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Thai Fish Cakes

Chef James EhlerThis recipe is from Chef James Ehler of Key West, Florida.

James is a webmaster, cook, chef, writer and (like me) a self-confessed computer nerd. He is the former executive chef of Martha's Steak & Seafood Restaurant and the former Reach Hotel (both in Key West), the Hilton Hotel in Fayetteville, Arkansas, the New Bern Golf and Country Club, North Carolina and the Blue Heaven Restaurant in Key West.

He is now webmaster and cook while he works on his Food Encyclopedia (around eight years now) and other sites. It is well worth paying a visit to James' food reference website which is a useful resource well worth Bookmarking - to visit one of the websites just click on the title:

The Food Reference Website
Seafood Fish
Culinary Posters

If you want to contact James just email him by clicking here

This recipe comes from Whole Foods Market Cookbook by Steve Petusevsky & Whole Foods Market Team

This is our interpretation of a classic Thai appetizer. Try using a fleshy, white-meat fish like cod or tilapia. These cakes are a bit soft when raw, and so need extra care when handling, but develop a silky smooth texture that allows the intense Thai chili paste, tart lime juice, and cilantro to ring through. Fish sauce (called nam pla), made with salted fermented fish, is a widely used pungent condiment in many Southeast Asian cultures. Serve with Creamy Peanut Sauce or Tikka Salad Dressing.


1 pound cod or other mild firm whitefish fillets, such as tilapia
2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste
2 teaspoons Thai fish sauce
1/8 cup cornstarch
1 large egg
4 teaspoons lime juice
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded
2 scallions, minced
1/4 pound green beans, thinly sliced on an angle
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup canola oil

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • Place the fish, curry paste, fish sauce, cornstarch, egg, lime juice, and jalapeno in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process until well combined. Place the mixture in a bowl.
  • Mix in the scallions, green beans, and cilantro and combine well until a smooth mixture is formed.
  • Heat the canola oil in a large nonstick skillet. Using a 4-ounce scoop to measure, shape the paste into 8 (1/2-inch- thick) cakes.
  • Pan sauté each cake for about 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
  • Transfer the cakes to a sheet pan, and place in the center of the oven. Bake for 10 minutes, until the cakes are cooked through.

Makes 8 (4 oz) cakes

James Ehler

© James T. Ehler, 2004
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