Simple Spicy Thai Tuna Fish Cakes

Canned tuna forms the foundation of these Fragrant and spicy Thai Tuna Fish Cakes that come with a simple delicious dipping sauce!

Portrait close up image of spicy Thai tuna fish cakes served with a cucumber and peanut salad

Spiced Tuna Fishcakes with Dipping Sauce.

I adore fish cakes, even growing up I loved those mushy things that they served with school dinners.

I have brought this love into my more “grown up” style of cooking with my canned mackerel fish cakes and sardine and salmon fish cakes.

My new offering on the fishcake 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.

They come bundled with a simple Thai dipping sauce and the whole thing takes less than 40 minutes to make.

Portrait overhead image of spicy Thai tuna fish cakes served with a cucumber and peanut salad and a dipping sauce.

Ingredient Advice.

Besides buying the best tuna that you can afford you need to buy tuna in brine or spring water for this recipe.

Usually my canned tuna recipes, like this tuna nicoise pasta salad recipe call for tuna in oil, but that does not work so well here.

It makes the fish cakes very rich and almost slimy, not a texture I am fond of!

Next up are the potatoes. You want a floury or mealy variety like King Edwards or Russets.

As for the chilli then I have no advice here! Use your understanding of your tolerance levels.

Thai Birds Eye Chillis are fiercely hot, use them with care, or use something else with care.

Tolerance to spice is incredibly personal, one persons mild tingle is another raging volcano.

Portrait image of spicy Thai tuna fish cakes served with a cucumber and peanut salad

Serving Suggestions.

This dish is meant as either a light meal or snack.

Although they also work really well as a party snacks!

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 also works really well with pickles, which are great at tempering spice.

Something like pickled daikon or pickled cucumber would work really well.

If you wanted to turn these into a complete meal then something like this Thai noodle salad would be the perfect side.

Thai Tuna Fish Cakes Recipe with a Dipping Sauce

Thai Tuna Fish Cakes Recipe with a Dipping Sauce

Yield: 2 Servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

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 Fishcakes

  • 150 g (5.25 oz) Potato
  • 250 g (9 oz) Canned Tuna
  • 1 Thai Birds Eye Chilli Pepper
  • 1 Stick Lemon Grass
  • 30 g (1 oz) Ginger
  • 2 Kaffir Lime Leaves
  • 50 g (1.75 oz) Spring Onion
  • 1 Tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 1 Egg
  • 30 g (1 oz) Breadcrumbs

For the Dipping Sauce

  • 1/4 Tsp Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Thai Fish Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1/2 Tsp Lime Juice
  • 1/2 Thai Birds Eye Chilli Pepper
  • 1 Spring Onion


For the Fish Cakes:

  1. Peel and cut the potato into a 1cm dice.
  2. Cook the potato in a pan of well salted water until soft, this should take 10 minutes.
  3. Slice the chilli pepper as finely as you can and remove the seeds if you want.
  4. Remove the outer leaves from the lemongrass, bash it with the blunt end of the knife and then slice as finely as you can.
  5. Slice the spring onion as finely as you can.
  6. Grate the ginger.
  7. Finely shred the kaffir lime leaves.
  8. After 10 minutes mash or pass through a potato ricer and allow to cool.
  9. Mix together all of the ingredients for the fishcakes and then form into balls roughly the size of golf balls,
  10. Lightly press these balls to form a small patty.
  11. Heat 1 cm of oil in a frying pan over a medium high heat and fry the cakes until crisp and golden.

For the Dipping Sauce:

  1. Slice the chilli pepper and spring onion as finely as you can.
  2. Mix together all of the ingredients for the dipping sauce.
  3. Taste and balance the seasoning to your liking.


If you are using dried kaffir lime leaves, rehydrate them in the boiling potato water for two minutes before shredding.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 974Total Fat: 42gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 246mgSodium: 4745mgCarbohydrates: 74gFiber: 7gSugar: 10gProtein: 76g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

26 thoughts on this Recipe:

  1. Made this and it came out great .. I added some ground roasted peanuts to the tuna fish cake mix and that really gave it a nice crunch. Will definitely try again .

  2. I love the flavors you have added here – I agree tuna is perfect to take on a bit of spice. And the dipping sauce and salad go perfectly, yum!

  3. Oh my! This recipe is definitely a must make. I love the idea of adding lemongrass to it. I make similar tuna fish cakes but never added lemongrass. These sound absolutely wonderful with the dipping sauce and cucumber salad. A perfect combo indeed. ???

    • Thanks Ramona, it these really are proper tasty, I have not made them in what feels like ages… Must go back myself! Enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Next trip to the international store, fresh lemongrass and some Thai chili are on the list. I can whip up some soup and then make some fish cakes. It’s getting chilly which means it’s Thai food time in this kitchen haha

  5. This recipe looks amazing Brian – you’ve got some yummy flavors going on here! And I love the cucumber salad with the toasted peanuts ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I love fish cakes and these sound lovely, Brian. Really love the combo of flavors in the dipping sauce, and the cucumber salad must bring such a lovely freshness to the dish. Can’t wait to make these!

    • Thanks Emma… I use all sorts of canned fish for different fishcakes, I tend to keep Salmon fairly Northern European in flavour ๐Ÿ™‚


Leave a comment