Almost a Thai fish cake


Preparation info

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Little Thai fish cakes – as sold on the streets of Bangkok – are almost always delicious, usually made with no potato and a lot of chilli, but here I have combined the South East Asian flavours of lemongrass, coriander and chilli with English potatoes.


  • 300 g floury potatoes, peeled
  • 1 medium egg, beaten
  • 3 tbsp coriander leaves and stalks, finely chopped
  • ½ green chilli, finely chopped
  • 300 g salmon fillet, skinned and cut into 1–2cm (½ in) cubes
  • 3 cm (1 in) piece of ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • finely grated zest of 1 lime
  • 1 lemongrass stem
  • 3–4 tbsp dried breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • salt and pepper to season

For the dipping sauce

  • 4 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 2 tbsp Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp honey
  • ½ red chilli, deseeded and very finely chopped


  1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil, add the potatoes and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well, and while still boiling-hot, crush (rather than mash) the potatoes and allow the steam to escape – the drier the mash, the firmer your fish cakes will be. Leave the mash to cool before stirring in the egg, coriander and green chilli. Generously season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

  2. While the potatoes are cooking, whizz the salmon, ginger and lime zest in a food processor until they form a thick paste.

  3. Peel the outer layer of the lemongrass and discard. Cut the stem in half lengthways and chop as finely as you are able. Add to the salmon paste, then add the salmon mixture to the cooled potato, combining well. Divide the mixture into eight and shape into patties. Dip each one into the breadcrumbs to coat and put onto a large plate or baking tray. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour to firm up the fishcakes.

  4. Place a large, heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. Heat the sesame oil and butter together in the pan until beginning to foam, then fry the fish cakes in batches, until golden on both sides.

  5. To make the dipping sauce, combine all the ingredients and pour into a small serving dish. Serve the hot fish cakes with the dipping sauce.