Thai-style ocean cakes


While these do not have the distinctive, springy texture of traditional Thai fishcakes (tod mun pla), they taste remarkably briny, with a spicy kick. Remember to check the label when you buy your red curry paste to make sure it doesn’t contain any fish sauce or shrimp paste.

Use tamari instead of soy sauce.

Depending on your curry paste...

Prep time: 20 minutes (plus soaking time)
Cooking time: 20 minutes


  • 1 x 390 g tin artichokes, drained
  • ¼ cup (40 g) sunflower seeds, soaked in water for 1 hour
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1 sheet nori, finely shredded
  • 2 spring onions (scallions), sliced
  • ½ teaspoon light soy sauce
  • 2.5 cm ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 flax egg
  • ½ cup (30 g) panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • coriander (cilantro) sprigs, to garnish

Crispy coating

  • ½ cup (125 ml) plant milk
  • ½ cup (75 g) plain flour
  • ½ cup (30 g) panko breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup (25 g) desiccated coconut
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • vegetable oil, for frying


Begin by chopping the artichokes finely and placing them in a bowl. Drain the sunflower seeds and blitz in a food processor with the curry paste, nori, spring onions, soy sauce, ginger and lime juice. Add to the bowl, along with the flax egg, breadcrumbs and flour. Use a wooden spoon or a fork to combine everything thoroughly.

Now set up a breadcrumbing station: combine the plant milk and flour in one wide shallow bowl; and the breadcrumbs, coconut, salt and pepper in another.

Pour a little oil into a non-stick frying pan and set it over medium heat. Form the mixture into patties about 7.5 cm in diameter. Take a patty, dip it into the flour and milk mixture, then into the breadcrumb mixture, pressing in the crumbs. Fry until golden brown on each side, flipping it halfway – it should take 4–5 minutes in total. If you have a large pan, you should be able to fry up to three at a time.

Drain on paper towel, then garnish with coriander and serve with a side of Cucumber relish.