These Thai tuna fish cakes hit all the right flavour sensations, hot, sour, sweet & salty and they come with a delicious easy dipping sauce.
All told these spicy Thai fish cakes take under 40 minutes to go from the cupboard to being ready to eat and can be prepared a couple of days in advance.
Spicy Tuna Fish Cakes with Dipping Sauce
I adore fish cakes, even growing up I loved those mushy things that they served with school dinners.
I even have some classic smoked mackerel fishcakes.
My new offering on the fish cake front adds the spice that I love courtesy of the flavours of Thailand.
They pack a mighty punch something that would have been unheard of in the school dinner queue when I was a child.
As for the dipping sauce, make sure you repurpose it next time you make spring rolls!
You can serve them warm and at room temperature. They do need to cool a little before serving, they are very soft when hot.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use tuna in oil?
Usually, my canned tuna recipes, like this tomato tuna pasta recipe call for tuna in oil, but that does not work so well here.
This is because it makes these Thai fish cakes very rich and almost slimy. Stick with tuna either in brine or in spring water.
What sort of potatoes should I use?
Next up are the potatoes. You want a floury or mealy variety like Maris Piper, King Edwards or Russets if you are in the US or Canada.
What sort of chilli should I use?
As for the chilli then I have no advice here! Use your understanding of your tolerance levels and add chilli that you like to these Thai fish cakes.
Thai Birds Eye Chillis are pretty hot, use them with care. They are closer to habanero chillies than they are to jalapeno!
Tolerance to spice is incredibly personal. One person’s mild tingle is another raging volcano.
Can I use dried lime leaves?
Yes, if you are using dried lime leaves, rehydrate them in the boiling potato water for 1 minute before shredding. I would also increase the amount used from 4 leaves to 8.
Can I use fresh lemongrass?
Yes, you can sub the lemongrass paste with fresh, simply remove the tough outer leaves, bruise them with the side of a knife then finely shred them.
This dish is meant as either a light meal or a snack. Although they also work really well as a party munches!
In fact, the idea behind these spicy Thai tuna fish cakes came from the ones served at buffet lunches at my office when I had a proper grown-up job!
I like to serve this with some toasted peanuts and sliced cucumber. I dress it with some sesame oil and add some of the leftover chilli.
It is spectacularly good with my cucumber salad which features in the video for this recipe!
It also works really well with pickles, which are great at tempering spice.
I only name-check brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.
- 18cm or 7″ saucepan.
- 30cm or 12″ frying pan.
- Chopping board.
- Kitchen knife.
- Mixing bowl.
- Spatula or kitchen tongs.
- Weighing scales and or measuring cups and spoons.
Canned tuna forms the foundation of these Spicy Tuna Fish Cakes leaning heavily on Thai flavours and they make a perfect light meal or snack.
For the Fish Cakes:
- 250g (1 2/3 Cup) Potato
- 160g (6oz) Tin of Tuna in Water or Brine
- 1 Thai Birds Eye Chilli Pepper
- 1 Tbsp Lemon Grass Paste
- 1 Tbsp Grated Ginger
- 4 Lime Leaves
- 50g (⅓ Cup) Spring Onion
- 1 Tbsp Fish Sauce
- 1 Egg
- 30g (⅓ Cup) Breadcrumbs
For the Dipping Sauce
- 2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
- 2 Tbsp Thai Fish Sauce
- 1 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
- ½ Tsp Dark Soy Sauce
- ½ Tsp Lime Juice
- ½ Thai Birds Eye Chilli Pepper
- ½ Spring Onion
For the Fish Cakes:
- Peel and cut the potato into a 1cm (½") dice.
- Cook the potato in a 18cm or 7" saucepan of well-salted water until soft, this should take 10 minutes, then cool. I use 1 teaspoon of salt in a pan this size.
- Slice the chilli pepper as finely as you can and remove the seeds if you want.
- Slice the spring onion as finely as you can.
- Grate the ginger.
- Remove the tough stem from the centre of the lime leaves and slice them as finely as you can.
- Mash the potatoes and add the remaining ingredients for the fish cakes.
- Form into balls a little smaller than the size of golf balls,
- Lightly press these balls to form a small tuna patty.
- Heat 5mm-1cm (¼-½") of oil in a 30cm or 12" frying pan over a medium high heat and fry the cakes until crisp and golden.
- Drain on a kitchen towel and allow to cool for 5 minutes before eating.
For the Dipping Sauce:
- Slice the chilli pepper and spring onion as finely as you can.
- Mix together all of the ingredients for the dipping sauce.
- Taste and balance the seasoning to your liking.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 385Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 131mgSodium: 2402mgCarbohydrates: 53gFiber: 4gSugar: 15gProtein: 34g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.