them!

  15. Sadly, I’m allergic to fish, but they sure do look amazing! I think they are most definitely worth the occasional fry-up! Beautiful post and photos…as always!

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